The Tesla Model 3 is set to be shown to the public tomorrow, and some of the details have reportedly been dug up, while an illuminating chat with Tesla’s chief designer sheds further light.
According to Electrek, the car starting at $35,000 will look like a blend of the Model S sedan and Model X SUV, with a front end that’s more reminiscent of the latter. It will be shorter and narrower than either vehicle.
Other details include a 0-60 time of under four seconds (it’s unclear which trim level that will be on), available all-wheel drive, available autonomous driving modes, and an available battery pack that will have an output of around 80 kilowatt hours, allowing for a range of up to 300 miles. Electrek reports that a fully optioned out Model 3 could run into the $50-$60,000 price range.
Meanwhile, Wired’s German edition spoke with Tesla Chief Designer Franz Von Holzhausen to try and wring some details out, but he remained pretty tight-lipped. Still, there’s at least a sense of what may happen with the car’s design. We’ve culled some of his statements and lightly edited them to remove some awkward German-to-English translations, in order to get a sense of what the Model 3 may look like when the cover comes off tomorrow night.
“Some people think that because the driving of a car is different, everything has to be different,” von Holzhausen told Wired. “The opposite is true: We at Tesla want to create a brand that is growing for decades. With sci-fi design you might reach the early adopters. If you want to advance the global transition to the electric car as we did, then you can do that only when you [create a car liked by the masses]. But it is also important to create a car whose shape in the long run … is timeless. The car feels best if relevant.”
Holzhausen also said the purpose of the Model 3 is to grow the brand – and he added that when the Model S was introduced, electric cars were a much smaller market niche than now, and with a growing market, especially in price ranges that are considered affordable, the Model 3 is intended to appeal to a much larger potential customer base.
He also sees the competing Chevrolet Bolt as healthy competition. From his perspective, the more electric cars on the road, the better.
All the secrecy ends tomorrow evening, around 8:30 Pacific Time.