UPDATE: 7:01PM EDT Look at this line
Really, it's not a car yet; as Admiral Ackbar would say, it's a tarp! All anyone knows for sure is that it is cheaper, probably starting at $35,000 before government subsidies, which they should be giving to people who buy bicycles and transit passes, not fancy cars. According to Bloomberg, Tesla promises it will get at least 200 miles per charge. It will have an all-new platform.
Model 3 order day starting in Australia pic.twitter.com/T6aUnG5BCv— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2016
To make the Model 3 affordable and adaptable, Tesla had to start from the ground up. “For better or worse, most of Model 3 has to be new,” Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel said in October. "It’s a new battery architecture, it’s a new motor technology, brand new vehicle structure. It’s a lot of work."
Bloomberg's Tom Randall also notes that it will be about 20 percent smaller than the Model S, and will not have as many bells and whistles as the S. It will be autonomous-ready and have a long warranty.
Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen was interviewed by Wired Germany and notes (in Google Translation) why it will not be a radical design:
If you want to advance the global transition to the electric car as we did, then you can do that only when you put the mass of the people to these cars to like. And not by disturbed people or even scare. But it is also important to create a car whose shape in the long run can assert and is timeless. The car feels best if relevant, without that you can tell when he began to be relevant.
The car is promised for 2017 but Tesla has missed a lot of deadlines before (although Mike predicted last year that the Model 3 would be announced in March and they just made that one under the wire), but that hasn't stopped people from lining up like it's an iPhone launch to plop down a thousand-bucks deposit on a car they have never seen. Go figure.