Tesla Model 3: Reserve now, drive later

North American reservations for Tesla Model 3 — the $35,000 electric sedan for the broad market — begin today at Tesla stores.

The Model 3 is expected to carry a $35,000 sticker price, not including federal and state incentives. CEO Elon Musk unveils the prototype tonight in Los Angeles. Online reservations open April 1.

Rumors about the car — which has only been shown in silhouette — include enhanced battery efficiency, and a design that merges the company’s Model S and Model X.

Analysts say it’s a key moment for the Palo Alto automaker. It will test the company’s ability to shift from niche luxury vehicle to an affordable family sedan.

“The Tesla Model 3 could well be the most important vehicle Tesla Motors has ever launched,” said Jack Nerad, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

The Model 3 joins the Model S and Model X SUV in production. The company produced about 50,000 vehicles last year and expect to ramp up manufacturing this year. Previous Tesla customers get priority in the reservation queue.

To get in line, you need a $1,000 deposit and a few years worth of patience. The company expects to start deliveries in late 2017. It’s fallen behind on previous vehicle releases, however.

 

Photo: The Tesla emblem on a Model S. The company’s Model 3 is scheduled to be unveiled tonight. (Dai Sugano/Mercury News)

 

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  • JB

    I’m looking forward to what our budding local car manufacture will have to offer!

  • Farmer Brown

    this model 3 will be a game changer. but if i could get the range minus all the “bells and whistles” and 10K lesser, i’d slap down 1K deposit right now. oh well, i’ll wait.

 
 
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