Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated that regular production will begin by the summer of 2017, which means that early bird pre-order customers should [hopefully] have their vehicles in hand by Christmas. However, during the lead-up to full-scale production, Tesla needs to work out the kinks with a limited production or “pilot” run of Model 3 EVs. According to a new report, pilot production of the Model 3 is expected to kick off on February 20th.
In preparation for Model 3 production, Tesla will reportedly shut down its California assembly line for at least a week to make tooling upgrades necessary to accommodate the smallest member of the family. "This will allow Tesla to begin Model 3 production later this year as planned and enable us to start the ramp towards 500,000 vehicles annually in 2018," confirmed a Tesla representative.
Within the first 24 hours of preorders opening for the Model 3, Tesla had taken over 200,000 reservations. When Musk gave his most recent update on the status of the Model 3, he revealed that 370,000 orders have been taken to date.
The Model 3 has both a trunk and a front-mounted “frunk” for storage. The exterior is sleek and reminiscent of its larger Model S brother, and lacks the economy car styling roots of the comparably-priced Chevrolet Bolt. Inside, you’ll find seating for five, a minimalistic dashboard/center console, and a centrally-mounted 15-inch display screen.
Base vehicles will be able to dash to 60 mph in under six seconds and the driving range for the EV will be at least 215 miles with the base battery pack. Musk has also indicated that the Model 3 will be available with Ludicrous Mode, which allows for neck-snapping accelerations runs in the Model S and Model X.