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.
The highly anticipated Model 3, the vehicle Tesla hopes will boost its production to hundreds of thousands of electric cars a year, will initially come in two versions.
The first cars delivered were the Long Range version, with a projected EPA range rating of 310 miles. Production of Standard versions with a 220-mile estimated range will be added this fall.
Oddly, while Tesla provided performance figures, it declined to specify the battery capacity for either version.
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 mph. The Long Range version hits 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and tops out at 140 mph.
Early deliveries of the Model 3 will come with a single motor powering the rear wheels; all-wheel drive will be added as an option early next year, and a “P” performance model may be in the cards as well.
The Tesla Model 3 electric car is slightly larger in all dimensions than the current generation of the BMW 3-Series sport sedan that is likely its closest competitor.
The Tesla’s 185-inch length is roughly 2.5 inches longer; its 73-inch width is 1.5 inches wider; the 57-inch height is all but identical; and it has 3 inches more wheelbase, at 113 inches.
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.