Before the Tesla Model 3 could even be unveiled on Thursday night more than 115,000 people had put down $1,000 to reserve one of the vehicles. Those numbers only continued to climb after CEO Elon Musk debuted the new $35,000 electric car.
The family sedan goes from zero to 60 in less than 6 seconds and starts with a range of at least 215 miles.
“We don’t make slow cars,” CEO Elon Musk said at the car’s unveiling. “You will not be able to buy a better car for $35,000, or even close, even if you get no options.”
Musk said the Model 3 will seat five comfortably, and he emphasized “comfortably.”
One reporter said a 6′ 3″ driver was able to sit comfortably in the car while another 6 foot tall passenger sat comfortably behind the driver in the back seat.
The vehicle seats t least four people comfortably and a fifth person could squeeze in based on size.
The windshield and back window nearly touch, leaving only a narrow bar of actual roof to separate them, which makes for a nearly complete view of the sky over each occupants’ heads.
A rectangular touchpad screen mounted on the dashboard between the front seats is the only information display with the front of the driver reserved for air conditioning vents.
The car’s speed is also displayed in the upper left corner within easy view of the driver.
For an extra cost buyers can choose the all-wheel-drive dual-motor version which is more powerful that the base model. A
The Model 3 also features a trunk and a “frunk,” meaning there are large storage areas at both ends of the car, a fact Musk boasted about while unveiling the Model 3.
Musk stuck by his promise that the Model 3 will go on sale by the end of next year.
With more than 133,000 pre-orders by 8am on Friday morning, I’m willing to call the Tesla 3 debut a major success. Now it’s up to Tesla to get its Gigafactory online so it can make enough lithium ion batteries to actually start delivering the vehicles by the end of 2017.