By Steve & Tamami Laser
Sixteen months ago, Elon Musk introduced the new Tesla Model 3 at the company’s design studios in Hawthorne, Calif. As the most affordable model in the line of electric vehicles, Model 3 had a target base price of $35,000 with deliveries expected to begin by the end of 2017.
Today, at Tesla’s manufacturing plant in Fremont, the first 30 production cars were delivered to their owners. Model 3 prices do indeed start at $35,000 (before potential tax credits and not including options, etc.). Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of folks have placed Model 3 orders, which will keep Tesla busy meeting the demand for many months ahead.
In this video that was streamed live on Tesla’s website, Elon Musk delivers the first Model 3 electric vehicles to customers. (video: Tesla)
Tesla says the ramp-up will see long-range battery Model 3 deliveries begin for regular customers in October, with production of the regular battery Model 3 starting in November. All-wheel-drive production is scheduled to start in spring 2018, with international delivery of left-hand-drive models slated for the second half of next year. Production of right-hand-drive models is expected to start in 2019.
Musk drove a red Model 3 onto the stage to start the presentation. As the slide above shows, the standard Model 3 starts at $35,000, has a quoted 220 mile driving range, goes 0-60 in 5.6 seconds, and a top speed of 130 mph. For about $44,000, the long-range battery increases driving range to 310 miles, 0-60 drops to 5.1 sec. and top speed is boosted to 140 mph.
Let’s take a look at the price sheet and see what a Model 3 buyer on a budget could get for $35,000. On the outside, Solid Black is the standard color. Choosing a different hue, among the list of Midnight Silver, Deep Blue, Silver, Pearl White or Red, adds $1,000. Eighteen-inch aero wheels are standard while 19-inch sport wheels add $1,500.
Standard equipment includes full LED exterior lighting, eight cameras, electronic stability and traction control, ABS, electronic parking brake, anti-theft alarm and a 4-year, 50,000-mile limited warranty. The battery warranty is 8 years, 100,000 miles or 120,000 miles with the long-range battery.
Inside, the cabin features a cool 15-inch touchscreen display, dual-zone climate control, FM/internet streaming radio, textile seating surfaces, and a front center console with open storage and two USB ports.
Convenience features include 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, backup camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror, one-touch power windows, power side mirrors and a 12-volt power outlet.
We could stop there and be happy with the base Model 3. Of course, the list of options is pretty tempting, staring with the long-range battery at $9,000.
A Premium Upgrade Package, at $5,000, includes premium heated seats and cabin materials with open-pore wood decor and two rear USBs, 12-way power front seats, steering column and mirrors with custom driver profiles, premium audio system, tinted glass roof with UV and IR protection, auto-dimming, power-folding mirrors, LED fog lights, and a center console with covered storage and docking for two smartphones.
Tesla says Enhanced Autopilot, listed at $5,000, “allows the Model 3 to match speed to traffic conditions, keep within a lane, automatically change lanes, transition from one freeway to another, exit the freeway and self-park at your destination. Additional features will roll out over time through software updates.”
Full Self-Driving Capability adds $3,000 and requires Enhanced Autopilot. “In the future, Model 3 will be capable of conducting trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat. This feature is dependent upon extensive software validation and regulatory approval, which may vary by jurisdiction.”
Adding every option available to date would bring the bottom line to $59,500. That’s getting close to the base price of the larger Model S.
What’s next? According to the product plan, the Tesla Model Y is an upcoming crossover that’s said to be smaller than the Model X. While we don’t expect to see it for another couple of years, once all the vehicles are in production, the Tesla line up will become S-3-X-Y.
For more information on the Model 3, visit Tesla Motors.
Prices, features, specifications and launch timing for U.S. market models are subject to change without notice by the automaker.
News source, photos and video from Tesla Motors
Story © 2017 CarNichiWa.com