Electric car fanatics who have had March 31 penciled into their diaries for quite some time now only have a matter of days to wait for the unveiling of the Model 3. This Tesla attempt to manufacture a more affordable and truly mainstream electric vehicle will finally see the light of day before the week is out, and it is perhaps not surprising that the company has thus been rather secretive about its development.
It is ironic that Tesla may be competing directly with Apple and its Apple Car in the foreseeable future, as Tesla has adopted a level of secrecy that could be associated with the Californian company. The only information that has really seeped out definitively from Tesla ahead of this vehicle release has emanated directly from the soon-to-be divorced CEO Elon Musk.
But we do know a little about what to expect from the Model 3, so here is all the information that can be confirmed ahead of its unveiling.
Tesla Model 3 Price tag
Tesla has already confirmed that the Model 3 will retail at $35,000 when it is finally released. To put this figure into perspective, this is around half the money that would be required to purchase a brand new Model S. However, some critics have pointed out that vehicles such as the Audi A3, BMW 2-series and Mercedes CLA-class are all more affordable than the Tesla offering, and this will surely have some bearing on its ultimate success.
However, the Tesla Model 3 will also be available with a government tax credit of $7,500 for a certain period of time, owing to its environmental-friendly status. This does mean that the Model 3 is a more value for money vehicle than would otherwise be the case, and those interested in purchasing the Model 3 would be recommended to get their pre-orders in as quickly as possible. This tax credit will only last until 200,000 units are shifted, and Tesla plans for this to be not much more than a year after the Model 3 arrives in garages.
The Tesla Model 3 will travel to 200 miles on a single charge, which is slightly less than the significantly more expensive Model S, but nearly twice the range of the Nissan Leaf. In addition, it is expected that the 200-mile figure relates to the base model of the Model 3, and that bigger batteries will be available in the foreseeable future. However, it should be noted that analysts generally believe that the Model 3 will not be available with expandable battery provisions in the initial orders of the vehicle.
Rather an obvious aspect of the Model 3 is that it will be a standard four-door sedan. It is notable, though, that the vehicle is significantly smaller than its Model S cousin. However, Tesla is expected to base a wide variety of future versions on the Model 3 platform, with speculation particularly focusing on a crossover vehicle that could be described as a mini-SUV. Leaked data has also suggested that numerous other Tesla vehicles are in the offing based on the Model 3 design.
Reports have indicated that Tesla was considering building the Model 3 as the Model E at one time, which would have led to a slightly suggestive joke. With the other major vehicle releases from the manufacturer being the Model S and the Model X, it should be obvious what the three letters attached to these Tesla electric cars could spell…
However, Tesla shelved of this idea when it became clear that Ford had already trademarked the Model E name, so the more mischievous Tesla fans will not get their wish.
Tesla certainly hasn’t told us anything too concrete about the performance or specifications of the Model 3, but it is known that the vehicle will have similar luxury and performance aspirations to the existing Model S. The general consensus of analyst opinion is that the Model 3 will compete with the small luxury sedans such as the Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series. It was even reported by The Street that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has targeted these particular vehicles as direct competition.
While we do not know the precise measurements and capabilities of the Model 3, we can examine these two vehicles in order to get some idea of what the Model 3 may be capable. Of the two German sedans, the A4 is the newest, having been fully redesigned for the 2017 model year. This new Audi vehicle has an overall length of 186.1 inches, a wheelbase of 111 inches, and a width of 72.5 inches.
The BMW is a slightly smaller and sleeker vehicle, measuring 182.5 inches long with a 110.6-inch wheelbase, and the German car is 71.3 inches wide. There is obviously an extremely minimal difference in size between these two vehicles, effectively only a couple of percentage points, so we should also expect the Model 3 to be in the same ballpark in terms of size.
It has been stated, though, that the Tesla Model 3 will be capable of outperforming either of the two German vehicles in terms of acceleration. A time of 4.1 seconds has been mentioned with regard of its ability to accelerate from nought to 60, and this would exceed the capabilities of either the Audi A4 or BMW 3-Series.
It is generally considered that the release date of the vehicle will be toward the end of 2017; indeed, Musk has stated this himself. However, Tesla is notorious for missing release dates, and it should not be taken as guaranteed that the Model 3 will indeed appear before the end of 2017. Tesla will not rush out this vehicle despite the economic incentive to do so, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising if was instead released in 2018.
Finally, we also got a look over the last few days at the reservation agreement that keen Model 3 consumers will have to agree to ahead of pre-orders. Numerous terms are available in the two-page PDF form, and it won’t be long until many consumers are indeed signing up to these conditions.