Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter on Saturday to reveal the first production example of the Model 3.
The car, referred to internally as “SN1,” an acronym for “Serial Number 1,” was completed at Tesla’s car plant in Fremont, California on Friday.
No additional details were revealed by Musk, though only a week ago he said the highly anticipated electric sedan passed all regulatory requirements concerning production two weeks ahead of schedule.
Musk has previously confirmed that deliveries of the Model 3 will commence on July 28. The first examples will be handed over to customers during a special event likely taking place at the Fremont plant.
2017 Tesla Model 3, in photo tweeted by Elon Musk on July 9, 2017Enlarge Photo
Musk has also said that Tesla only expects to build 100 cars in August but will grow this to over 1,500 by September and around 20,000 by December. Tesla has an estimated 400,000 pre-orders for the Model 3 and is expecting to be building as many as 500,000 cars per year in 2018, when including Model S and Model X production.
Tesla pulled out all the stops to get the Model 3 into production as soon as possible. Recall, it was only in March 2016 that the company first showed a prototype.
In a risky move more common to Silicon Valley-type firms, Tesla skipped the normal procedure of prototype tools to assemble the Model 3 in an effort to save time and costs. These cheap prototype tools help automakers see where potential issues may arise through fit and finish and are then discarded once everything is sorted. For the Model 3, Tesla is jumping straight to expensive, permanent tools. So far it seems Musk has everything under control.
Tesla is promising a $35,000 starting price for the Model 3. That’s for the base model which should still be an incredibly capable small sport sedan. For example, even in base trim the Model 3 is expected to hit 60 mph in under 6.0 seconds and come with a 60-kilowatt-hour battery good for more than 215 miles of range. Owners will have to pay a fee for using the Supercharging network, though.