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The public will get its first look at Tesla Motor’s new electric car as early as next spring, the carmaker revealed, with deliveries to follow in 2017.
CEO Elon Musk announced earlier this month that the Tesla Model 3 release date has been set for midyear of 2017. The sedan’s official debut has also been tentatively scheduled for next March.
“We are looking to start production of the Model 3 in second half of 2017,” Musk said. “We are hoping to show the Model 3 in March (or around then) of next year.
Details are still scant on the car – the pictures posted here of the Model 3 are only concept photos created by Auto Express. The electric motors, battery size and accoutrements are all unreleased. Best guesses estimate that battery electric sedan will have a range around 200 miles.
Officials with the carmaker have stepped forward to share a few morsels on the upcoming sedan, though. Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen said the company’s goal with the Model 3 was to create an electric car that is more affordable without building a petite replica of the Model S.
“The car will show what we are about: to build electric cars for the masses,” he explained. “It is not a small Model S, we do not want a unit face like Audi.”
Also, don’t expect audacious styling elements like falcon-wing doors, said Musk.
“We got quite adventurous with the [Model] X. We won’t go super crazy with the design of the initial version of the [Model] 3,” Musk explained.
“It makes more sense (at first) to go with something people love that’s functional and an amazing car and then innovate … on that platform with future iterations.”
It’s predicted that the base Model 3 price will be around $35,000, with possible SUV or wagon versions arriving later that could cost closer to $55,000.
The Model 3 release date has already been postponed once, with von Holzhausen noting two years ago that Tesla would probably debut the car at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. But Musk stated the new sedan shouldn’t experience a series of setbacks like those that have plagued the Model X.
“We don’t want the delays that affected the Model X to affect the Model 3 so we’ve been quite conscientious about that,” he remarked. “We want to have super high volume.”
Tesla hasn’t begun taking reservations yet for the Model 3, though. In comparison, pre-orders on the Model X began in February 2012, more than three and a half years before its scheduled delivery date of late 2015.