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Tesla Model 3 electric car gets a 5-star reveal

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The Model 3 electric car will become Tesla Motors’ most affordable model. (Credit: Tesla Motors)

Tesla Motors’ Model 3 electric sedan may be geared for mass-market affordability, but CEO Elon Musk made it clear at tonight’s unveiling that he doesn’t intend it to be a third-rate car.

“It will be five-star in every category,” Musk told a standing-room-only, occasionally raucous crowd at Tesla’s warehouse-sized design studio at Hawthorne, Calif.

The $35,000 Model 3’s promised capabilities were arguably the biggest surprise of the evening: Musk said the scaled-down sedan would still have ample room for five people, thanks to a design that moves the instrument panel farther forward than the panel in the $70,000 Model S.

Even the base model will go from zero to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds, Musk said. And the driving range will be at least 215 miles on a charge.

“These are minimum numbers,” Musk said. “We hope to exceed them.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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