The Tesla Model 3 has finally been officially revealed, with Elon Musk's automotive firm sharing all the key facts and figures of its first mass-market vehicle.
Although a date for local introduction has yet to be revealed, Tesla CEO Musk last year confirmed that the Model 3 would eventually be offered in South Africa. But don't expect it to soon, since the company has already said that initial right-hand-drive markets will receive their first shipments only in 2019.
So, what has the firm revealed about what will be it most affordable electric car? Well, Tesla says the Model 3 boasts enough interior space to "comfortably fit five adults and all of their gear", and was "designed to achieve the highest safety ratings in every category".
It measures 4 694 mm long, with a wheelbase of 2 875 mm. Width comes in at 1 849 mm, while height is listed as 1 443 mm and ground clearance at 140 mm.
Pricing in the United States will start at $35 000 (about R455 000), with the base model boasting an estimated range of 220 miles (354 km). Using one of Tesla's Superchargers will allow 210 km of range to be added in just 30 minutes, while charging rates at home (240V outlet, 32A) will be around 48 km of range per hour.
The entry-level Model 3 will accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-96,6 km/h) in a claimed 5,6 seconds, before topping out at 209 km/h.
Inside, you'll find a 15-inch touchscreen display (and virtually no physical buttons), dual-zone climate control and a centre console storage system with two USB ports. Other standard features include navigation, Wi-Fi and LTE internet connectivity, keyless entry and a reversing camera.
Safety features include as many as eight cameras, forward radar and twelve ultrasonic sensors, as well as six front row and two side curtain airbags, electronic stability and traction control, disc brakes all round and tyre pressure monitoring. The warranty in the US covers four years or 50 000 miles (a little over 80 000 km), while the standard battery is covered for eight years or 100 000 miles (approximately 160 000 km).
Specifying the long-range battery – which boosts claimed range to nearly 500 km – adds another $9 000 (almost R120 000) to the price, with the battery warranty increased to 120 000 miles (about 190 000 km). This also drops the claimed sprint time to 5,1 seconds and increases the top speed to 225 km/h.
All manner of others options will also be available, from a Premium Upgrades Package (essentially a posher cabin) to Enhanced Autopilot and even Full Self-Driving Capability.