30 July, 2017
With its $35,000 starting price - half the cost of Tesla's previous models - and range of up to 310 miles (498 km), the Model 3 could bring hundreds of thousands of customers into the automaker's fold, taking it from a niche luxury brand to the mainstream.
"Most of the good that Tesla will accomplish is by cutting a path through the jungle to show what can be done with electric cars", Musk said in January 2015 during an on-stage interview at the Detroit Auto Show.
Despite the slimmed-down feature set, the Model 3 still has Tesla's distinct stylings.
A 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty is offered on the vehicle, while an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty is offered on the battery (Long Range battery gets 120,000 miles).
Early deliveries of the Model 3 will come with a single motor powering the rear wheels; all-wheel drive will be added as an option early next year, and a "P" performance model may be in the cards as well. "If you're trying to make a difference in the world, you have to make cars that people can afford".
Bear in mind that we're talking about the standard Model 3 that boasts a range of 220 miles and does 0-60 in 5.6 seconds.
Success with the Model 3 could ease concerns about the ability of Tesla to grow significantly. One of the best Model 3 estimators online is Troy's Model 3 Estimator, created by Redditor Teslike (TeslaMotorsClub member Troy.) You can access the estimator, which is a Google Doc, here.
"Everything was focused on how we could move this through the assembly line faster and more efficient with great quality", said Doug Field who leads the Tesla vehicle programs. Musk said it was "quite likely" that his factory in Fremont, California would be producing 5,000 Model 3s a week by December, and twice that by the end of next year.
"We aimed for a very simple, clean design, because in the future - really, the future being now - the cars will be increasingly autonomous", Musk said.
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All the sensors needed for Tesla's Autopilot system, which can steer a vehicle on freeways and change lanes, will be included in each Model 3, although activating the system comes at a one-time cost of $5,000.
Tesla is offering a suite of upgrades for the Model 3.
We'll be taking a spin with the new Model 3 as soon as Elon Musk finishes his remarks so stay tuned! A long-range battery that allows 310 miles or range and a top speed of 140 mph is available for $9K. The particular variant can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 5.1 seconds with the capability to go up to 140mph in its top speed.
Musk aims to make 500,000 vehicles next year, a number that could help Tesla finally make money.
A new trim is worth mentioning, but what became evident in the brief presentation is that $35,000 car-the figure every observer and reporter has glommed onto-nets you a barebones Model 3.
FEATURES: The Model 3 has some surprises.
Tesla has in the past struggled to hit production targets.