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Tesla Model 3 orders top 276k

Rapid acceleration: Little is known about Tesla's Model 3 following the launch earlier this month, but that hasn't stopped nearly 300,000 customers already coughing up for a deposit for one.

Rear drive and AWD option confirmed for Tesla Model 3 as orders skyrocket

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Tesla logo4 Apr 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

TESLA has opened the taps on an information drip-feed campaign about its eagerly anticipated Model 3 following its global debut on April 1, but it would appear that about 300,000 fans do not need reassuring, with almost $US10 billion ($A13b) worth of orders already placed.

It did not take long for the deposits to start rolling in on April 1, with 115,000 orders in the book before Tesla's most affordable model had even been revealed, but that number continued to rise as the car made its debut.

In a social media message just 24 hours after the car was revealed, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the number was heading towards 200,000 and that the unexpected tidal wave of interest had prompted a production plan rethink.

“Thought it would slow down today, but Model 3 order count is now at 198k,” he said. “Recommend ordering soon, as the wait time is growing rapidly.

“Definitely going to need to rethink production planning...”

Following the initial tally, Mr Musk continued to update the figure, the last of which confirmed the order number was nearing the 300,000 mark.

“276k Model 3 orders by end of Sat,” he said.

With the cost of an entry-level Model 3 confirmed to be about the $US35,000 mark ($A45,767) the value of all known orders would total $US9.66b ($A13b), although with vehicles likely to cost more than that in other countries and upgrades to higher-spec variants, that figure is likely to easily pass $10b.

Mr Musk confirmed that, like the Model S large sedan, customers will have the choice of either rear-wheel drive or higher-performance four-wheel drive with more features that the company boss described as “cowbells”.

“Model 3 will be RWD, with a dual motor AWD optional. Even RWD will have great traction on ice due to fast torque response of Tesla drivetrain.

“And, of course, it will have more cowbells”.

Tesla is yet to go on the record and predict just how long the unprecedented order numbers have pushed out wait times for customers, but Mr Musk explained that orders were region specific and early adopters would be given priority in their respective country.

“A model 3 order gives you priority in your geography, so, even tho (sic) total count is high, ordering early will make a big difference locally.”

According to the car-maker, the reveal on April 1 was just the first part of three official launch stages, and more information including variants, options and exact pricing is expected in the coming months.

The fourth Tesla model is due to start rolling out to the first United States customers next year, ahead of an Australian debut in 2018.

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