Tesla Model 3 details, information, and specs.
Automotive: Electric Cars
Automotive: New Cars
The Tesla Model 3 looks to be a "game changer" (and I hate that term) in the automotive world for a variety of reasons. Not only is this new vehicle all electric, it's also planned to be quite affordable (relatively speaking).
It's the most important detail for most so let's talk about Model 3 pricing first. The plan for Tesla is to sell the Model 3 at a starting price of $35,000 USD. That's the price before any type of rebates or incentives. Meaning, if you're able to get the $7,500 federal tax credit you're looking at a price of $27,500. If you live in a state that offers state or local tax credits it could be even less.
Sound too good to be true? It might be. First off, the tax credits will likely be long gone by the time the Model 3 actually comes out. If that's the case, state credits will likely be gone as well.
Okay, so $35k doesn't sound too bad for a state-of-the-art electric car, does it? Well, no, doesn't sound bad at all. But, as with many luxury vehicles brands like BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche (oh Porsche, I'm really looking at you here!) you can expect the options to be pricey.
That $35k quote is the starting price. Add options and it only goes up from there. Head over to the Tesla Design Studio and spec out a Model S or Model X. The base price for a Model S is $58,400. Add options and it's easy to approach $73k without too much effort. Go really crazy and watch the price soar to over $123k, or over twice the starting price.
I think it goes without saying that if you're buying a Model 3 there are certain options you'll get. Most will want the Autopilot Convenience Features ($2500 on the Model S) and Premium Upgrades Package ($3000 on the Model S). If the fun paint colors are extra, like they are on the Model S, expect another $1000 to $1500. Want all wheel drive? That will surely be thousands more.
While this is all speculation, it seems logical that most Model 3's will come equipped with at least $5k to $10k worth of options. So that $35k car will likely now cost $40k to $45k or more. Not bad, but not $35k. Don't forget sales tax and registration / license plate fees as well.
What might be bad is how Tesla could handle the rollout of the new car. For example, with the Model X they only sold the higher end (big battery) versions of the car to reservation holders first. That was actually a big part of Why I Canceled My Tesla Model X Reservation. With around 400,000 Model 3's being reserved at the time of this writing, it seems logical that Tesla might force the more expensive models out the door first.
Specs & Features
Although this is a smaller car when compared to the large Model S and Model X vehicles, the Model 3 will still hold 5 adults and "all of their gear". Having a flat battery pack as the floor and no bulky engine should keep the interior open and airy.
Speaking of airy, the roof will have a massive glass panel on it to let in plenty of sunshine and give passengers nice views out. Of course, privacy may be sacrificed here not to mention the potential heat gain issues of sitting in a mobile greenhouse.
What about speed? Teslas are known for their incredible speed and they promise that the Model 3 is no exception. They're publicizing 0-60 MPH times of less than six seconds. If their famous Ludicrous Mode is an option, and you can bet it will be, we expect those times to be far faster.
The standard model will come with two wheel drive while all-wheel drive will be an option, just like it is on the Model S.
As with all Tesla vehicles, the Model 3 should be another great leader in safety. They're even saying that it "should be the safest car in its class once testing completes".
And what about the range? They're touting a full 215 miles of range per charge. Supercharging will be included as well which means you can charge at any of the Tesla chargers. Right now these are free, we'll see if they remain free (don't hold your breath).
The Tesla Model 3 begins production in late 2017. Using our Tesla Translator, we believe that means the first reservation holders will see their car in late 2019. We kid, we kid. Then again, Tesla is notorious for throwing out dates and then releasing the vehicles months or years after those dates.
Once again, if you read Why I Canceled My Tesla Model X Reservation, you'll see that the much delayed Model X was still possibly a year (or more) off when I was finally told I could "design" mine online and I was around 7,500 in the reservation line.
What happens if you're reservation holder 150,000? Or 300,000? Or 400,000? While they plan to ramp production up to 500,000 per year it will take a lot of time to do that. How many can they product in that first year? 100k? 200k? So if they truly start delivering in late 2017 when will you see your car? A year or two later? Nobody knows.
Worth The Wait?
Is it worth dropping $1,000 USD to reserve a Tesla Model 3 right now? Well, no, it's not. If you got an early reservation that was under 50k or so then maybe it's worth a $1000 deposit. At this point, it sounds like Tesla doesn't even know how it will build 400k cars fast enough. Of course, that's a good problem for a company to have and Tesla is full if smart people that will figure it out...eventually.
At this point, it seems silly to me to reserve a Model 3 knowing that you'll have hundreds of thousands of others in front of you for a car that doesn't existing and won't come out until late 2017 in the best case scenario. Knowing that you may not see your car until 2019 or 2020 (or later) doesn't make it worth the deposit it at this point. This is especially true as other manufacturers ramp up their electric car efforts and bring out new electric only models over the next few years.
Instead, sit back and let it all unfold on its own. When the time is right and the Model 3 is out, then jump on the bandwagon as needed. Personally, I'm holding out for the Model Y which should be a smaller version of the Model X (see Model X Launch Details Revealed). Either way, it's a very exciting time to be a car enthusiast and we can't wait to see what Tesla does next!
Update May 5, 2016
Ludicrous mode has been confirmed as being an option on the Model 3 as expected.
Tesla has also officially announced that their original goal of building 500,00 cars annually by 2020 has changed. They now expect to build 500,000 cars annually by 2018! Ambitious? Certainly! Reality? Maybe. Right now they were building 1,000 cars per week and expect to double that to 2,000 per week for the second half of 2016. They'll need to reach over 9,600 cars per week to make a 500k annual production goal.
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