Tesla's Model 3 to Cost $35K in March, But Production Still 2 Years Away

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk speaks during the Model S Beta Event held at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk speaks next to the company's newest Model S during the Model S Beta Event held at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California October 1, 2011. The Model S is the company's first full-size electric sedan set for release in 2012. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (UNITED STATES - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS LOGO SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)STEPHEN LAM / Reuters

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By Devin Coldewey

Tesla's long-awaited mass-market car, the Model 3, now has a price and debut plan courtesy of the company's founder, Elon Musk, who posted the details to Twitter on Wednesday.

The $35,000 price is just what was expected, and Tesla is well known for unveiling its cars well before they are available to buy. Still, it will likely disappoint many that a cheaper Tesla won't arrive until 2017 at the very earliest.

Related: Tesla's New 'Ludicrous Mode' Takes You From 0 to 60 MPH in 2.8 Seconds

What's taking so long, you ask? Right now, the batteries that would power the Model 3 would cost about as much as the car is slated to. Tesla is building an enormous lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in Nevada to make its own batteries for far less money — the "Gigafactory" mentioned in Musk's tweet.

Not much more can be revealed about the Model 3 except that, as Musk mentioned cryptically during a Q&A session on Reddit, "It won't look like other cars." What does that mean, exactly? We'll find out in March.

In the meantime, you can order yourself a new Model X — if you have the cash. The entry level model will cost around $5,000 more than a Model S with the same options, Musk wrote in yet another tweet — though you can easily spend well into the six figure range for the "Signature" high-end series.

The first Model X should be coming off the production line on September 29.