The Tesla Model 3 peeks its way into the world Thursday night, the first appearance of the so-called volume model from the California electric car company.
Tesla held an unveiling of the Model 3 at its Los Angeles facility, offering rides to media that attended. It followed the opening of online ordering an hour prior to the showing, and a full day of customers lining up at Tesla stores who put down a $1,000 deposit to be among the first to get the new car. But Tesla says deliveries won't begin until the end of 2017.
"It takes multiple iterations and economies of scale before you can make it affordable," Musk said at Thursday's event.
Tonight, we can see the Tesla Model 3 wears a different look up front than the existing Model S and Model X, devoid of a "grille" (it's electric, after all) and some striking new headlights. The new styling reminded me of a Porsche Panamera's front, which is no bad place to start. The side profile, however, is much more reminiscent of a shrunken Model S. It's a refinement of Tesla's current design characteristics, but on the basis of what's been shown, it works very well on this smaller car.
Inside, there's a new design for the interior, as well. With a wider tablet to control the vehicle functions, the Model 3 has a sportier look than the Model S. But it's still very simple and devoid of most physical controls.
What the company's founder, Elon Musk, is pledging at this point...