Forget the Detroit auto show for a Tesla debut; everyone's favorite electric car brand launches on its own timetable and far away from the mainstream masses of auto shows.
This year will be crucial for Tesla: It will either prove its many critics wrong and begin delivering the long-awaited Model 3 "affordable" electric car by its self-imposed (late) 2017 deadline, or it will miss it -- some expect by a full year. If it misses the deadline, Tesla will have egg on its face and potentially lots of chagrined deposit-makers at its doorstep.
The compact sedan promises a sub-$35,000 starting price before incentives, a sub-six-second 0-to-60 mph time and a base range of 215 miles. Costlier versions will add all-wheel drive, faster acceleration and more range.
Beyond the Model 3, Tesla clearly hasn't found the performance ceiling for its Model S and Model X. While nothing is confirmed, rumors abound that the EV maker could introduce faster versions above the P100D models as well as non-performance iterations of the 100 kWh battery pack (think 100D).