Tesla Model 3 production version debuts, with full pricing info
Months have flown by since the day Tesla announced the Model 3, a baby brother to the popular Model S sedan. After numerous spy shots, rumours, renderings and a faceless prototype, production of the Model 3 has actually started and the very first example is slated for the company’s CEO, Elon Musk.
The Model 3, slotted in under the Model S and Model X, serves as a stepping stone to the highly revered Tesla lineup. The fully-electric compact executive sedan was revealed in March 2016. The new pictures of the actual car received by Elon Musk show us what the Model 3 looks like in production form. The Model 3 has a fascia that resembles the bigger Model S. The grill is almost non-existent at the front. The fastback profile is retained but the compact dimensions of the Model 3 give it a fatter look.
The Model 3 is powered by a purely electric drivetrain that will power the car from 0 to 100 kph in less than 6 seconds. The electric range is a respectable 346 km. Tesla is also working to double the number of Supercharging stations that they have in the U.S. by the end of 2017, although they will not be free for Model 3 owners.
Tesla is now planning to conduct a “handover” party for delivering the first 30 cars to their owners who have endured the long waiting time to get their hands on one. Tesla aims to cross 20,000 deliveries by the end of this year.
Prices for the Model 3 starts at US $35,000, and will likely cost around Dhs 150,000 in the UAE when a few reach here in 2018. For now, there is only one showroom in Dubai, while Tesla salesmen have been spotted hawking cars around the city. The fact remains that apartment-dwellers (which is the majority of the population) cannot realistically manage to charge these cars without going out of their way to find charging stations, and then loiter around during the inconveniently-long charging periods required.
Update: After the Model 3 launch party in California, new details have emerged after the first 30 cars were handed over (allegedly to simply their own employees). It turns out that choosing any colour other than black raises the Model 3’s price by US$ 1,000. An upgraded interior package costs another US$ 5,000, adding upgraded 12-way power heated seats, open-pore wood trim, a high-end audio system, and a centre console with docking for two smartphones. All Model 3 trims get some assisted driving features, such as emergency braking and collision avoidance, but if you want “Autopilot” features such as lane-departure prevention, the ability to exit highways autonomously, and self-parking, that’ll cost another US$ 5,000. Tesla also offers the hardware for full self-driving capability at a cost of another US$ 3,000, but the software won’t be available until regulations allow it, so it will be vestigial for now.
The standard Model 3 boasts a range of 352 km and does 0-100 kph in about 5.9 seconds. The long-range Model 3, with a range of 496 km, a 0-100 kph time of about 5.4 seconds and faster charging capability, starts at US$ 44,000. Only the long-range models are currently being built, with the standard model starting production in November 2017. Expect the range to be lower in our weather.
A full-option standard model actually ends up being Dhs 162,000. A full-option long-range model costs Dhs 213,500. This is a far cry from the black base model’s Dhs 129,000. And these are U.S. prices. Here, the cars would cost even more. With all the issues regarding charging infrastructure, electric motoring is a long way away for most middle-class folks.