The $35,000 Tesla Model 3 is finally here. It is sleek, quick as hell, and meant for the masses. And it is the most important car the company will ever build.
The Model 3 is the car Tesla Motors has promised since the company’s founding, the car that CEO Elon Musk is convinced will push EVs into the mainstream and the technology to an inflection point. Not to put too fine a point on it, it is the car Musk believes will change the world.
“It’s very important to accelerate the transition to sustainable transport,” Musk said on stage. “This is really important for the future of the world.”
In person and on paper, the Model 3 is a stunner. It’s a handsome sedan, with four doors and five seats, and all the comfort and practicality you’d expect of an upscale mid-size sedan. The battery is good for a 0 to 60 mph time under six seconds, a range of 215 miles. It’s packed with tech, stylish, and a bargain if Tesla can deliver it at the $27,500 base price Musk promises you’ll pay after the federal tax credit.
The specs and price are key, because so far Tesla Motors has aimed squarely at the affluent. The company’s first three models—the innovative Roadster sports car, exquisite Model S sedan, and tech-slinging Model X SUV—made electric cars fun, cool, and compelling. The Model 3 is meant to do something greater: sell the masses on electric propulsion.