After much anticipation, Tesla has unveiled the long awaited Model 3, with the intention of targeting the affordable marketplace. This vehicle is intended to launch Tesla into the mainstream, but in order to achieve this it must be demonstrably better value than existing Tesla vehicles. So what do we know about the Model 3 after this initial Tesla event, and how does it compare with the popular Model X?
When a major product release such as the Model 3 is unveiled for the first time, it would be unrealistic to expect the manufacturer to reveal all of the information related to it. Apple makes a habit of playing some of its cards close to its chest with the considerably less complex iPhone range, so Tesla is obviously likely to withhold some of the data related to the Model 3.
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But as Tesla announced ahead of the release of the vehicle, the five-seater Model 3 will be the cheapest vehicle by some distance that Tesla has ever manufactured. Tesla has honored the $35,000 price tag that the base unit was always anticipated to deliver, and with tax credits available from the US government for the first 200,000 sales of this vehicle, this is certainly an attractive price point. Indeed, it is almost unheralded for an electric vehicle, although some of the competitors for the Model 3 do retail at a slightly lower RRP.
Elon Musk announced that the goal of Tesla is to manufacture around 500,000 vehicles annually once production is fully operative, so this does mean that the discount is not likely to be available for a huge amount of time.
Additionally, the range of the vehicle is slightly broader than was anticipated by analysts, with the Model 3 delivering at least 250 miles on a single charge. This is in the ballpark of what was expected for the Model 3, but estimates had generally been around at the 200-mile mark, so the extra mileage will certainly be welcomed.
From day one, the Model 3 has been proclaimed as an extremely high-performance vehicle, and it does seem that Tesla has delivered on this promise. Even the base model of the vehicle has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than six seconds, but those shelling out for improved versions of the vehicle will find even faster acceleration possible.
Tesla has also announced that the autopilot safety feature that is found in other Tesla vehicles will be present in the Model 3. This enables cars to effectively steer themselves and ensure that collisions with other vehicles are avoided. This is an attractive safety feature, and there was speculation ahead of its release regarding whether or not it would be financially viable to include autopiloting In the Model 3 considering its affordable price tag, so many fans of electric vehicles will be glad that Tesla has delivered on this.
Supercharging will also be supported as standard, meaning even the base unit of the Model 3 will be able to recharge more quickly at the network of power stations that Tesla has built. Tesla also has massive plans in place to double the number of locations offering supercharging to around 7,200 worldwide by the end of 2017.
There is also storage room at both the front and rear of the vehicle, and the notorious Musk also claimed that the car will feel more spacious to passengers than petrol-based cars of a similar size owing to design decisions that Tesla has implemented by not including a combustion engine. “You are sitting a little further forward. That’s what gives you the legroom to have five adults,” Musk explained.
Naturally, as is well known, the Model X is significantly more expensive than the Model 3. Indeed, this Tesla vehicle retails at $80,000, meaning that the base unit of the car is more than double the price of the new Tesla contender.
But this is a seriously speedy electric car. The Tesla Model X has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds via its so-called Ludicrous Mode. In fact, it is generally believed that this is the fastest SUV on the planet. It is possible that some of the more expensive variants of the Model 3 will come close to this figure, but we do know that the base unit of the Tesla vehicle is certainly not capable of accelerating at this rate.
Additionally, the Model X does go further on a single charge than the Model 3, with the range of the vehicle reckoned to be just over 250 miles. It is also worth noting that there has been some speculation that the Tesla Model 3 will not gain free access to the charging station network as is the case with the Model X, but Tesla neglected to confirm or deny this at the unveiling event.
The Model X includes all of the features which were announced for the Model 3 by Tesla, as would indeed be expected considering its significantly weightier price tag. However, in design terms this is a bulky and less nifty vehicle, although the increased space available will obviously appeal to some consumers.
The Model 3 will unquestionably appeal to consumers on a budget far more than the Model X. The Model X is a premium vehicle, and one that comes with a pretty hefty price tag. Tesla has been extremely successful with its vehicle range thus far, and this is a testimony to the quality of its portfolio considering the other vehicles that could be purchased for the same price, but it does seem that the Model 3 is a timely release for the corporation.
Considering that Tesla does not have quite the same kudos and esteem as some other luxury car manufacturers, the Model 3 is a perfect addition to its existing vehicle range. Although the Model 3 outperforms this vehicle, its specifications are extremely respectable, and this will undoubtedly attract lots of environmentally-conscious consumers to the Model 3.
Given that the Model 3 is less than half the price of the Model X, it must be viewed as the better value for money buy ahead of its release.