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Tesla finally launches base Model 3 for $35,000 with shorter range and new interior

Tesla is finally launching the long-promised standard Model 3 with a base price of $35,000 – fulfilling Elon Musk’s “secret masterplan” released back in 2006.

The automaker is now making several new versions of the Model 3 available with a shorter range and new interior options.

Elon Musk has been teasing an important Tesla announcement this week and now we finally have the details.

Tesla has been gradually releasing cheaper versions of the Model 3 over the last year, but it has never been able to bring the price down to $35,000 – the mass market price that they have been promising.

The standard battery pack and interior has been delayed on several occasions… until now.

Today, Tesla sent an email to its retail stores the details of the announcement of the new options being available to order in the US today and available as soon as next month.

All the details are expected to become available in the next hour, but here’s what we know so far:

  • Customers are now able to order the $35,000 Model 3 with a standard interior and standard battery pack enabling 130mph top speed and 5.6s 0-60s acceleration.
  • Tesla is also making a new “Partial Premium Interior” with better seats than the standard interior available with a different “standard  range plus” battery pack for a $2,000 premium
  • The Model 3 Standard Range Plus results in 240 miles of range, a top speed of 140mph, 0-60mph acceleration of just 5.3 seconds

Those two options are significantly bringing the price of Model 3 down:

Tesla says that deliveries are starting within the next 2 to 4 weeks depending on the configuration in the US.

For those who still have a reservation and who were waiting for the base version, they will still have priority in the delivery process if they plan an order now.

In Europe, Musk said it will be available to order within the “next 3 to 6 months”.

Here’s the first image of the Model 3 standard interior where you can see the cloth seats and door trims as well as the different center console:

The “full” premium interior, which includes leather and power seats, is not available with the new standard battery pack option.

Here’s the breakdown of the new interior options:

Standard Interior Includes:

  • Manual seat and steering adjustment
  • Cloth seart and base trim
  • Basic audio
  • Standard maps and navigation
  • Center console with storage and 4 USB ports

Partial Premium Interior Includes:

  • 12-way power adjustable heated front seats
  • Premium seat material and trim
  • Upgrade audio – immersive sound
  • Standard maps & navigation
  • LED fog lamps
  • Center console with storage, 4 USB ports docking for 2 smartphones

Premium Interior Includes:

  • 12-way power adjustable front and rear heated seats
  • Premium audio – 14 speakers, 1 subwoofer, 2 amps, and immersive sound
  • Satellite-view maps with live traffic visualization and navigation
  • In-car internet streaming music & media
  • Internet browser
  • Location-aware automativ garage door opener
  • LED fog lamps
  • Center console with storage, 4 USB ports and docking for 2 smartphones

All Interior Include:

  • Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection
  • Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors
  • Music and media over Bluetooth
  • Custom driver profiles

In a call with the press, Musk noted that these prices are not only enabled by the new options but also because of a change in its sales strategy, which they expect will reduce cost.

Tesla is changing its entire sales strategy to online-only and it is closing stores.

Along with these changes, Tesla is going to release firmware updates that is going to enable a 325-mile range in the Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive Model 3, which was the first version of the car. It has been discontinued in favor of matching the long range pack to the dual motor powertrain, but it is now coming back.

Other firmware updates are also expected to increase the top speed of Model 3 Performance to 162 mph, and add an average of approximately 5% peak power to all Model 3 vehicles.

It’s still unclear at this point if these firmware upgrades will work with all vehicles already delivered. We expect to know more following an upcoming media call.

Update: Musk confirmed that it affects all Model 3 vehicles delivered to date.

The CEO said that they have increased the electronic limits on the motors after feeling more comfortable with their capacity after millions of miles of data.

Tesla is also updating Autopilot options and pricing. The base Autopilot package is now cheaper ($3,000 before delivery – $4,000 after) but it only includes Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control.

All the features previously found in ‘Enhanced Autopilot, like Summon and Autopark, are now part of the Full Self-Driving package which is $2,000 more than the standard Autopilot package.

This story is still developing. Refresh the page for more details.

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