Tesla Motors gave a sneak preview Thursday of its Model 3 sedan, saying more than 130,000 people had ordered the car, even though it is more than a year away from production.
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk unveiled a prototype of the Model 3 in Hawthorne, California outside Los Angeles to hundreds of Tesla owners and the media, saying the vehicle will go into production in 2017 at a starting price of $35,000.
Investors sent Tesla shares up about 7 percent in Friday pre-market trading.
The Model 3 is critical to the Silicon Valley automaker's growth plans and to sustaining its lofty stock price. Tesla shares have jumped in recent days in anticipation of the Model 3 launch.
The Model 3 will enter a crowded field of luxury and electric cars that includes gasoline-fueled models such as the Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series, and electric models such as the forthcoming Chevrolet Bolt EV from General Motors Co.