The Tesla Model 3 will finally be unveiled tonight, and we may finally be getting the first leaked specs about the mass market electric car. The automaker opened up preorders at its stores this morning, and people were lining up to reserve their car in what has shaped up to be an iPhone-like event a la Apple.
Tesla creates an Apple-like atmosphere
Fortune reports that long lines wrapped around the outside of Tesla stores. Only a few tents were outside the location in Burlingame, Calif. the night before, but within 12 hours, there was a long line of hundreds of customers stretching all the way down the block who apparently have no problem shelling out a refundable $1,000 deposit for a car they’ve never seen before. Online preorders for the Tesla Model 3 don’t start until tomorrow.
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Although we don’t know for sure, the reason the automaker delayed the start of online preorders until the day after in-store preorders could be that it wanted to create a sort of Apple-like anticipation around the mass market electric car similar to the excitement that’s created around new iPhone launches. Apple’s new product launches are well-known for being heralded with long lines of anxious customers waiting to get their hands on their new iPhones.
Those who wish to reserve their car must pay the deposit before they can get on the waiting list. Being higher on the list could mean getting the car earlier, although reports previously indicated that current Tesla owners and employees will likely receive priority.
Leaked details about the design of the Tesla Model 3
Elektrek reports that unnamed sources who had given accurate information in the past sent a list of supposed specs for the Tesla Model 3. The website’s source said that a person who has seen the design the automaker plans to show off tonight said it appears to be a cross between the design of the Model X and The Model S, only smaller in size. The person reportedly said that the car is shorter and narrower than both of Tesla’s two current models but describes it as “sexy and sporty.”
The person also said that at first, they didn’t like the look of the Model X, but they came around after the addition of the falcon-wing doors. However, the person instantly loved the look of the Tesla Model 3, saying that “it seems so right.”
Other supposed specs of the Tesla Model 3
Electrek said its source also claims Tesla will boast that the Model 3 can travel from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than four seconds, although the website added that the person didn’t say whether that’s for the base model or for a higher-end model with a larger battery and all-wheel drive. The high-end versions of the Tesla Model 3 are also expected to have all-wheel drive and autonomous driving features.
We’ve heard repeatedly that the Tesla Model 3 will start out at $35,000, a number given by CEO Elon Musk and repeated in every other article written about the car. However, there’s speculation about just how expensive the high-end models will be, and Elektrek reports that the price will balloon up to between $50,000 and $60,000 for the high-end Model 3 car.
The website adds that an 80 kWh battery should give the smaller car a range of more than 300 miles at highway speeds without hyper-miling. It also means that in most cases, drivers should be able to go for nearly five hours between charges. The larger Model S only has a range of about 288 miles with the bigger 90kWh battery, by comparison.
So we won’t know whether any or all of these specs are correct until Tesla’s big unveiling tonight, which is set for 8:30 p.m. Pacific tonight, making it a pretty late night for East Coast residents who want to be among the first to get details on the Tesla Model 3.