Chief executive Elon Musk said the Model 3 was the "best auto for its cost, either electric or gasoline". "Model 3, it serves its goal for getting people involved with electric vehicles who might not otherwise be able to", said Tesla owner Dee Duncan.
The same will happen with the Model 3, according Lindland who put down a $1,000 deposit for one of the cars herself.
Musk has made clear his desire to bring "compelling mass-market electric cars" to the world, noting in a 2013 blog post that if the company could've achieved that mission with their first product, they would have. There will be smartphone docks inside the cars - so long as you can get in.
The Model 3 is smaller than the Model S, with a 15-inch touchscreen console panel that's oriented horizontally rather than vertically.
Tesla's share price has surged 54% since January in anticipation of the Model 3 launch, and Tesla's pricey valuation now exceeds that of traditional rivals like General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co.
On July 3, Elon Musk tweeted about expected production for the Model 3.
The Challenge AheadThe key challenge, of course, is making all of these cars quickly enough and without the problems that plagued the launch of its more complicated Model X. Tesla aims to make 500,000 cars a year in 2018 and is counting on its battery factory under construction near Reno, Nevada, to drive down battery costs.
"We're trying to have as close to a single configuration as possible as we boot up the production line", said Musk. The air suspension we saw on earlier prototypes does not appear on the options list, and indeed all the Model 3 sedans we saw had a coil spring suspension that proved to be well-sorted and composed.
"Welcome to production hell - that's where we're going to be for six months, maybe longer", he stated. "How do we build a huge number of cars?"
All of which is well and good, but when can you expect your Model 3? The 500,000 vehicles Tesla vows to produce next year are almost six times its 2016 production. He has high expectations and hopes Tesla can deliver.
USA media were invited for a tour of the factory and to test drive the Model 3 for themselves.
Elon Musk said, "We aimed for a very simple, clean design, because in the future - really, the future being now - the cars will be increasingly autonomous".
The Model 3's speed and gear selection will be shown in the top portion of this screen, with mapping and audio information in the middle, and climate control settings sitting at the bottom. As the first rumors and photos of the Model 3 started to leak out, customers and fans started to obsess over the vehicle's strangely sparse interior.