By on April 1, 2016

tesla model-3-unveil

The Tesla Model 3 had its curtain of hype lifted tonight, and it exists after all.

Sleek, with pronounced shoulders and a roofline that slopes to the decklid, the newest Tesla remains over a year away from production, but at least it now has a face.

Or lack thereof. But more on that later.

Tesla founder Elon Musk said the Model 3 will have an EPA-rated range of “at least” 215 miles, and will retail for $35,000. Every Model 3 — even base versions — will hit 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds.

“These are minimum numbers,” said Musk. “We hope to exceed them.”

Musk’s allusion to a performance range implies that a dual motor setup could be an option.

The Model 3’s recessed dash means that front-seat occupants will sit well forward, allowing enough legroom for five adults. The rear roof is a solid pane of glass that begins just ahead of the rear seat passengers and continues to the trunklid.

With storage up front and in the back, Musk promised that the Model 3 would have “more cargo capacity than any gasoline car with the same exterior dimensions.”

Safety is “paramount” for Musk, who said the Model 3 will achieve five-star crash ratings in every category, and each version will come with Autopilot autonomous hardware installed.

Viewed from the front, the Model 3 vaguely resembles a Porsche Panamera. However, besides a slit in the lower fascia, the centre of the Model’s 3’s face is scrubbed clean of features. That flat expanse seems to be the vehicle’s only controversial element.

More details on the Model 3 will be revealed during “Phase 2” of the launch, which won’t happen until much closer to production.

Musk unveiled the model after explaining how the Roadster, Model S and X were all part of his three-pronged master plan to produce the societal change (and cash) needed to market a mass-produced electric car at an attainable price.

On the same day he began accepting $1,000 pre-orders from prospective buyers, Musk said over 115,000 people have signed up for the Model 3.

In order to have charging infrastructure in place for buyers, Musk said Tesla will double the number of Supercharger stations by the end of next year — 7,200 worldwide. Destination chargers will also double in number, to 15,000.

Tesla’s dealer network, which currently numbers 215 locations, will rise to 441 in the same time period.

Production of the Model 3 is expected to begin in late 2017, with the first units off the line going to existing Tesla owners on the west coast.

When exactly will the first deliveries be made? Musk couldn’t say.

“Well, they’re next year,” said Musk. “I do feel fairly confident it will be next year.”

[Image: Tesla Motors]

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191 Comments on “Revealed: The Tesla Model 3 Offers 215 Miles of Range and a Vague Delivery Date...”


  • avatar
    la834

    Where are you getting that the Model 3 is clearly a liftback? What about that single piece of glass that stretches across the roof from the windscreen to the rear window? Doesn’t that proclude a hatchback? The cut lines visible in some angles shown in the keynote make me think it’s a sedan.

    Also, no word about driveline configuration. Is this RWD? FWD? Will AWD be available?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I thought it was a liftback at first and put my deposit down. But, I was mistaken — the pictures showing the back glass show that it can’t be anything but a conventional sedan that *looks* like a hatchback.

      As a longtime Prius owner, I prefer a liftback. I’ve gotten an amazing amount of utility out of the liftback configuration over the years, and I don’t really see the point of having *two* trunks.

      But, it still looks nice enough that I think I’ll keep my place in line! :-)

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        http://reho.st/self/2afee21e994431174d5d1c00cd6bb870a121a38c.png

        you can see where the trunk lid opens but it doesnt look like the glass has any cut lines to open.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “you can see where the trunk lid opens but it doesnt look like the glass has any cut lines to open.”

          Maybe not a total liftback, but it offers an interesting prospect there. Kind of a levered liftback which could later convert to a more conventional, full-length lift through the addition of hydraulic or electric actuators.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “As a longtime Prius owner, I prefer a liftback. I’ve gotten an amazing amount of utility out of the liftback configuration over the years, and I don’t really see the point of having *two* trunks.”

        I expect a liftback version will be just a little bit down the line as an optional upgrade due to the need for more parts and probably marginally more weight.

        I would note that the question of drivetrain and others were at least somewhat answered by the teaser video just before the reveal itself which showed the ability to carry two complete drivetrains while I expect it will be RWD first as the least-expensive version. I could guess that an FWD version is possible as well with a simple rear axle design, but I doubt many would choose such an option unless they’re extremely comfortable and skilled with FWD in emergency situations. Even then, I’ve read where experienced drivers tend to make mistakes in ‘panic’ situations with catastrophic effects.

      • 0 avatar

        By today’s standards it certainly IS a nice looking car. One of the worst things about modern cars’ appearances is that they are overly busy, as if the stylists–probably sixth grade boys–don’t know when to stop. This thing is clean.

        I see that the NIssan Leaf starts at 29k and change–substantially less than this. But I suspect this will take a pretty big bite out of LEAF sales, given both range and appearance.

        Nonetheless, until range and recharging time become comparable to ICE, I won’t be considering one of these.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. Orange

      In one of the first ride videos, someone from Tesla states it would come with a single motor rwd model and a dual motor awd model.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Also one of those videos they state the demo cars were the two motor variety (for the most impressive acceleration). I couldn’t make out the speedometer, but it seemed liked 0-60 in ~5 sec or less.

    • 0 avatar
      Brett Woods

      The illustration projected during the presentation showed a motor on each axel I think.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Yeah, I saw motors on each axle during the presentation. He also said they’d have performance versions as well.

        • 0 avatar
          tekdemon

          I have a deposit down though since I don’t live on the west coast I probably won’t be getting one for quite a while. But I really think a high performance AWD version of the model 3 would be a total blast to drive-massive amounts of instant torque and now in a more compact and probably lighter weight car.

  • avatar
    Lemmiwinks

    Eeegods. I’m used to (and even enjoy) some venom in my TTAC pieces. But yikes, not emo.

    Pics here don’t show a lift back. I believe you when you say it is so, but what’s displayed here (or rather, what isn’t) is not what I’d expect from a rather significant reveal.

    Sorry. I’m cranky.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    Also, Musk didn’t say that:
    “adding that the company’s semi-autonomous Autopilot technology will come standard in all versions.”

    He said that “Autopilot hardware” comes standard. (And probably safety features like auto-braking)
    “Autopilot hardware” is standard on the S too, but if you want to use Autopilot, you’ll have to pay for the $2,500 “tech package”.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      He did specifically say “autopilot safety features”.

      That’s ambiguous, because many people think that automatic drive systems will be (are already?) safer than human drivers.

      So, does that mean just auto-braking? Or the whole shebang? Or maybe they’ll just enable auto-braking, and then enable it via OTA when they’re convinced that auto-drive is safer than a human driver?

      I guess we’ll have to wait for “Part 2”. Hopefully they’ll reveal a proper hatchback variant at that time, too. :-)

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        Seems pretty clear to me. The autopilot hardware will be installed on all cars, but if you don’t pay for the autopilot software, then it will only do stuff like automatic emergency braking.

    • 0 avatar

      You might remember that in the bad old days, you could order a GM car with a bewildering array of options. There were literally minor things that cost $10 here and there that you could order to improve your ride. That was a very profitable practice, but it had the unexpected cost of making manufacturing extremely complex. This is one reason GM cars were built so badly in those years. When Japanese cars made quality an issue, this practice stopped and led us to the much simpler but less flexible option world we have today.

      So today, ironically enough, it can make sense to provide people with options they didn’t pay for. In other words, it probably costs more to exclude autopilot hardware than to include it on all cars.

      However, including the autopilot hardware says nothing at all about the software. Today’s Tech Package is almost certainly a set of software-only improvements that include things like the off-line GPS, autopilot, etc. If the price is $2,500, most people are going to pay. What’s a little interesting is that if they don’t, they can still pay in the future if they decide to. So if I buy a base Model 3, regret not getting the package and decide to get it later, I will be able to pay the Tesla Office my $2,500 and get a software upgrade shortly thereafter with the new features.

      Interesting new world we are in!

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Volkswagen does this now with its infotainment system. I had a rental a few months back and all of the gizmos were there but you had to go to dealer and purchase a key to unlock them.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Hardly just a GM thing, this was done by all the major auto makers. Options weren’t bundled together like they are today. Some makers had the “everything standard” religion back in the 70’s like Isuzu.

        I know when I bought my ’89 Ford Probe there were 3 different option packages, but you could also get a base GL and tick the option sheet off one item at a time and pay more money.

        Personally, I’d rather be able to tick the option sheet. Oh you want heated seats? Well you need these six other things you don’t want in order to get it is the way of things today.

        Oh you want park assist? Well that comes with this safety package with other things that cost more than what you want.

        As far as silly options and crazy prices, go build a Porsche online even today, or a BMW.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Honestly I wish they’d offer an a-la carte thing again for cars. They can keep the ‘popular’ packages but there are some who simply don’t want everything that’s bundled into one and only want a single option out of a package that adds $1K or more to the price.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Leasing, specifically marketing centered more around monthly lease payment than actual sales price, killed A La Carte. BMW was the last holdout, but even they caved after taking a billion dollar write down on optimistic residuals.

            Toyota still tries to kind of offer a bunch of semi a la carte options, but even their own dealers can’t figure out what your lease payments will be with any kind of accuracy, as every bloody option is given a different schedule. But then again, Toyota aren’t the stereotypical “lease cars” that BMW is.

            Europe is much more A La Carte friendly, as their finance departments aren’t yet the sole profit centers for both dealers and makes over there.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Leasing, specifically marketing centered more around monthly lease payment than actual sales price, killed A La Carte. BMW was the last holdout, but even they caved after taking a billion dollar write down on optimistic residuals.”

            The obvious solution there is to not lease ANY vehicle that was special-ordered by the customer; it’s purchase or no deal. You want lease, you take what’s on the lot or a package deal.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        I loved the a la carte options availability. I ordered a 1982 Citation in that way, they even managed an interior exterior color combination that was not in the cataloges.

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    133K reservations and climbing. Glad I stood in line now.

    So far I think I’m pretty sold, especially if they introduce a “much, much faster” version.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      It looks like it’s over 200k now.

      Even if they hit their production date target, it’s going to be a long time before people start receiving them. I don’t need a new car, but by the time they would get to me, I might.

  • avatar
    multicam

    Okay first of all, TTAC, I know you don’t have control over what ads pop up. But at your hosting company, whoever is in charge of mobile device programming needs to figure out how the f*** to get rid of app redirects. Getting sent to the app store every 5 seconds is getting to be a huge pain. If it continues I’ll have to work some cydia magic and I really don’t feel like doing that.

    Anyway, good on Tesla for tapping into the zeitgeist re: green, clean energy, etc. This reveal/preorder thing is very reminiscent of an Apple launch. Maybe one day I’ll own one of the much, much faster versions of these, but it won’t be before 2020.

  • avatar
    Mr. Orange

    Not really impressed. They did the cheapest interior you can possible do. They may be using premium materials, but in such a boring manner. They have the cheapest means of implementing HVAC/audio/IP functions, everything on a cluttered tablet screen.

    I do like the large extended sunroof. It’s very interesting.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Think of how many supplier parts they whittled down. The outside and inside have simple, elegant designs. Because of the lack of cluster f*cked plasti-leather layers and piano black whatever, they have minimized assembly complexity along with piece cost.

      It’s rather genius. I wish my OEM would do this same damned EV thing. They already have a good half year’s worth of production queued up and they’re not even close to home line produced prototype vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        +1
        Doing the mostest with the leastest is refreshing, especially if it avoids requiring a War and Peace length owners manual to explain how convenient it all is.
        I also like the exterior simplicity. I’m tired of cars that look like giant angry cockroaches with folds, creases, swoops and weird shaped lamp enclosures.

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    Looked like there were no gauges on the dash. Do you read off the center screen or maybe it’s a heads up projector? Didn’t see any opening on the top of the dash though.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      It looked like the center display was the only source of information. I’d guess they may offer a heads up display as an option, but you can clearly tell they cut a ton of costs on the interior by making it so plain and completely skipping a gauge cluster and any controls for anything outside of the screen.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        So NOW I know where the designer of the robot from THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL moved on to!!!!

        GORT KLAATU BARADA NIKTO (really the code for my Windows Office software)

        So everything is virtual? Gages and other needed information will be visuals off to the center?
        Sorta a modern day Mini circle center dash?

        Always a Tesla hater, I do like the look. Reminds me od a lotta parts/sections of other cool designs.

        I am still very sceptical of the price as affordable.
        It ain’t.
        It still sits at the car price of a rich daddy’s little girl car.
        Only now dad has to ship the car to and from college for little princess.
        Even at base…it sits at where small Audi begin for today’s poor folk.

        So, as the immortal Mike Ditka would ask…Who You Crappin?

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        derekson, you’re 100% correct. They have simplified the interior and exterior to the point of cost effectiveness. Piece cost was a significant factor in the design of this vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          Its’ certainly a contrast to a company like Audi that has an entire department within the engineering division for touch, feel, and sound of tactile controls.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            I agree. It’s a bold strategy. To be honest, I prefer the simplicity. I would buy to drive the wheels off. I wonder if the kind of buyer of a Tesla vehicle will the be ideal ‘lease’ / buy every 2-3 years on trade in kind of buyer that props up current OEM’s. Or will they fill their niche then fade hard.

            All I know is my employer didn’t hedge well for this kind of competition. GM is well positioned.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I wouldn’t describe it as “bold”, as it won’t be a high-volume car and therefore doesn’t need to please everyone.

            This is positioned as an early adopter product, with the emphasis on appealing to tech geeks rather than the average consumer who is most concerned with either utility or aspiration. For better and for worse, Tesla behaves more like a tech company than a traditional manufacturer.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Pch101,

            I don’t agree with you about this car not appealing to customers “concerned with either utility or aspiration.”

            Tesla claims that this car has more usable space than anything else in the same size class, which translates to utility shoppers. Aspiration seems self-evident to those whose automotive landscape extends past V8s and other antiquated tech.

            The more I learn about Tesla, the more clear it becomes that they get a bum rap from automotive journalists who are accustomed to suckling off automakers’ teats. For instance, one former editor of this site has been reduced to hiding in the bushes near Supercharger stations, counting cars, trying to break some big story that no one cares about. He’s dug the hole way too deep to get out now (he could, he won’t), all because he made himself the voice of some obsolete old boys’ club.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Read this book, learn about the technology adoption lifecycle and you’ll understand my point.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_the_Chasm

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Pch,

            I know about technology adoption lifecycle. I did post-graduate work in the field before that marketing book came out, and I’ve worked in it for two decades since. I understand what you are trying to say; I disagree with you in this case.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The point is that it is a niche product that is aimed at a particular niche, and is designed accordingly.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            The first two Teslas were niche. This one’s in the heart of the premium sedan market. It’s about as niche as a Lexus ES.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The big screen and otherwise cheap-looking dash make it clear which niche is being targeted. That won’t appeal to everyone, but it will appeal to tech geeks and to those who are indifferent to the touch points that are offered by conventional cars.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            “Big screen and cheap-looking” aren’t niche anymore. You’ve just described any smartphone. One billion smartphones were sold worldwide in 2015.

            There is brand differentiation going on, your typical “Coke vs. Pepsi” stuff, but all cars have that. That doesn’t mean that Campbell’s Soup is any more niche than Chunky Soup.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Nobody else makes a car with a touchscreen that makes it appear as if it was bolted on as a sort of afterthought. The overall trend in automotive has generally been the opposite, with the interiors of mainstream cars becoming more luxurious.

            But the big screen signals to the consumer that the car is meant for a unique buyer who is forward-thinking and tech-savvy, as did the Prius with its deliberate geek styling. The fact that it also makes assembly cheaper and easier is a bonus.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            “Nobody else makes a car with a touchscreen that makes it appear as if it was bolted on as a sort of afterthought”

            Did Mercedes finally stop doing that?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Nobody else makes a car with a touchscreen that makes it appear as if it was bolted on as a sort of afterthought.”

            Nobody? http://www.bmwusa.com/bmw/bmwi/i3
            Scroll down and look at that screen.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The fact that the i3 is an electric car that is an oddball in the BMW fleet merely proves my point. This is not typical of mainstream cars.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            At least in this area, the usual early adopters are lining up for these, but so are a whole lot of other people. People are entranced not only by the tech but also by the clean design, the lack of exhaust, the brand’s cool factor, and the direct sales model.

            I think that unless the Model 3 has cataclysmic issues that develop quickly after the start of production it is going to:

            1) be capacity constrained for as long as five years;
            2) be a smashing sales success;
            3) sell on the secondary market for higher than new prices; and
            4) sell for average transaction costs above $50,000 for a good while, with the first cars going to buyers of loaded models for as long as there are surplus buyers of loaded models.

            I don’t want a Model 3. I find the interior just too repellent and obviously cheap. But I should have camped out and reserved one just to resell it.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Again, the point remains is that Tesla has design features that are intended to win over early adopters.

            That does not mean that everyone else will hate the car or that it won’t hold your groceries. What it does mean is that the design is aimed at a niche and is not intended to be mainstream, in part because it assures the owner that the car is unique and forward-thinking, and that so are they.

            There are reasons why it is wise for Tesla to do this, yet it would be foolish if Toyota, Ford, etc. attempted to do the same thing with a high-volume model. And it should be noted that there is no such thing as a high-volume Tesla.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Ask yourself: “Why does the Cooper Mini have all its displays in the center of the dash and not in front of the driver?”

  • avatar
    Noble713

    The interior is a serious letdown. It’s almost enough to turn me off of the car completely. Hopefully as we get closer to release I can sit in one in Osaka…but by that time, the reservation backlog might be years deep as well.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      Exactly.
      Playin tennis last night we were takin a break and the guys were talking about their Teslas.
      I opinionated/informed them they paid 120 plus thousand dollars for interiors no true blooded luxury car would let pass at 45 thousand.
      Their door handles were solid Swede and painful after a few hours of sitting in the rear seat.
      The dash was a barebones look of a kitchen gone out of style from the seventies. It is today’s hip and trendy avocado green refrigerator.

      Just wait till a few years.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        I think Tesla has attracted a lot of customers who simply never considered dropping that kind of money on a car before even if they could afford it. So the interior being below the standard of even $60k luxury cars isn’t really something they’re cognizant of because they just don’t have experience driving such cars and didn’t cross shop the Tesla with anything else.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          No…sorry…but the Tesla interior is sub 45K territory.
          Bland.
          Hard.
          Empty.

          • 0 avatar
            derekson

            I’m not disagreeing with you at all.

            I’m just saying a lot of these customers don’t seem to care because they’ve never shopped luxury cars seriously before, so they don’t know what they’re missing.

            Their reference point is likely a Camry XLE or an Accord Touring; something practical but loaded out with features that appeals to someone who never cared about cars before.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I agree with you. Even compared to the interiors in the Model S and X, my 2008 LS 460 feels several classes more expensive despite being a decade-old design. Until they can at least match the perceived quality of a C-Class or Lexus ES, I’m not really interested.

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        I thought the Model S interior needed work but if you look at the Model X (checked it out while waiting to put down my deposit) they’ve actually made very noticeable improvements to the interior. I’m sure it’ll be further refined by the time the final Model 3 comes out to where the weirdness of their first interior has been largely ironed out.

        BTW, the people waiting on line to put down their deposits were largely repeat customers who had shown up to put their deposits down in person even though they already get priority over non-owners. And quite a few of them were car guys too, the fellow in front of me used to own a bunch of Porsches and was in PCA and everything. People love these cars and the guy behind me in line had gotten his friends to buy one too and they were actually there picking up their new car.

        The model 3 interior does look like it still needs some work to finesse it to look right but it’s about 80% of the way there and they still have almost 2 years to make it look right. Nothing a HUD and some surfacing work on the dash can’t fix for cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I suspect the interior will improve before launch. It seemed very concept-ish to me, as though it was cobbled together just before Thursday.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Are there any pictures of the interior? I couldn’t find any.

        • 0 avatar
          Russycle

          Mike: http://jalopnik.com/tesla-model-3-this-is-it-1768284734

          I kind of like the minimalist interior, but I’m not sure about having a tablet instead of gauges. I’d definitely have to spend some time in it before committing.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Thanks. Actually, I dig it. But then again, check my avatar…I’m a hopeless sucker for anything that’s even vaguely futuristic. If they stuck a LCARS display in it I’d be totally sold.

            http://www.lcarscom.net/eng-rightpanel.jpg

            I have a feeling that interior design may change prior to production, if the input is negative. I’m with you, I’d rather have gauges where God intended them to be.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “If they stuck a LCARS display in it…”

            It’d be ‘hella cool’, but not very legible for my aged eyes.

            But, in the 24th(?) century, vision problems don’t exist. :-)

  • avatar

    I wasn’t impressed by the Tesla Model S interior even in the $140,200 P90DL with next-gen seats.

    Now they want to give you an even cheaper car ?

    No thanks.

    They should buy Mercedes C-class seats and rebrand them.

    This whole thing feels like a crowdfunding exercise.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I don’t think the guy who leases FCA gets to comment on quality. Just not a meaningful opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        You know what? $1k deposit and 150,000 ‘backers’ – that’s a fair bit of money.

        I’m a traditionalist when it comes to the dash and I prefer the two circular clusters in front of the driver and the 4 important gauges… ie. speed tacho fuel temp

        But the thing is… I dont need that in an electric car do I?

        I really only need speed and TTE for the battery and simplfied arrows for the GPS guidance.

        Do I need a guage cluster for that? No.

        If its all in the HUD then I’m good. I think maybe its like asking for a guage cluster for a F16 fighter jet.

        I make no comment about the seats as I’ve never sat in an Model 3.

        Also they are 18 months away. I reckon nothing is 100% in stone as yet.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          Well…if VoGo hits at BigTruck for his thoughts…then I need to suggest that your never experiencing the interiors and quality of today’s Tesla is kinda bad.

          I have. We have two in our family stable. The first sedan and now the X.
          They just SUCK in terms of luxury for the price.
          Now I don’t know what is going on here, perhaps a cultural hypnosis,…but it has always seemed to me Tesla was getting away with giving people large IPads and Danish bland interiors for S class pricing.
          And all for the ability to say you can scoot to 60 faster than anything. Just not for very far.

          But you have to give up on substance.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            TT,
            I think you make a good point. The interior of the Tesla S comes off as amateurish and downmarket next to a new S-class or E-class Benz.

            The Tesla 3 is more comparable in my mind to a base BMW 320 or well optioned Civic. Against that set, the Tesla 3 looks reasonable. But as you indicate, until you drive one for several hours, it’s hard to judge.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            An obvious question:

            If they SUCK in terms of luxury for the price; if they’re just “large IPads and Danish bland interiors for S class pricing”; if all you get is “the ability to say you can scoot to 60 faster than anything. Just not for very far”; if they simply reflect “cultural hypnosis”; and if there’s no “substance” to them –

            Why do you have two of them?

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            Astigmatism

            I don’t.
            Members of my family that have money to burn and make social statements do.
            And they have 3-5 or more cars each.
            Steve s building a new house in Santa Monica with an entire drive in basement designed to be like Leno’s garage!
            The Teslas are kinda just so much bragging jewelry.

            Just recently one purchased and rebuilt a red, beautiful Falcon
            convertible…from bottom up.
            His 1963 Stingray in yellow is a magazine winner.

            His rebuilt, customized Bronco (I guess a new California fad) hs seats better than most luxury cars.

            Steve did say he was having some difficulty with the gull wing doors with the front doors…something abut touching when opening at the same time.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Personally I prefer a durable and comfortable interior over “plush and luxurious”. I drove 850 miles in a ’97 Ford Ranger comfortably while I couldn’t drive 50 miles in a Mercedes C without my rear end hurting. There’s something about ‘too plush’ that just hurts the tush. I ride a Jeep Wrangler over 1500-mile distances regularly and while the ride itself is harsh compared even to a Fiat 500, the tush is not where I feel it. So complaints about the interior not being ‘luxury class’ to me is a waste of time since I’ve found most ‘luxury’ interiors highly uncomfortable over time.

    • 0 avatar

      VoGo

      With the money I spent last year (and this year) on NEW CARS…I coulda easily leased or bought another Model SP90DL or waited for the P100DL

      Bottom line…the Jeep SRT and Chrysler 300 SRT have MORE LUXURIOUS INTERIORS THAN THE TESLA MODEL S.

      I’m NOT EUROPEAN.

      I’M MURICAN’.

      The seat adjustability and tight interior cuts of the Model S – along with the “unfinished” center console area feel amateurish and *cheap* for a $140,200 car.

      The RS7, S-class, 7-series and HYUNDAI GENESIS – even Chevy Impala – upstage the Model S interior. PERIOD.

      People vote with their dollars.

      If you prefer the Model 3 or S to HELLCAT and JGCSRT…go buy one.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        BTRS,
        People do indeed vote with their dollars. More than 130K voted last night, putting down $1,000 on a new Series 3. I was one of them.

        Tesla Model 3 took in more orders in one day than the 300, Charger and Challenger combined sell in an entire year.

        By the way, if you are so “MURICAN”, have you considered buying an American car – like a Tesla – instead of the Dutch owned, Canadian built, British headquartered, Italian run, German engineered stuff you actually buy?

        • 0 avatar

          If they want a small car – that’s cool with me. I’m just saying:

          #1 THE INTERIOR IS LAME

          #2 I WOULDN’T BUY ONE (not in that form)

          #3 Several other products ARE BETTER.

          I demand certain levels of opulence for my hard-earned money.

          Some don’t.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “I demand certain levels of opulence for my hard-earned money.
            Some don’t.”

            I demand certain levels of durability for my hard-earned money. I’d much rather have an interior that will survive my ownership than one that cost 3x as much and needs to be repaired before I finally sell it. I’ve not owned a car for less than 10 years in the last 20, with the exception of a pickup truck that was simply too big and too thirsty for my needs. And that one was already 20 years old when I sold it. Even then it was the original interior and still holding up surprisingly well for its age.

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            Bull. If what you want is an electric car, then at this price, nothing is better. Many of us, once we drive electric, have zero interest in downgrading to an ICE vehicle again, so at least at this stage, it doesn’t really compete with ICE cars but with EVs only. That will change after 100,000 early adopters’ orders are filled.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I accept that you have a right to your opinion, BTSR, however, I must disagree with two of your statements:

            #1 THE INTERIOR IS LAME
            — I disagree. The interior is far more spacious and simple compared to almost any other vehicle I’ve seen or driven since the ’60s. Certainly none of the modern pickup trucks offer anywhere near the same level of openness where the driver doesn’t feel penned in by that huge dashboard and console arrangement. While I’m not all that large, even at 200# I feel cramped in those huge rigs. Not so with this. I expect especially on a long drive the Model III will be extremely comfortable by comparison.

            “#3 Several other products ARE BETTER.”
            — They may be better in their own market segment but for the moment at least there is no better BEV on the market that is not built by Tesla. The simple fact that you could take a 3,000 mile drive from coast to coast in the US without paying a penny for fuel is a HUGE advantage for it and as fuel prices rise again, even the cost of driving locally becomes significantly easier to accept. Sure, you pay more up front for that ability but it’s not a cost that hits you every 200-400 miles.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          But those buyers are not getting government incentives to make their purchase.
          This is a major point.
          This car, with all it’s cost saving blandness, is still above the cost of a well lux’d Audi.
          Imagine the cost and sales without the taxpayer money on the hood.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            The incentives are going away, they are for the first 200,000 electric cars per manufacturer, and Tesla is almost there.

            The $35k price is without incentives, although I’m sure there will be some state/local incentives.

            I think that people who honestly believe that Tesla wouldn’t have succeeded without incentives are delusional. The first two models retailed well over $100k. If you can afford 100, you can afford 105.

            Incentives are crucial to the cheap electrics like the Leak and the Volt. Who would buy one of those at full pop?

          • 0 avatar
            tekdemon

            What the heck are you talking about, an Audi A4 starts at $37300 before you tick a single upgrade and that trim level is certainly not “luxed up”. The premium plus trim level where it becomes a nice luxury car is $41400. So even the base model A4 costs $2300 more than the Model 3 before any incentives.

            Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the Model 3 will have nearly as nice of an interior no matter how much you option it up, but for people who think of having a cutting edge car with features like autopilot as luxuries then it can be more appealing than an A4. I actually like the A4, rented a Silvercar before and was surprised by how good the ride was, but I put a deposit down on the Model 3 because I want a car stuffed full of cutting edge tech, and I’m gonna really enjoy the acceleration from the dual mode version I’m planning on getting. If it means having a less plush interior so be it, I can’t wait to take a road trip with autopilot going. Audi doesn’t offer anything like that until you go up to really pricey Audi models (the cheapest A4 that allows this is the top $48,000 Prestige trim) and even then Autopilot is more sophisticated than the current Audi radar cruise system.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “But those buyers are not getting government incentives to make their purchase. This is a major point. This car, with all it’s cost saving blandness, is still above the cost of a well lux’d Audi. Imagine the cost and sales without the taxpayer money on the hood.”

            After the first hundred thousand of these or less, the Federal incentive will be used up and gone, meaning these cars will have to sell at MSRP plus sales taxes. There may be some state or local incentives but they won’t be that $7500 tax break. However, at $35K they are well priced for what they are; the average sedan today tends to price near that, especially when you add four or five years of gasoline fill-ups to the cost. To be honest, a BEV will save you more money the more you drive it than you would save by buying ICE and limiting your driving.

          • 0 avatar

            “This car, with all it’s cost saving blandness, is still above the cost of a well lux’d Audi.”

            Huh? It’s $35k. Have you looked at the cost of even the cheapest A3? Yes, it technically starts at $31k or something like that, but if you put literally any options on it (including an engine that’s anywhere near as fast, or the safety/autonomous driving aids that come standard on the 3), and boom you’re headed straight for $45k. Even optioning it with the 2.0T gets you up to $34k on the base model. Seriously, check your facts.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “Tesla Model 3 took in more orders in one day than the 300, Charger and Challenger combined sell in an entire year.”

          You’re bad at math.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            You’re mostly right, Danio,
            The full size FCA tend to sell around 15K units/month, but a lot of that is fleet. I was Hertz this week and they tried to force me into a 300.

            I should have said either a year of retail sales or 8 months of total sales.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Some percentage is fleet, but fleet sales are still sales. It’s funny when people act as if they aren’t.

            OTOH, completely refundable $1,000 deposits certainly aren’t sales.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Those 130k deposits are worldwide I believe. Musk didn’t provide a breakdown of those from the US.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            We can quibble on the margins. But I think it’s pretty obvious that Tesla has built strong interest in the Model 3, and will struggle to match keep up with demand for the foreseeable future.

            Contrast that with FCA’s challenge in creating demand for its cars, and you see why Tesla’s market capitalization towers over FCA’s.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Contrast that with FCA’s challenge in creating demand for its cars, and you see why Tesla’s market capitalization towers over FCA’s.”

            Volume on LX cars is up YoY. The volume combined with massive demand for profitable products like SRTs and Hellcats drives profits for FCA. Forget market cap, that’s just foolish short selling (which I myself am guilty of), where are the profits?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Sorry, Danio, but there’s no there there with FCA cars. Try to name the car that has sufficient revenues to justify a platform refresh? I’ll wait while you think that through.

            Because what you will see over the next few years at FCA, US are a series of minor updates and “special” editions that are the hallmark of dying brands.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          If BigTrucks wants to truly buy American and drive what Americans drive, and people do in fact vote with their wallets, I am thinking a full sized truck is in order!

      • 0 avatar
        darkwing

        There’s nothing more MURICAN than a FIAT, amirite?

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        CAPTAL LETTERS ALWAYS PROVE YOUR POINT AND IMPRESS PEOPLE.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I like it. But… production starts in late 2017? Ugh, I was hoping deliveries would start in late 2017 but what I’ve learned from previous Tesla news, take that date, and add about 8 months to it.

    Now, with over 100k orders already, Elon needs to explain how they plan to actually meet that capacity of production. My biggest concern is that they can’t meet demand and we wind up with years-long waiting lists.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Musk spent some time in the presentation talking about the new factory, which is either the largest or #2 factory in the world (this one or Boeing, depends on how you count). He expects to build more Lion batteries than all other factories combined.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        The factory is for batteries though, not cars. They’re still going to be rate limited by whatever production they can setup at the old NUMMI facility.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          Fremont is a 416 acre site that used to pump out over 1,000 cars and trucks in a day. I’m sure all of the old equipment has been gutted (including my stuff!) so given the advances in manufacturing and the relative simplicity of the Model 3, it’s certainly possible to exceed the old production rates.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            I don’t know. I don’t think Tesla’s production process is set up with that sort of volume in mind.

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        I didn’t get to watch. But I was aware of the battery plant capacity. My concern is that final assembly, once they actually get it right, will be more limited than the plant’s actual capacity because of logistics.

  • avatar
    Steph Willems

    Good morning, folks.
    Just an FYI that the reference to the Model 3 being a liftback has been edited out of this story. It was an assumption based on the car’s roofline, the existence of one on the Model S, and Musk’s reference to class-beating cargo room.
    But the problem, as stated by some of you, is the sexy rear glass on this pre-production model. It doesn’t work with a liftgate. But there’s a lot we don’t know about this half-baked cake. I’d have preferred to see Musk cram that seven-foot surfboard he referenced into the car’s rear, but no dice. So, I’m as curious as you are to see Phase 2 of the reveal.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      If I were to guess, I’d say there will be another line in that glass panel where the hatch will hinge on the production model. At least, I hope it ends up being a hatch.

      Either way I would think it has to have some other physical structural support in the roof than it has in the concept to conform to roll-over tests.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I was thinking about that 7-ft surfboard claim – that’s not so big, really. Lots of cars can do that.

      But, that’s California talk for you. I only surf the internet.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Center gauges in a subpar interior? Reminds me of my old Saturn Ion. Not sure that is what they were going for.

    I like it but I am curious about all that rear glass. How do they handle shading it. I don’t want to roast the kids in the back seat.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    And this thing has now had a longer launch than the 5th gen Camaro.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Is it actually $35k or is it “Tesla Math” $35K?

    Like, what number is going on the window sticker?

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      I’m going to guess you can get one out the door at 35k sticker + taxes & fees – tax rebate. But it will be utterly bare bones even compared to something like a base BMW 320i.

      Realistically people will probably be buying 45-55k models including options and AWD, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        tsoden

        Too bad that will not be the case for Canadians. You can bet Canadians will be paying $45000 – $50000 for this car…..

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        Well Musk is saying average sales price will be $42K with average options (per his tweets) so I’m guessing at $42k it’ll be reasonably equipped and nice, which is still a good deal, especially if you take tax credit into account. Probably will be a dual mode model with autopilot enabled is my guess at about $42k.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      It’s probably Tesla math….

      Their site quotes Model S’ with a “Cost after estimated savings” link under the monthly payment. Clicking the link reveals the actual cost of the lease without baking in what they think you would spend on gas. They don’t include samples of electricity rates or the cost of installing a charger in your home.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I gotta say I like the way it looks. I wont be jumping in line though for a pre order. Maybe after a year or two of production I would consider it. I don’t really want to be a beta tester for this car. Also, will be interesting to see if the production model looks identical to this and what you actually get for the $35K base price. I am guessing the car could top out quite a bit higher by the time you add options. Very promising though, has to be an eye opener to every traditional automaker. Isnt the Bolt supposed to cost around $30K? What does a Leaf or Plug in Prius top out at? For an extra 5, maybe even $10k I think I would much rather have this.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d much rather have it based on the styling alone. The Leaf and Prius are HIDEOUS.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Well, any comparisons are now apples and oranges, because of these early product reveals.

      My former 12 Leaf SL wasn’t even in the same class as the Model 3, and it listed at $38k. Glad I leased.

      The Bolt has a 1-year lead on the Model 3, much to Tesla’s surprise. The Bolt ain’t beautiful (nor hideous), but it will be ready on time, and will meet its claims. GM won’t move the goalposts every month like Tesla does.

      Nissan is working on Leaf 2.0, but I’m not interested. The 60-kWh concept car was hideous, and they’d have to fix many things for me to consider a return to their fold.

      The new Prius? UGLY.

      Honestly, I’m also considering the new Hyundai Ioniq or Kia Niro hybrids.

    • 0 avatar

      The Bolt was $30k after the $7,500 electric car credit. This is $35k, potentially minus the $7,500 electric car credit. So this car is actually less expensive than the Chevy.

      However, I understand the credit was just for the first 200k units sold by a company, so with the Model S coming close to that the credit might not be available much longer for Tesla. That’s one reason a lot of people are preordering early.

      The Bolt looks like a Honda Fit. I think the Tesla looks a lot more appealing. I think most of us are also rooting more for Tesla than for GM.

      I wonder why Tesla is saying nothing about the options list. I seem to remember the Model S option list was available when people were able to put down their deposits. I’d like to see the option list before I put down my deposit.

  • avatar
    anomaly149

    In the front I see less Panamara and way more facelift Ford Focus, in a bad way.

    Character lines around rear door handle make no sense, not sure why they couldn’t merge the two.

  • avatar
    NN

    Tesla has built a worldwide supercharger network and the most advanced vehicles on the market. Updates over the internet, fastest production sedan in the world, autopilot, etc. They are literally p!ss!ng on companies that have been around for 100+ years. Now they get 100k+ orders in 24 hours for a car that doesn’t exist yet. BMW, Benz, Toyota, GM…everyone is soiling themselves today. There has been millions of naysayers calling Tesla’s product vaporware or saying they’ll never achieve what they say they will, since day one. Yet we are increasingly seeing that these “dreams” are actually tangible products in real life. There are Model S’ everywhere. Watch a youtube video of the Tesla Freemont factory, at the level of automation they use, and you’ll see how much real hard work by brilliant people has been achieved. Now see that the Gigafactory is actually producing product now. Elon may be a showman who likes to overpromise…but he doesn’t overpromise, he only over-aggressively sets dates. His goals are typically achieved, just longer than he wants them to be.

    And, btw, all of this is being done in the United States of America.

    The world is waking up to the fact that Tesla may actually be changing the world. That’s why the stock is up nearly $100 in the past month, devoid of any modern valuation metric. That’s also why the 3 doesn’t have any real competitors. People don’t want an electric car…they want a Tesla. People will see nearly all competitive attempts as followers of Tesla’s, and Elon’s lead.

  • avatar
    Joss

    You have to admire the progress Tesla has made in EV’s.
    I still think there’s no hope for Tesla. A fox is waiting…

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I like it. Unfortunately I live on the third floor of an apartment building, so I’d be SOL.

    Just out of curiosity, for those who put a deposit down, what are the terms? Is it refundable?

  • avatar
    stryker1

    115,000 pre-orders for a $35k car that no one had seen yet.
    There’s a lot of idle wealth in this country.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Many people have just received their tax returns.

      I think much of the interest in the Model 3 is similar to the interest in Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump – people are tired of status quo in vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      I wouldn’t assume this is idle wealth as much as it is aspirational purchasing.

      Tesla the brand is what got people to make a deposit – not the car itself and definitely not the interior.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      IF you were gonna buy one, a $1000 in refundable earnest money isn’t exactly “idle wealth”, any more than “buying a nice Camry” is.

      (Me, I’ll believe the price and specs when it ships, not a day before.)

  • avatar

    My current driving needs make a charged vehicle a poor choice. I’m neutral on the Model 3’s style. I’ve never sat in a Tesla. So, I’m not a good judge of their products.

    I have been impressed with how Elon Musk has moved his company forward in precisely the way he described last night. A layered approach with success building on success.

    While I was watching the unveiling last night, a few thoughts came to mind:

    Has any automotive manufacturer in history ever received 100k plus orders on the first day its new product was announced?

    How closely parallel is the fervor for the Model 3 to a new Apple product?

    How likely is a mainstream buyer, say someone who might find this affordable, but live where they can’t garage and charge at home, to really consider it?

    I felt like I was watching automotive history being made, but not something I’ll be swept up in just yet.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Wow. I didn’t realize having a garage disqualified you from being “mainstream”. From now on you can refer to me as J. P. Russycle III, Esquire.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        The 1964 Mustang probably had bookings on the same volume.

        Ironically the total value of all the Model 3 cars if fulfilled is about $8 billion?

        THat’s about what Ford did in a year? Granted Ford actually hit those numbers with all their models and Tesla isnt likely to get that number in 2018 but nevertheless, Tesla did an impressive show in a 24hr time slice….

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        You definitely don’t need a garage to charge. EVSEs, even home models, are weatherproof.

        • 0 avatar

          Not worried about the weather, just proximity to an outlet, like in the parking lot at an apartment complex that doesn’t plan to improve their access. Depending on commute length and range, that could be an important issue for some folks. Charging station availability and time needed may make home charging off-hours, when kW are cheap, part of a buying decision.

          Ford sold just over 22,000 Mustangs first day on the market. Granted, apples and oranges, since the Model 3 “buyers” only had to cough up $1,000 to order.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Not worried about the weather, just proximity to an outlet. Depending on commute length and range, that could be an important issue for some folks. Charging station availability and time needed would make home charging off-hours, when kW are cheap, might be part of a buying decision.”

            That’s where the Tesla has the advantage over any other existing BEV. With a minimum of 200 miles effective range almost any commuting run is fully covered from house to work and back with miles to spare for short side trips. Very few people commute 100 miles each way. Add to this the Autopilot capabilities and that drive to and from work becomes even easier, letting you arrive more rested and alert.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    The one thing that worries me about Tesla is what happened to a smart grid electric meter manufacturer. Back in 2008, there was a federal smart grid incentive along with a strong push for energy efficiency with the state of California. Itron built up a state of the art production line for a state of the art electric meter. A game changer, if you will. The initial orders and sales were incredible. Then the market got saturated and now they turn profit from a 15 year old ‘smart grid’ meter that does most of what the new product does but for less. The company’s sales and profits have been in the toilet ever since.

    So long as Tesla can sustain a line rate that makes them money, they’ll be set. But if they find that they cannot exceed their current niche, they’re doomed. As-is, they cannot survive. Musk is a master. He has used hype to fund and develop entire vehicle programs and platforms. Revenue could not have funded what is currently being done.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Musk is betting that increased range and reduced costs will convince a critical mass of people to switch to electric. It was a good bet, until gas dropped to 2 bucks a gallon. He’s not out of time, and a lot can happen in the next couple years, but cheap gas is a problem for Tesla if they want to become a big player.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Agreed. I would buy one, if it was from another OEM. Even with the low gas prices. I’m hoping this vehicle and company survive.

        • 0 avatar
          TonyJZX

          There are people around who rubbish Tesla and think that the 200,000 deposits are just time wasters betting on a company that wont be around in 2018.

          These people must have an agenda. They must think the Tesla is going to make their ICE cars disappear. They also point to disappointed Tesla business performance and that they ‘cant be making any money on the Model 3’.

          I wonder why these people are so negative about Tesla?

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Because they have a basic understanding of business practices? They know that auto manufacturing is low margin? They understand that the local state legislation is going to be tough to crack? They know that buyers are afraid to adopt a vehicle where they has currently limited servicing support specific to their location?

            Tesla is still a long shot. Their market value is their saving grace.

            If GM can do it better, Tesla will be a niche manufacturer. If Toyota wasn’t so conservative, Tesla would already be dead.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            “These people must have an agenda”

            Or they’re just more bearish on the prospects than you.

            (And might remember that Musk has a hard time keeping Tesla promises of release dates, quantities, etc.)

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      tresmonos – are you referring to the sudden drop in stock price from almost $100/share to $38/share in November of 2008? Or was that due to a stock split?

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        That was a combination of the 2008 crash. It never fully recovered. They invested too much in a better metrology architecture.

        They shot up in 2006 after they acquired Schlumberger’s metering assets. They had a really great product, they just couldn’t support their capital investment. When federal funds dried up, their sales dropped. They also spent too much time on large utilities and ignored the small time utilities due to how the sales force was rewarded (not by volume, but by contract). Looking at the price, it looks like it’s bullish since February.

        Interesting fact: they are the largest pcb manufacturer left in the USA. They make more pcb’s than all of silicon valley. Their next big idea for their cost reduction is to take those high quality circuit board printers and relocate them in some eastern european country and outsource their manufacturing. Which would be a shame as they employ a lot of US citizens and their operations are incredibly lean and high quality.

  • avatar
    greaseyknight

    IF and a big IF, Tesla can pull this off, and its a halfway decent product. As in durable, long lasting, and decent interior, its going to put a major hurt on the ICE vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Naw,they need anot SUV and CUV for that. The series 3 is good for old couples and somebody needing a work beater but for soccer moms that like to remodel the yard and house monthly plus take the family on biannual vacations the series 3 is,not going to cut it.

      If it amounts to anything Toyota,might feel some hurt as I imagine that is where the potential series 3 adopter lives.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Well, “biannual vacation” is the EV’s weakest point right now.

        Superchargers are fast, but for a road trip of the “drive all day” variety, they’re simply too slow – and awkwardly placed if your biannual vacation takes you off the network for any length of time.

        (I mean, if I had one here in Portland and wanted to drive east for a vacation … I’d have to go to Seattle first, since I-84 is a dead zone even with the 2016 improvement plan.

        Wanna hit Yellowstone or Glacier? Good luck with that.

        Go east from AZ or west from Texas? Nope.

        The non-coastal South is completely un-served, zip in ND and the only thing in Idaho is a planned one in the panhandle. Nevada’s dead outside of Vegas (and planned stuff on what looks like I-80.

        Vacation? Sure, if you live and vacation on the coasts.)

        • 0 avatar
          JonBoy470

          30 minutes is too slow? Here on the east coast at least, they’re positioned at rest areas about 4 hours drive time apart. It’s not at all like gassing up your car. Park the car at the supercharger, plug it in and go in the rest area. By the time you walk inside, hit the head, buy some lunch, sit down and eat it, and walk back out to the car, it’s easily been plugged in for about half an hour.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Please, Mr. Musk -two wishes:

    Find anything, embossed, chrome, even a made-up trademark fake grille to fill that empty void on the front. Cars have “faces”, and the mouth is missing. (Remember “Charlie” from the Star Trek episode, who when he thought people were laughing at him, and he made their mouths disappear?) See: Cadillac ELR.

    Make it a hatchback. My ’97 Camaro had one, and it was made of glass, with the spoiler attached. It was a $21k car.

    But, with a 200+ mile range, good acceleration, and $35k before rebates, you’ve got a winner. (Buy your employees a drink for getting you this far.)

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    The exterior is a boring jelly bean, and the interior doesn’t say “driver’s car” to me. Seems like a car for people who don’t like driving, but who would prefer to be chauffeured around by Uber.
    .
    .

  • avatar
    mcs

    Model 3 orders totaled 180,000 in 24hrs. Damn. Musk is also saying selling price with average option mix probably $42k per car. I wonder what the orders would have looked like if it was a CUV instead of a sedan?

  • avatar
    LuciferV8

    Really, all car makers had to do to find mass market success with an electric car is knock out 4 targets:

    1. Range over 200 mi.
    2. Price affordable for middle class (under $40K)
    3. Reasonably widespread and quick charging infrastructure
    4. Not hideous

    Nissan initially got 3/8 the way there with the Leaf (getting #2 right, and about halfway to target #1), and Tesla picked up on
    #1 and #4 right off the bat with the Model S. Target #3 is still not there, but getting closer by the day, and really not that hard to pull off. When charging stations get about 1/10 as numerous as gas pumps, and charging times fall under 30 min, #3 will be complete.
    Chevy’s Volt doesn’t quite count as a real EV, but for the sake of comparison, it satisfies targets #1 and #3 by default as a PHEV – no range anxiety. It gets #4, but not by much and is close to satisfying #2.

    Getting targets 1, 2, and 4 right off the bat, the Model III has a strong case for being the first EV that makes truly significant sales numbers. I suspect they will get close to, but fall short of true mass-market sales numbers.

    That said, Tesla has what could be a hit on their hands here and I commend them for it. I especially commend them for making an affordable EV that for once, isn’t completely hideous.

    There are a lot of folks in the market who like me, are NOT interested in EV’s for the sake of environmentalist virtue signalling, but their potential as torquey and inexpensive to operate (fuel wise) cars. What we want most is for EV’s to be affordable and decent looking. The Model III looks like a step in the right direction.

    Nissan needs to seriously step up its game and make sure that the new Leaf can provide good looks and range at a decent price. If they make a car that doesn’t compare with the Model III on all 3 points, it will be a failure. I hope, for their sake, they don’t abandon the beautiful IDS concept appearance and replace it with a milquetoasty Versa look or even worse, a rehash of the original Leaf’s disgusting frog look.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      You forgot point number 5: turning a profit.

      Nobody does what Tesla is doing because it is a recipe for losing money. The batteries cost too much.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Serious question (because I respect your knowledge / opinion): do you think they can pull it off?

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          By “pulling it off”, I guess that it depends upon how one defines “it.”

          On one hand, the company has built a solid brand and seems to be well-managed. (Musk may be annoying, but he generally knows what he’s doing.) Even Tesla skeptics should appreciate the value of those aspects of the company.

          On the other hand, low-volume car companies have a tendency to either lose money or else barely get by for reasons that you understand very well: It isn’t possible to amortize fixed costs over that kind of volume. (And I’m sure that you also know that Tesla is not spending enough on R&D to keep up with the product cycles of the real OEMs.)

          Add to this that batteries are expensive, although the company seems to recognize this (which is one motivation for the “gigafactory.”)

          The company is clearly overvalued, but it may eventually be a reasonable takeover target if the stock falls to the right price. In the alternative, it’s possible that the company will diversify beyond car production to the point that its real play is in some other business.

          But these manufacturing segments are not high-margin businesses under even the best of circumstances, so the only thing to justify the current stock price is the greater fool theory. Musk has done a masterful job of convincing the dumb money that what should be a low-margin producer in the best-case scenario is a high-flying tech company, which just tells you that the dumb money doesn’t understand how the top tech firms produce such fat margins.

          • 0 avatar
            tekdemon

            The Model S has a refresh in the works and unlike other car companies they don’t need to do a huge generational jump because they’ve been slipstreaming in big upgrades this whole time.
            The Model S as it’s sold now is very different than the Model S that was sold at launch. Larger battery pack, dual motors, autopilot, etc.
            Just look at how much the 0-60 times have dropped since launch. And anyways, performance wise they’re so far ahead that there’s no real need for some massive generational change yet, the only thing a refresh needs to accomplish is to improve the interior, especially now that the model 3 will be coming.

            I do agree that it will be a very difficult undertaking to actually scale up to build all these Model 3’s, but at the same time it’s more a problem of Tesla getting enough funding to keep going until they accomplish it, it’s very clear that there is real demand for the car so it may be easier for Tesla to get funding than most small car companies that die off. No small car company has ever gotten 200,000 preorders before lol.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Engines and drivetrains aren’t usually changed every few years. Models are redesigned so that they look and feel fresh and incorporate the latest evolutionary improvements with NVH and the like.

            Tesla will not be immune to that pressure if it is ever going to be anything more than a small niche producer. As this point, Tesla’s R&D is a juggling act with less spending than there needs to be if it is to keep up.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            Tesla seems to be the epitome of a “buy-and-hold” stock – it will be some time before they turn a profit, but you’re investing in an American business that has a decent chance of reversing (well, slowing) the trend of offshoring.

            Investing in Tesla is definitely not for the greed-driven.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Is Elon still using Benz switchgear in the S?

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        >>> The batteries cost too much.

        Show us the numbers. I don’t think you have them.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Perhaps you should spend less time preaching the gospel of EVs and more time doing something useful, such as learning how to read a financial statement.

          Tesla generates losses for a reason.

          • 0 avatar
            JonBoy470

            Yes, they pour all the per-unit profit into R&D and expansion of production capacity to increase economy of scale and drive down per unit cost. The only valid business reason for showing a profit is if you literally can’t think of anything else more useful to pour you excess revenue into to grow your business. Amazon does the same thing and no one is worried they’ll go under.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            A real car company would have already had a mid-cycle refresh for the Model S and would be working on its next version. Tesla’s R&D budget is inadequate and one of its key issues for long-term viability. If Tesla had a proper R&D budget, then it would have even greater losses.

  • avatar
    JonBoy470

    Personally I like the minimalist Dieter Rams Jony Ive interior. It’s clean, and lacking all the busy useless bullshit inside that so many cars have these days. As for post-sale service, it needs almost nothing in terms of routine maintenance, compared to a gas car.

  • avatar

    The current Tesla sells to well off folks who’d otherwise lease another E class, and have at least one regular vehicle in the driveway, so they don’t need 110 % uptime and don’t have range anxiety. We have a few in town. The Tesla sits next to a premium SUV and a CamCord, or frequently, an enthusiast piece.

    Moving downmarket is to see the car to one car households, who will have range issues, and will need 110% uptime.

    I see a lot of folks buying into the hype, and while I’d buy a car from Tesla, I’d not give them money in the hopes of getting one.

    You know this company still loses money, save pollution credits, right ?

    For the simple fact of running a spreadsheet, and taking money, they got hype they could not buy or afford to advertise. That is the real bottom line in this situation-it isn’t like there is a lot full of these awaiting delivery.

    “We’ve no product for a year, media coverage has turned on us, what to do ? Hey we can pull an Apple !!

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      When did Apple make people pay up for the right to order a product that is coming out in 18 months?

      I think the longest lead time between a product announcement and launch was probably the original iPhone, which was demoed in January and IIRC went on sale in June 2007.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “When did Apple make people pay up for the right to order a product that is coming out in 18 months?”

        A cell phone is not a car. Irrelevant simile.

        If someone wants to order a car even from the long-established OEMs, they have to wait an average of three months on an American-built car and up to six months and longer for a European- or Asian-built car. That’s for cars already in production. Cars just take longer, as seen by the auto-show circuit where a new concept may take up to four years (and in some cases ten years or more) to reach the showrooms.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Moving downmarket is to see the car to one car households, who will have range issues, and will need 110% uptime.”

      False argument since the average American household has 2+ cars in the driveway of which one is typically used for commuting and the other typically used for shopping. Range issues would be relatively unheard of with a 200-mile car except when they go on vacation where the Tesla has and will continue to have the advantage with strategically-located Superchargers less than 200 miles apart on most interstate highways.

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