LOS ANGELES -- Suggesting there may be significant pent-up demand for an affordable electric car with decent range, Tesla Motors revealed the design of its $35,000-and-up Model 3 during a invitation-only event late Thursday.
The unveiling took place after a day of anticipation during which thousands of people waited in line at Tesla showrooms to place $1,000 deposits on the car, sight unseen.
More than 115,000 people made reservations for the Model 3 within the past 24 hours, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne, Calif., as he revealed the Model 3, with an aerodynamic, genre-bending design somewhere between sedan and hatchback and a huge, tablet-like screen between the front seats.
As of early afternoon, advanced orders reached 198,000, Musk said in a post on Twitter.
"Definitely going to need to rethink production planning," Musk wrote.
Tesla shares surged 3.4 percent to close at $237.59 today.
Musk said the Model 3 will seat five adults in comfort and will have a minimum range of 215 miles and a 0-to-60 time under 6 seconds in its cheapest iteration when it goes on sale at the end of 2017.
“I do feel fairly confident it will be next year,” Musk said to knowing laughter, given Tesla’s track record of delays on its current products, the Model S sedan and Model X crossover. “As for price, it’ll be $35,000. And I want to emphasize that even if you buy it at $35,000 -- no options at all -- this will still be an amazing car.”