Tesla Model 3: Everything you need to know

Model 3 Dashboard EMBARGOED DO NOT USE

Thirty of the earliest Tesla Model 3 buyers took delivery of their electric cars last night in a gala event for owners, investors, and friends the company had dubbed the Handover Party.

Tesla has revealed that its premium Model 3 will cost $44,000 before tax rebates, a $9,000 increase over its $35,000 base price. "It's going to be pretty great, but it's going to be quite a challenge to produce this auto", Musk said. For now, we've compiled all the latest stats and prices on the Model 3 - a vehicle Musk reckons is a tough cookie to beat in this price range.

The more affordable Tesla Model 3 has rolled off the assembly line Friday evening. The Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle will make #Car Keys a thing of the past.

Outside Tesla's Fremont, California factory, Musk showed off the $35,000 base vehicle, whose battery is created to keep it going for 350 kilometers, on a charge that marks a departure from the company's earlier luxury electric cars.

The base Model 3 is priced at $US35,000 and will have a range of 220 miles. The audience, comprised of everyone who has worked on the Model 3, laughs with him. "We're going to do everything we can to make cars as fast we can", he said.

It was "one of the toughest design challenges of building the Model 3", Musk said. A fully loaded Model 3 with 310 miles of range and Tesla's full semi-autonomous Autopilot system costs a hefty $59,500.

While Tesla produced just 83,000 vehicles in 2016, it has achieved a market value of some US$55 billion-ahead of General Motors-in anticipation that it will become a leader in the industry. Few brands polarise people as much as Tesla, with the company's brash CEO Elon Musk either regarded as a mad genius - or just mad - and the company itself has been surprisingly secretive when discussing the Model 3's specifics, something that has only provoked the rumour mill.

Model 3 Dashboard EMBARGOED DO NOT USE
The left side of the touchscreen is where important information is displayed such as speed and turn

Base Model 3 cars will have a 0-to-60-mph acceleration time of 5.6 seconds, the company said, and a top speed of 130 miles per hour.

Half a million reservations have been made for the vehicle, the company says, up from about 373,000 disclosed in April 2016. The company, which built just under 84,000 cars previous year, plans to make 500,000 in 2018 and 1 million in 2020.

At the end of the presentation Musk stated that new orders now would likely receive their cars at the end of 2018, indicating that that scale is certainly within their plan.

The interior is extremely simple, with a single 15-inch touchscreen sitting proud of the dash that includes virtually all of the car's operating controls aside from the pedals and a couple of buttons on the steering wheel.

Look into the future and assume the Model 3 succeeds in the mainstream market.

Potential customers could lose faith if Tesla doesn't meet its aggressive production schedule, or if the cars have quality problems that strain Tesla's small service network.

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