Photo of Model 3 courtesy of Tesla Motors.

Photo of Model 3 courtesy of Tesla Motors.

Tesla Motors has received more than 325,000 orders with refundable $1,000 deposits so far for its sleek Model 3 that could make the company more than a niche player with its $35,000 price tag.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been providing updates via his Twitter account, and also confirmed he will offer the Model 3 as a rear-wheel-drive vehicle with optional dual-motor all-wheel drive. Tesla posted the latest update on April 7 to its blog.

Musk unveiled the Model 3 on March 31 at a private event in Hawthorne, Calif. He said the vehicle will provide 215 miles of battery-electric driving range and include Autopilot as a standard feature.

Musk hopes to produce 500,000 vehicles a year by 2020 with the more affordable Model 3 providing his higher-volume pathway to that goal. Tesla's Gigafactory, a 5.5-million-square-foot facility outside Sparks, Nev., has become operational. It should begin building lithium-ion battery packs for the Model 3 in late 2017 to coincide with the production of the vehicle.