Promised US$35,000 version goes on sale in the company's local market, with the trade-off being the closure of all its store-front sales operations.

Tesla has finally released the affordable Model 3 it's been promising for so long, now available to order in the States for US$35,000 ($49,300) before incentives.

Jumping on the company's US configurator shows new variants, dubbed 'Standard Range' and 'Standard Range Plus', the latter costing US$2000 more ($2818).

Specifications for the Standard Range are as follows: 220mi (354km) of range, a top speed of 130mph (209km/h), and a 0-60mph (0-97km/h) time of 5.6 seconds.

Meanwhile, the Standard Range Plus claims to offer 240mi (386km) of range, a 140mph (225km/h) top speed, and a 5.3-second run from 0-100.

As standard the Model 3 Standard Range gets 18-inch 'Aero' alloy wheels, manual seat and steering adjustment, cloth seats, a 'basic' audio system, satellite navigation, a tinted glass roof with UV and infrared protection, auto-dimming, folding and heated side mirrors, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, four USB ports, and custom driver profiles.

Tesla's Autopilot is an additional US$3000 ($4227) in its basic form, while 'Full Self-Driving Capability' can be added for US$5000 ($7045), bringing Autopark and Summon functions, while traffic light assist (stops at red lights and stop signs) and autonomous urban driving capability are "coming later this year" as part of this pack – likely added as an over-the-air update.

Adding the two Autopilot options after delivery asks for US$4000 ($5636) and US$7000 ($9863) respectively.

According to the online configurator, the Standard Range variant should cost US$26,950 after US incentives, which equates to $37,970.

Deliveries should commence within the next month in the US, according to overseas reports.

Meanwhile, Tesla has announced its sales will be shifted online across all its markets and away from dealers, which the company says will allow it to lower all vehicle prices by about 6.0 per cent.

To compensate for the removal of its dealer network, Tesla will offer week-long or 1000mi (1600) test drives: "You can now return a car within 7 days or 1,000 miles for a full refund. Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free".

Australia

Tesla's local arm was unable to confirm if and when the new Model 3 variants will be coming to Australia. So far, we know the first examples of the company's entry-level EV should arrive in the middle of the year.

Stay tuned for all the latest updates, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.