Elon Musk is set to fully unveil the Tesla Model 3 at an event in July. In typical fashion, the CEO announced the event through his Twitter account Thursday, sending fans into a flurry with a one-word post.
July is also when the $35,000 car is expected to enter mass production. By the end of 2018, the company hopes to produce 250,000 Model 3 vehicles per year, entering a new marketplace for a wider audience.
Three months til work is set to start, there’s still some big questions hanging over Musk’s entry-level vehicle. Here are eight of the most pressing.
How is the speedometer going to work?
Instead of sitting in front of the steering wheel like in most cars, Musk has said that the speedometer will show up on the central display as and when it’s needed, fading in and out of opacity. Musk claims the speedometer will be less important with autonomous driving, which is fair but isn’t particularly reassuring for those that want to drive manually from time to time. This is going to need a bit more explaining, because right now, it sounds terrible.
What colors can we buy?
Model 3 release candidates have been spotted in black and blue, but what about other options? And how will they look on the finished design? Tesla has produced concept art that shows silver and red colors, but how will these look on the final models?
What options will it have?
Supercharging and Autopilot are in, all-wheel drive is optional, and you won’t be able to ask for two extra seats in the back, but what about other choices? The Model S offers premium seating and smart air suspension, but hopefully, Musk will give final options confirmation at the event.
How much will those options cost?
This could be the factor that drives average prices up way past the $35,000 point. Model3Tracker found seven percent of respondents were planning to check every box no matter what, and overall, the average price is likely to sit around $50,000.
These options may cost less than the Model S and Model X counterparts. Musk has already said that the Model 3 dual motor all-wheel drive option will cost less than the current $5,000 asking price as the car is smaller.
What about battery sizes?
We know the lowest battery option will be even smaller than 60 kWh, and we know that the company can’t fit a 100 kWh battery into the frame, so the biggest battery will be 75 kWh. We’re going to need more details though, particularly around how much extra the upgrades will cost.
What range will we get with each battery?
Tesla claims it will achieve better driving range on a smaller battery thanks to a part-aluminum frame that’s 20 percent smaller than the Model S. We know that the smallest battery size, whatever it may be, will achieve a 215-mile range, so what can we expect from a more standard 60 kWh configuration? And how far will that 75 kWh behemoth take us?
What charging port will it use?
Tesla has joined the CharIN group to promote a standardized combined charging system, which could mean it offers something more compatible with other infrastructure. That would be great for hunting down charging points, but the standard tops out at 200 kilowatts.
Musk has hinted the company working on superchargers that can provide power greater than 350 kilowatts, which would provide far faster charging than Tesla’s current 120 kilowatt superchargers. This could mean the Model 3 opts for something proprietary.
What are those extra sensors?
A Model 3 spotted near the Tesla headquarters earlier this month had a pair of extra sensors located at the C-pillars near the rear. Whether those sensors will make it into the final model, and what they are used for if so, should be cleared up at the July event.