The $35,000, 215-mile Model 3 is the final step in Tesla’s ‘Secret Master Plan’

In 2006, Elon Musk wrote a blog post detailing Tesla Motors’ “Secret Master Plan,” a highly-engineered scheme to change the world as we knew it. In short, the plan read:

Build sports car.
Use that money to build an affordable car.
Use that money to build an even more affordable car.
While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options.
Don’t tell anyone.

The brand has completely failed at that last bit, but tonight, the final piece of the puzzle slid into place with the unveiling of the Model 3 — the EV for the everyman. The most accessible vehicle in Tesla’s catalog, the stylish sedan aims to bring affordable electric commuting to the masses with a base range of 215 miles and a targeted safety rating of five stars in every category.

Let’s run down the basics, most of which we already knew. The Model 3 — which looks like a squished Model S with a flat front fascia and a snub trunk —  is projected to go on sale at the end of 2017 for a pre-incentive base price of $35,000. After a federal tax credit of $7,500 is applied, the price drops to $27,500, but depending on where you call home, a variety of local incentives can be stacked on top the subsidy from Uncle Sam.

In terms of new information, Musk didn’t reveal much, but all Model 3s will come with Autopilot hardware standard, feature two trunks, seat five adults “comfortably, “and offer Supercharging for no extra cost. Speaking of charging, the brand hopes to reach its goal of 7,200 Superchargers worldwide by time the Model 3 hits the market, nearly doubling the amount out there today.

With a battery pack that can take you farther than the corner store and a 0 to 60 mph sprint of less than 6.0 seconds, the entry-level Model 3 won’t be an incredibly difficult decision to justify for most. If you’re craving something a bit more “Ludicrous” though, larger batteries will eventually be offered with extended range and increased performance. Specs on those powertrains are to be announced at a later date, possibly at the second half of the Model 3 unveiling.

Normally, this would be the part where we ask silly theoretical questions like, “Will the Model 3 be successful?” Oh silly, of course it will. It will sell like hotcakes. In the Model 3’s first 24 hours on the market, Tesla recorded more than 198,000 pre-orders.

As we’ve learned from every action film in history, “Secret Master Plans” rarely end when they’re supposed to. So for the next chapter in the Tesla story and more on the Model 3, keep your browsers locked to DT Cars.

Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.
Cars

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.
Cars

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.
Cars

Tesla lets you skip the dealership, order a car from the comfort of your couch

Tesla has always bypassed traditional dealerships, and it has now adopted an online-only sales model that lets customers configure and order their car without leaving their couch. Here's what you need to know.
Cars

Tesla wirelessly gives the Model 3 a 5-percent increase in power

Tesla again showed the potential of its innovative over-the-air software updating system by making the Model 3 five percent more powerful via a firmware update. The Performance model gained 23 horsepower.
Cars

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.
Cars

Formula 1 is putting data in the driver’s seat, and not all racers are happy

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…
Cars

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Cars

The go kart-like Mini Cooper will soon add zero emissions to its resume

Mini is in the final stages of developing an electric version of the Cooper. The 2020 Cooper SE will receive powertrain components from the BMW i3, including a 181-horsepower electric motor and battery technology.
Product Review

By adding features, tech, and all-wheel drive, Mazda puts the 3 in a class of one

Since its introduction in 2003, Mazda’s compact Mazda3 has been a mainstay of the brand’s driver-oriented strategy. Mazda now plans to move upmarket, and the all-new 2019 Mazda3 offers some clues about how that’s going to work.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Cars

Tesla Model 3 vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; hackers take home the car

A Tesla Model 3 vulnerability was exposed at the Pwn2Own hacking competition. The hackers, who were able to display a message on the electric vehicle's internet browser, won $35,000 and took home the car.
Cars

Is this electric car startup the next Tesla, or will it go the way of Coda?

The electric car startup formerly known as EVelozcity has changed its name to Canoo. It also announced a lineup of four cars including a commuter-friendly model and a lifestyle-oriented car. Its first electric vehicles will begin to appear…
Cars

Ford’s born-again Bronco off-roader will soothe your 1990s nostalgia

Ford confirmed it will bring the Bronco back to American showrooms in 2020. We haven't seen the truck yet, but dealers who got a preview of it during a private event say it's a true off-roader aimed directly at the Jeep Wrangler.