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Tesla Model 3 details revealed

By raccars Published

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After some 400,000 pre-orders, CEO Elon Musk has released details of the new Tesla Model 3.

After a spectacular but vague introduction earlier in the month which saw it swamped with pre-orders for the forthcoming Model 3 electric saloon, Tesla has now given us some details about the car, which is due to reach the market in 2017.

Tesla Model 3 aiming for world domination

We've known the name of the Model 3 for two years and Tesla has had it under development for significantly longer than that. This is the car that Tesla hopes will enable it to join the mainstream, an all-electric compact executive model which is smaller and cheaper than the company's Model S.

Its manufacturer hopes the Model 3 will offer buyers an alternative to the marker leaders in the sector, the BMW 3 Series, the Audi A4, Jaguar XE and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. In the USA, prices will start at the equivalent of about £24,000, although it's expected that most buyers will add optional extras taking the price closer to £30,000.

While electric cars were once a hard sell, the Model 3 appears to be an easy prospect for its manufacturer. An initial introductory press conference on 2 April gave away very little but Tesla had received more a quarter of a million pre-orders for the car within two days and momentum has been building throughout the month.

Indeed the electric powertrain will make the Model 3 stand out in a market crowded with more conventional powertrains. The Model 3 also has an interesting price tag attached; while UK models are likely to cost somewhere in the region of £35,000, the car is eligible for the Government's low emissions subsidy, making it very competitive in an expensive marketplace.

Performance statistics

There's more data to come but Tesla has promised a range of at least 215 miles from the electric motor and lithium ion battery combination. Tesla is also known for its commitment to performance and the Model 3 will reach 60mph in six seconds flat in basic format, with high performance versions yet to come.

The basic model will come in rear wheel drive format but there will also be dual motor, all wheel drive versions. Both models benefit from the excellent body control that comes of placing the weight of the motor and battery pack at the bottom of the car.

The car's dashboard is starkly minimalist, with the only real feature being a large touchscreen containing all the relevant driving information and infotainment controls. There's plenty of room in the futuristic cabin and even taller passengers will feel quite comfortable in the rear. The roof is mostly made up of glass, which adds to the spaceship ambiance.

Expanded charging network

Meanwhile Tesla has also announced another 150 Destination Chargers in its European network, 26 of which are in the UK. The chargers are located at restaurants, hotels, ski resorts and shopping centres and will allow Model S and Model X owners to recharge while eating, shopping or relaxing.

Like the company's Superchargers, the Destination Chargers are free to use for owners of the Model S, although they work slowly. They top up at a rate of 58 miles of range for an hour of charging, compared to 170 miles of range within an hour from the Supercharger. The Model 3 is also expected to have access to the chargers when it reaches the market.

Elon Musk is a very busy man; he's also been to Norway this month to take part in a transport conference during which he hinted that he was involved in an autonomous public transport project...

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