Priced at $35,000 in the US this is the most affordable Tesla ever – and the goal is to really hit mass production levels for a company that has had widespread attention, innovation but relatively low sales in the global scheme of things.
Elon Musk took to the stage in the US today to unveil the Model 3, emphasising the importance of the long road that has gotten the company to this point.
Starting with the low production Roadster, the company perfected its electric car credentials leading it to the highly regarded Model S. Using that same platform they more recently released the Model X – an SUV.
But the end goal was always to have a vehicle which could be sold in much larger numbers. The Model 3 is that car.
Smaller, yet still big enough for five adults (“comfortably”), the Model 3 is an entirely new platform.
Musk admitted that sales of the Model S and Model X had funded the development of the Model 3 – thanking those owners, the same owners who now get priority in the delivery queue for the Model 3.
Australian pricing is not available, that will come when production nears (at the end of 2017!) but Tesla assure EFTM that they will be keeping the price as close to parity as possible – meaning a sub-$50,000 car could be possible. I still think $60-$70,000 is the more likely price for a car with decent range and capabilities, so anything under that will be a bonus.
Range for the battery-powered vehicle will start at 345km, which means the roughly 250km spacing of the Supercharging locations across the East-coast of Australia will suit the Model 3 as well as it does the Model S today.
Inside, the car takes a wider sweep at the radical “high-tech car” with a larger wide-screen centre console display. Though it seems the dashboard will be a head-up display only with no obvious room for a dash on the models shown at launch.
It’s a year or more away from production and delivery, and many more years away from hitting Australian shores.
But – it’s an impressive launch, a great large hatch-back design and performance will sit well alongside it’s “insane” big brother the Model S, doing 0-100 in less than 6 seconds.