It was a pivotal moment in Tesla’s evolution from a manufacturer of luxury electric vehicles to a producer of mass-market cars. The company has yet to specify when it will begin selling the Model 3, priced at $35,000, to the half-million prospective buyers who have reserved cars with $1,000 deposits.
Some car manufacturers have already said they will phase out the production of petrol- and diesel cars and the UK government announced this week that it would see combustion engine cars phased out by 2040.
The Model 3 mimics the sleek styling of Tesla’s considerably more expensive Model S
But the new model has an interior look all of its own, featuring a spare, wood-paneled dashboard devoid of instruments except a single computer touch-screen.
The first Model 3s for sale will be limited to those powered by a standard battery pack that can provide 354 kilometres of driving on a single charge.
The car is also equipped with so-called autopilot features that include an emergency braking system. Optional systems will be available that enable the car to virtually drive itself in certain traffic conditions.
The interior of the Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 interior doesn’t look like any car you’ve ever seen. CEO Elon Musk had warned as much on Twitter since last year’s initial unveiling that the interior of the production version of the Model 3 would look as spartan as the prototype.
And he has been steadfast in his confidence that people will like it, at one point telling a fan outright that “you won’t care” that there’s no instrument cluster or HUD.
Mr Musk said he was unsure how quickly Tesla could accelerate production to meet the backlog of orders. “We are going to go through at least six months of manufacturing hell,” he said.
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