Tesla has said the first Model 3 cars off the assembly line in (hopefully) July will be base model cars with few available options. The plan is to build the simplest cars first. That will give the company time to work out any kinks in the manufacturing process before adding complexity to the mix. The first cars produced will go to Tesla employees.
The theory is that they will drive the cars and report any defects to the company so they can be corrected before cars are built for regular customers. That means the employees will become beta testers, a role they apparently are comfortable with in order to be the first to drive what is the most eagerly awaited new car in history.
Elon Musk has said the total number of possible combinations, taking into account exterior colors, wheel and tire choices, and available options will total less than 100. By contrast, Model S customers have over 1500 combinations to consider when ordering their cars.
Here’s what we know so far. At the beginning of production, all the cars will have one rear mounted electric motor. Dual motor cars will not be available until sometime in 2018. All cars will have the same battery. Although official battery specifications have not yet been released, we know the battery packs will use second generation 2170 format cells manufactured at the Gigafactory in Nevada. All other Teslas use first generation cells manufactured by Panasonic elsewhere.
As for colors, test mules have been spotted in white, blue, silver, and red, so it is assumed those are four of the colors that will be available at the start of production. One feature that will not be standard is the all glass roof that is now standard equipment on the Model S. It will be an extra cost option but apparently one that buyers will be able to select when production begins. The Model 3 website indicates there will be no suspension options initially but there will be a choice of either 18″ or 19″ wheels and tires.
Source: The Drive