Elon Musk tweets photos of first ever Tesla Model 3, US deliveries expected this month

Elon Musk has revealed a glimpse at the very first Tesla Model 3 to roll off the production line, ahead of a handover party for the first 30 customers who ordered the electric vehicle.

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The Model 3 is the car that’s promising to democratise electric vehicles but, unless you’re one of the lucky ones to have already placed an order, you won’t be able to have one silently rolling into your driveway until mid 2018 at the very earliest.

Unlike the upmarket Model S and X, the Model 3 has been designed with mass-production in mind and is intended to be an alternative to the likes of the BMW 3 Series and other compact exec saloons.

It will boast a minimum range of 215 miles and a 0-62mph time of less than six seconds, regardless of derivative. Musk said these numbers were “minimum targets” which Tesla hoped to exceed when the finalised figures are revealed closer to market launch.

However, Musk has already set very ambitious targets for the company’s latest EV:

The Model 3 is seen as the final stage in a ‘master plan’ to popularise electric vehicles. The three-stage plan began in 2006 when the Roadster was launched. From there, Tesla planned to build an “affordable” car (the Model S), before revealing an even more affordable car (the Model 3).

Tesla has also said that the Model 3 will be very practical for its size. Like the larger Model S, the Model 3 gets a luggage bay at both ends, and the lack of an internal combustion engine means that extra cabin space has been freed up.

Unless you've already placed an order, don't expect to get behind the wheel of a Model 3 until mid 2018 at the earliest.

The windscreen and roof are also made from a single pane of glass designed to make the passenger cell feel light and airy.

Here’s the Tesla Model 3 reveal in full

The all-electric mid-size saloon was unveiled in California in April, and has been pre-ordered by around 400,000 people. It’s because of this high demand that Tesla has announced that any orders placed hereon in won’t be filled until mid-2018 or later.

The new model has been described as a 'mass-market, affordable car', and will cost from around $35,000. At the time of its unveil, that meant it’d cost around £24,300, but the recent drop in the value of the pound means UK customers currently stand to pay roughly £28,000.

However, for those in the UK that want to reserve one, the £1,000 deposit currently remains unchanged. While the Model 3 is some way off deliveries, you can actually lease the more exclusive Model S and X – just click here for the best Tesla deals.

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