Tesla Motors has unveiled the Model 3, Tesla’s third model after the Model S saloon and Model X SUV. This time, the Model 3 is positioned as the company’s bread and butter, long-range electric vehicle to attract the masses. Think of it this way; the Model S is the iPhone 6s, and the Model 3 is like the iPhone SE. It’s for everyone.
The Model 3 is a subcompact car that uses lithium-ion batteries, capable of travelling 344km in a single charge. Performance remains strong with the base car. It dashes to the century mark in 6.0 seconds (Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk once said “We don’t make slow cars”), so expect future variants of the Model 3 to go faster, way faster than the current 6.0-second benchmark.
Practicality is a strong suit with the Model 3 as it sits five comfortably, made possible with a redesigned cabin. Just like other Tesla cars, boot space is available at the front and back. All Model 3 variants will receive Tesla’s Autopilot autonomous driving technology as standard and a five-star safety rating is expected once it’s put through the crash safety test.
The Model 3, built at Tesla’s Fremont plant, begins at £24,000 (approx RM137,000 at current rates) which is pretty accessible for a Tesla (the base Model S at £54,995 in the UK), matching the price of most compact premium saloons in the UK. However, hold that excitement first because production will only be commencing late 2017. But that hasn’t stopped over 130,000 people from placing their orders!
Prior to this, the idea of having the Tesla brand present in our region seems a little far out of reach. But with the Model 3, it’s turning out to be more of a reality than just a dream. Who knows in the future, with the right charging infrastructure and appointed distributor, we might just be able to buy ourselves an official Tesla car. Until then, let’s just wait. Patiently.