Anyone following Tesla closely is used to delays, but with its new entry-level Model 3, company CEO Elon Musk delivered on his promise. Tesla Model 3 #001 was revealed in pictures tweeted by Musk Sunday, who said that the car itself was actually built on Saturday.
Last week, Musk said he expected that the first production Model 3 would be completed on Friday the 7th, so he was a day late. Still, Musk said that the Model 3 would enter production in July 2017, so we'll give him a pass on overshooting his prediction by a day.
Musk said last week that Tesla would hold a handover party for the first 30 Model 3 customers on July 28th, so we're hoping to learn more about the car around then. The Tesla CEO also hopes that Model 3 production will ramp up to around 20,000 units per month by December.
Shortly after the Model 3's concept-car debut last spring, Tesla confirmed that it had taken 373,000 $1000 deposits for the car. Tesla hasn't provided an updated number since, but in any case, it's got a lot of cars to build to meet demand.
The car tweeted by Musk looks almost identical to the Model 3 concept that we first saw a year ago. Based on these pictures, the only notable difference we can see is the badge on the front fender.
Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis was the first to put down $1000 for a Model 3, but he gave his reservation slot to Musk as a 46th birthday present.
We're still waiting on a lot of info about the Model 3, but we do know it'll be offered in either rear- or all-wheel drive form, and should have around 215 miles of range. Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot system will be available as an option, and in its highest-performing configuration, the Model 3 has a 5.6-second 0-60 mph time. Naturally, the cheaper Model 3 is much more basic than the company's Model S sedan—fewer configuration options will be offered, and inside, there is only one central screen.
Hopefully, we'll learn more about the Model 3 on or around Tesla's July 28th hand-over party. And really, we'd like to have a go in one too.