In just a few short hours, the keys to the car industry's future will be handed over to the 30 customers who were first in line to buy Tesla's new Model 3. The car is Tesla's first foray into affordability, with the initial price point starting at about half the cost of Tesla's previous models, or around $35,000—although with an expected $7,500 U.S. tax credit, that price falls to $27,500. Tesla boss Elon Musk has made a few announcements about the new compact car that will seat five adults, but he may have a few surprises up his sleeve. Here are three things to watch for when the Tesla 3 launches tonight:
Model 3s will come with the hardware for Autopilot—Tesla's partially self-driving system—already installed in its cars, but it's unclear when that feature will be fully functional and which features customers will have to pony up additional funds for. As Bloomberg notes, Musk has hinted that some of the most exciting self-driving features, like automatic lane changing, would be available around the time that the Model 3 was ready for launch (aka now).
2. Impressive Efficiency
Some sleuths over at Electrek think they've found the average efficiency of Tesla's vehicles buried in its website coding—237 Wh per mile, which would make the Model 3 extremely efficient if not one of the most efficient electric vehicles in the U.S. The car has a range of 215 miles (346 kms) on a charge.
3. New Model S and Model X
Bloomberg thinks that Tesla might not only unveil its Model 3, but also roll out updated versions of its Model S and Model X cars. Adding new features to their more expensive models is a way for the company to make sure potential buyers are still drawn to their ultra-luxury cars.