In 2006, Elon Musk wrote a blog post detailing Tesla Motors’ “Secret Master Plan,” a highly-engineered scheme to change the world as we knew it. In short, the plan read:
Build sports car.
Use that money to build an affordable car.
Use that money to build an even more affordable car.
While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options.
Don’t tell anyone.
The brand has completely failed at that last bit, but tonight, the final piece of the puzzle slid into place with the unveiling of the Model 3 — the EV for the everyman. The most accessible vehicle in Tesla’s catalog, the $35,000 sedan aims to bring affordable electric commuting to the masses with a base range of 215 miles and a targeted safety rating of five stars in every category.
Let’s run down the basics, most of which we already knew. The Model 3 — which looks like a squished Model S with a flat front fascia and a snub trunk — is projected to go on sale at the end of 2017 for a pre-incentive base price of $35,000. After a federal tax credit of $7,500 is applied, the price drops to $27,500, but depending on where you call home, a variety of local incentives can be stacked on top the subsidy from Uncle Sam.
In terms of new information, Musk didn’t reveal much, but all Model 3s will come with Autopilot hardware standard, feature two trunks, seat five adults “comfortably, “and offer Supercharging for no extra cost. Speaking of charging, the brand hopes to reach its goal of 7,200 Superchargers worldwide, nearly doubling the amount out there today.
With a battery pack that can take you farther than the corner store and a 0 to 60 mph sprint of less than 6.0 seconds, the entry-level Model 3 won’t be an incredibly difficult decision to justify for most. If you’re craving something a bit more “Ludicrous” though, larger batteries will eventually be offered with extended range and increased performance. Specs on those powertrains are to be announced at a later date, possibly at the second half of the Model 3 unveiling.
Normally, this would be the part where we ask silly theoretical questions like, “Will the Model 3 be successful?” Oh silly, of course it will. It will sell like hotcakes. In the Model 3’s first 24 hours on the market, Tesla recorded more the 115,000 pre-orders.
As we’ve learned from every action film in history, “Secret Master Plans” rarely end when they’re supposed to. So for the next chapter in the Tesla story and more on the Model 3, keep your browsers locked to DT Cars.