Tesla delivered the first examples of its compact Model 3 sedan late July to roughly 30 company employees, a day after revealing the car’s specs at a press conference.
The Model 3 will start at the $35,000 US (before incentives) that CEO Elon Musk’d promised earlier; however Tesla still hasn’t announced Canadian pricing, having said only that information will be revealed this year, with the first cars coming north of the border in 2018.
Unlike the other cars in Tesla’s range, the Model 3’s trim designations are not based on the capacity of the car’s battery pack. But the base Model 3 boasts a driving range of 220 miles (about 345 km), acceleration potential of zero-to-60 mph (96 km/h) in 5.6 seconds, and a top speed of 130 mph (209 km/h).
A “long-range battery” model costs $44,000 US, can go a claimed 310 miles (about 500 km) on a charge; it does zero-to-96 km/h in 5.1 seconds, and can eventually hit 140 mph (225 km/h).
Musk’s revealed at the conference that initial production will focus on that larger battery pack in order to simplify the manufacturing process, so at the moment, there is effectively no such thing as a $35,000 Model 3.
As production ramps up, Musk says the company will also add an AWD version of the car, with a dual-motor drivetrain (like that in the larger Model S) that will go further and accelerate more quickly.
Other key specifications include a 15-inch touchscreen display, dual-zone climate control, navigation, wi-fi and LTE connectivity, keyless entry, remote climate control, backup camera, full-LED exterior lighting, electric parking brake, and seven exterior cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors to direct the car’s active safety features.
Warranty coverage is four years/80,000-km bumper-to-bumper, while the battery is warranted for eight years and 160,000 km (or 200,000 km with the long-range battery).
Early reports suggest the Model 3 is as well-built and pleasant to drive as promised, but
some people who put money down early and later changed their minds are having trouble getting their $1,000 deposits back in a timely fashion.