Tesla finally released details of their highly anticipated Model 3, at an event Friday evening, handing out keys to the first 30 production cars, which consisted of vehicles for employees (CEO Elon Musk received the first car).
Let’s take a look at specs for the Model 3, which is made from steel and aluminum. We’ve converted imperial measurements to metric and U.S. dollars to Canadian for ease of reference:
- $35,000 USD ($43,517 CAD)
- 220 miles range (352km)
- 5.6 sec 0-60 mph (0-96 km)
- 130 mph (208 km) top speed
- Home charging rate: 30 miles (48 km) of range per hour (240V outlet, 32A)
- Battery warranty: 8 years/100,000 miles (160,000 km)
- Vehicle: 4 year / 50,000 (80,467 km) mile limited warranty
- Deliveries: starting Fall 2017
- $44,000 USD ($54,707 CAD)
- 310 miles range (499 km)
- 5.1 sec 0-60 mph (0-96 km)
- 140 mph (225 km) top speed
- Home charging rate: 37 miles (60 km) of range per hour (240V outlet, 40A)
- Battery warranty: 8 years/120,000 miles (193,121 km)
- Vehicle: 4 year / 50,000 (80,467 km) mile limited warranty
- Deliveries: starting July 2017
Electrek was one of many press outlets that attended the Model 3 event and were provided specs and extra options of the Tesla 3, listed below:
- 15” touchscreen display
- Dual zone climate control system
- FM/Internet streaming radio
- Textile seating
- Front Center console with open storage and two USB ports
- Onboard maps and navigation
- Wi-Fi and LTE internet connectivity
- Keyless entry and remote climate control using the Tesla app
- Voice activated controls
- Bluetooth hands-free calling and media streaming
- 60/40 split folding rear seat to maximize cargo options
- Back-up camera
- Auto dimming rear-view mirror
- One-touch power windows throughout
- Power-adjustable side mirrors
- 12-volt power outlet
As for safety, the event showed the Model 3 beating out the Volvo S60 in a side impact test, with Musk saying “In the Model 3, you’re fine,” adding “The Volvo is wrapped like a burrito around a coat hanger. It’s not good.” Well played, Elon.
- Full LED exterior lighting
- Seven cameras, forward radar and twelve ultrasonic sensors enabling active safety technologies including collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking
- Six front row and two side curtain airbags
- Three-point safety belts with belt-reminders for driver and four passengers
- Two LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) attachments in second row
- Electronic stability and traction control
- Four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic parking brake
- Child safety locks
- Anti-theft alarm system
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- Supercharging rate: 170 miles (274 km) of range per 30 minutes
- Deep Blue Metallic: $1,000 USD ($1,243 CAD)
- Silver Metallic: $1,000 USD
- Pearl White Multi-Coat: $1,000 USD
- Red Multi-Coat: $1,000 USD
- 19” Sport: $1,500 USD ($1,865 CAD)
- Premium heated seating and cabin materials throughout, including open pore wood décor and two rear USBs
- 12-way, power adjustable front seats, steering column and side mirrors, with custom driver profiles
- Premium audio system with more power, tweeters, surround speakers and subwoofer
- Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection
- Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors
- LED fog lamps
- Center console with covered storage and docking for two smartphones
- Match speed to traffic conditions, stay within a lane, automatically change lanes, transition from one highway to another, exit the highway and self-park at destination.
- Autonomous driving in the future with no human interaction needed
- Dependent upon extensive software validation and regulatory approval by region
CEO Elon Musk told reporters ahead of its event, “We’re going to go through at least six months of manufacturing hell,” saying 10,000 unique components make up each Model 3, and if any supplier hits a bump, it affects final production. About 70 per cent of parts come from NAFTA countries, with the remaining from elsewhere, said the CEO.
At its Fremont factory, Musk said “In the same amount of space that it takes to build 50,000 Model Ss, we can build 250,000 Model 3s,” according to Ars Technica. The goal is to manufacture 500,000 Model 3s per year, with predictions 50,000 cars will hit the streets in 2018.
The CEO said (via Bloomberg) “We finally have a great, affordable, electric car—that’s what this day means,” adding “I’m really confident this will be the best car in this price range, hands down. Judge for yourself.”
Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen—he designed the Model S, X and 3—told Bloomberg, “The interior is nothing like any other car out there,” adding “When you get in the car, how does it feel? When you see the car, how does it make you feel? When you drive the car, what does it inspire in you?”
Ars says both Standard and Long Range have different batteries—so you won’t be able to “software unlock” an upgrade in the future, like on existing Model S and X models. The Model 3 uses newer, larger battery cells versus Model S and Model X:
But both cars use 2170 cells in the battery—that is, the cells are slightly bigger than those found in the Model S and X at 21mm by 70mm, and they can deliver almost twice what the current 18650 cells deliver to the Model S and X in terms of current. The pack itself is also more integrated with the charger and the rest of the car in its build.
Other Model 3 tidbits:
- Door handles: push in on left, and pull from the right
- No key: uses your smartphone Tesla app; NFC keycard provided to put in your wallet to give to valet or if you lose your iPhone/Android #dudewheresmyiphone
- Vents are integrated into the dash and controlled by touchscreen
According to Musk, there are “over half a million” Model 3 reservations put down, at $1,000 a pop ($500 million bucks).
As for the driving experience itself, it felt a lot like a Model S 60 with a 0-60 acceleration of 5.1 seconds.
Despite being about 1,000 pounds lighter than the Model S, it felt very solid with sharp handling, especially in “sport” steering mode. It benefits from the same architecture as its predecessors with the battery pack laying flat close to the ground between the axles.
I honestly didn’t have enough time with the car to form a valuable opinion on the driving experience, but my first impression is that it feels solid for a vehicle of its size and again, very comparable to the base Model S in term of driving.
While Canadian specific pricing is not available yet, if we factor in just the exchange rate alone, here’s what it would cost for a maxed-out Tesla Model 3 ‘Long Range’ configuration, in Canadian dollars:
- Long Range: $54,707 (+$11,190 upgrade over Standard)
- Metallic paint: $1,243
- 19” Sport wheels: $1,865
- Premium package: $6,216
- Enhanced Autopilot: $6,216
- Full self driving capability: $3,730
- Total before taxes/credits: $73,977 CAD
Tesla’s website says new Model 3 reservations in Canada have a delivery estimate of mid-2018 or later.
A new Tesla Model S with 75 kWh battery starts at $113,100 CAD, a nearly $40,000 difference.
Is the Model 3 the most affordable Tesla right now? Maybe in the U.S., but the Canadian dollar isn’t helping. If you’re buying a Tesla, you’re buying it for their autopilot technology and charging network, something rivals have yet to catch up on.
Below is the full Model 3 event, where Musk thanked everyone for believing in the company and putting down money for reservations:
Click here to buy a Model 3, Model S or Model X and get 1,500km free Supercharging.