SOUTHLAKE, TEXAS - Despite never having seen the car -- let alone take it for a test drive -- 450,000 Americans dished out $1,000 to reserve the right to purchase Tesla's newest offering.
Behold the Tesla Model 3.
"It's been a long time coming to even see the car in person," said Steve Trexler, a prospective buyer.
Like it's predecessors, the Model 3 is fully electric, boasting a range of more than 200 miles per charge. Unlike the rest of the Tesla Pedigree, it's significantly less expensive, starting at $35,000, which is roughly half the cost of other Tesla models on the market.
"Online it doesn't do it justice. You can tell that a lot a thought was put into it, and they've done their homework to make it a car for now and for the future," Trexler said.
A price point just may smash that barrier to entry for those considering making the move to electric vehicles.
"It brings the technology to virtually anyone that is buying a new car. They are going to invest very similarly to what a Tesla 3 is going to cost," said longtime hybrid vehicle driver, Joe Miller of Addison.
For the first time, prospective buyers got a close up look at the first Model 3 on display in Texas.
This Tesla store in Southlake Town Square offers just a few minutes of seat time inside the parked car.
"I'm impressed, it's very nice," Trexler said while settling into the leather driver's seat.
Tesla may be known for electric self-driving cars, but don't expect to let go of the steering wheel on the Model 3 for at least at the base price. Autopilot upgrades are available, but they will cost you.
Money aside, the biggest hurdle for the company may be production.
"I will own one of these if I live long enough," Miller said.
Tesla is asking its customers to be patient with a wait time of more than a year.
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