We get our first clean look at Tesla's new mainstream model.
We have our first clean look at the Tesla Model 3 Release Candidate today thanks to a couple of examples that happened to wander off Tesla's Palo Alto reservation long enough to be photographed.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk released a brief video of the Model 3 Release Candidate being driven back in March, but the grainy, low-quality clip he shared on twitter didn't reveal much beyond the fact that it seemed to capable of starting, running and accelerating from a stop.
From these higher-resolution shots, we can tell that the Model 3 is only slightly tamer in its production sheet metal than it was as a concept. The aggressively swept wheel spokes of the latter have given way to a much more conventional, production-friendly design, but other than that, it looks pretty much spot-on.
Variants of the new compact offering ranges from 200 to 300 miles are expected, and Musk himself announced that a two-motor, high-performance variant will be introduced next year.
Musk's aggressive projections call for Tesla to produce more than a half-million cars in 2018, the vast number of which will be examples of the new Model 3--a car for which more than 400,000 pre-orders have supposedly been placed (at $1,000 USD each). Analysts are skeptical that production can camp up that quickly, but Musk has remained steadfast in his claims.
If all goes to plan, the first production Model 3s should be in the hands of consumers by the end of 2017. By this time next year, production would be approaching full-swing.