CARS.COM — Last week, Tesla fans and owners got a first look at the forthcoming Model 3 sedan in action via a tweet from Elon Musk.
In between retweeting praise from Tesla owners, Musk dropped a four-tweet batch of information on the Model 3 including this quick six-second video (RIP Vine).
In his tweet, Musk called this a “release candidate version” of the Model 3, which we believe to mean a pre-production version. While this doesn’t mean that the Model 3 is finalized, it’s a good sign for Tesla and its July 2017 target for the start of production for the all-new model. Tesla has not deviated publicly from its goal of delivering the first vehicles to owners by the end of 2017.
The release of this video is a good omen for those who put down deposits on the Model 3 as early as last spring, when the Model 3 was first announced. Once production actually begins, we’ll have a better idea of when to expect to see the first Model 3s on the road.
Musk also clarified the Model 3’s name and place in the lineup with a succession of tweets here, here and here, explaining that it is “just a smaller, more affordable version of [the] Model S.” He also clarified that the “Model S has more advanced technology.”
The Model 3 will not surpass the Model S (or the Model X, for that matter) in the Tesla lineup. It won’t be the fastest or have the latest technology, but will instead serve as a volume model that can bolster the company in the long-term — a more level-headed strategy.
Musk also clarified a few other points of information on the Model 3:
- Those who want an all-wheel-drive version of the Model 3 (which will be released six to nine months after the rear-wheel-drive versions come out) will have the option to wait for that version with their current deposit.
- Though there will be a performance version of the Model 3, the Model S will still be faster due to its larger battery.
- When a user asked if the Model 3 will have more range than the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Musk simply replied “Oh so little faith.” Take that as you will.