Tesla Inc, famous for its revolutionary ideas and concepts, has finally unveiled its latest Model 3 electric car.
Tesla has delivered the first Model 3 sedans to consumers and production is now rapidly accelerating towards full-swing. That’s good news for those who pre-ordered their cars early, but the good news for everyone is that we finally have the answers we’ve all been waiting for — and some impressions from behind the wheel, too.
Tesla’s Model 3 will start at $35,000 on the North-American market. That’s before federal or state incentives, which could subtract thousands more from the price of the car. Its formal range is 220 miles, but those wanting more can step up to the Long Range edition. That adds $9,000 to the price and 90 miles to the tank, meaning the starting price rises up to $44,000 if you want to go 310 miles on a charge.
Elon Musk had originally said there would be few configurations of the Model 3 available initially. And indeed there are, with only the Long Range car available at launch. Buyers will have a choice of six colors — black is standard, but there are two silvers, a blue, a red and a white if you’re willing to spend $1,000 more. You can then spend an extra $1,500 for 19-inch wheels and pay a further $5,000 for the Premium Upgrades package, which includes power-adjustable and heated seats, a better sound system, LED lighting and a tinted glass roof — which you’re probably going to want if you plan to drive anywhere the sun rises.
The Model 3 will be able accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds by default and fly its way up to a top speed of 130 mph. If one opts for the Long Range edition, however, that drops to 5.1 seconds with the top speed rising modestly to 140 mph. Compare that to a top-shelf Model S P100D’s 2.4-second 0 to 60 time and it may sound slow, but 5.1 seconds is more than respectable and, since this is an EV, the immediate pedal response means it feels much quicker.
Tesla hopes to sell 500,000 electric cars next year. In order to succeed, the company will have to tear down the artificial distinction between a “car buyer” and an “electric-car buyer” and go straight at the heart of the $35,000 sedan class: the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The Model 3 is Musk’s missile for this target.