Thanks to a series of leaks and early reveals, the 2015 North American International Auto Show didn't provide many surprises. There were, however, two worth noting:
1. The unveiling of the totally unexpected Ford GT supercar.
2. The stated price of a future Tesla vehicle -- the Model 3 -- which company founder Elon Musk said would start at $35,000.
That's about half the starting price of Tesla's current model, the Model S, which kicks off at $69,900. And it doesn't take into account any federal or state tax credits, the former of which currently give $7,500 back to buyers.
Of course, the Model 3 isn't due to reach showrooms for another two years, so the price could fluctuate a bit between now and then. It might go up if Musk's estimates are too rosy, or down if Tesla's gigafactory reduces the cost of battery technology especially fast.
It's also worth noting that the $35,000 price is almost certainly for the bare-bones Model 3, which could be produced in very limited quantities (and of limited demand). More popular models could be significantly pricier.
That said, a $27,500 Tesla sounds like an interesting proposition because it puts Tesla on the mass-market playing field. That's exciting, because by 2017, battery range could be much better than it is today, reducing anxiety about owning all-electric vehicles and making Tesla attractive to folks outside early adopter circles. Plus, let's face it, Tesla makes some nice-looking cars. Even though we've not seen any hints about the Model 3's silhouette, it's almost certain to look more sophisticated and attractive than many other EVs on the market.
Does Musk's prediction intrigue you? Or is it just so much pie in the sky? Would you consider purchasing a Model 3 yourself? If not, what would it take? Share your thoughts in the comments below.