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Elon Musk's 10-year master plan came to a head last night as the Tesla chief unveiled the long-awaited Model 3, the budget-minded electric sedan for the mainstream audience. It will indeed arrive at a starting price of $35,000 but for the 130,000+ people that have already pre-ordered the vehicle, the wait is far from over as the car won't begin shipping until late next year.
Musk said the base model will accelerate from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds and will have a minimum range of 215 miles on a single charge. It'll be fully compatible with Tesla's global Supercharger recharging network.
Speaking of, Tesla plans to have 7,200 Superchargers in commission by the time the Model 3 arrives which is roughly double the number in the wild today.
The base Model 3 will be of the rear-wheel drive variety although there will be an option for dual-motor, all-wheel drive. What's more, all models will include Tesla's Autopilot features as a standard option.
As for styling, the roof is constructed from a near continuous sheet of glass that's said to give the occupants a sense of openness. Like the Model S, the Model 3 has two "trunks" which will give it the most cargo space of any vehicle in its class. The chassis, meanwhile, is constructed of a mix of steel (to keep costs down) and lightweight aluminum.
On the inside, you'll immediately notice that the entire instrument cluster is nowhere to be found. Instead, everything has been moved to the 15-inch center-mounted touch screen display. Musk says the car will fit five adults comfortably and that there is even enough room to haul around a seven-foot surfboard.
Tesla plans to add more features and upgrades before the Model 3 goes into production sometime next year.