Revealed: The Tesla Model 3 Offers 215 Miles of Range and a Vague Delivery Date

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

The Tesla Model 3 had its curtain of hype lifted tonight, and it exists after all.

Sleek, with pronounced shoulders and a roofline that slopes to the decklid, the newest Tesla remains over a year away from production, but at least it now has a face.

Or lack thereof. But more on that later.

Tesla founder Elon Musk said the Model 3 will have an EPA-rated range of “at least” 215 miles, and will retail for $35,000. Every Model 3 — even base versions — will hit 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds.

“These are minimum numbers,” said Musk. “We hope to exceed them.”

Musk’s allusion to a performance range implies that a dual motor setup could be an option.

The Model 3’s recessed dash means that front-seat occupants will sit well forward, allowing enough legroom for five adults. The rear roof is a solid pane of glass that begins just ahead of the rear seat passengers and continues to the trunklid.

With storage up front and in the back, Musk promised that the Model 3 would have “more cargo capacity than any gasoline car with the same exterior dimensions.”

Safety is “paramount” for Musk, who said the Model 3 will achieve five-star crash ratings in every category, and each version will come with Autopilot autonomous hardware installed.

Viewed from the front, the Model 3 vaguely resembles a Porsche Panamera. However, besides a slit in the lower fascia, the centre of the Model’s 3’s face is scrubbed clean of features. That flat expanse seems to be the vehicle’s only controversial element.

More details on the Model 3 will be revealed during “Phase 2” of the launch, which won’t happen until much closer to production.

Musk unveiled the model after explaining how the Roadster, Model S and X were all part of his three-pronged master plan to produce the societal change (and cash) needed to market a mass-produced electric car at an attainable price.

On the same day he began accepting $1,000 pre-orders from prospective buyers, Musk said over 115,000 people have signed up for the Model 3.

In order to have charging infrastructure in place for buyers, Musk said Tesla will double the number of Supercharger stations by the end of next year — 7,200 worldwide. Destination chargers will also double in number, to 15,000.

Tesla’s dealer network, which currently numbers 215 locations, will rise to 441 in the same time period.

Production of the Model 3 is expected to begin in late 2017, with the first units off the line going to existing Tesla owners on the west coast.

When exactly will the first deliveries be made? Musk couldn’t say.

“Well, they’re next year,” said Musk. “I do feel fairly confident it will be next year.”

[Image: Tesla Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • JonBoy470 JonBoy470 on Apr 01, 2016

    Personally I like the minimalist Dieter Rams Jony Ive interior. It's clean, and lacking all the busy useless bullshit inside that so many cars have these days. As for post-sale service, it needs almost nothing in terms of routine maintenance, compared to a gas car.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Apr 03, 2016

    The current Tesla sells to well off folks who'd otherwise lease another E class, and have at least one regular vehicle in the driveway, so they don't need 110 % uptime and don't have range anxiety. We have a few in town. The Tesla sits next to a premium SUV and a CamCord, or frequently, an enthusiast piece. Moving downmarket is to see the car to one car households, who will have range issues, and will need 110% uptime. I see a lot of folks buying into the hype, and while I'd buy a car from Tesla, I'd not give them money in the hopes of getting one. You know this company still loses money, save pollution credits, right ? For the simple fact of running a spreadsheet, and taking money, they got hype they could not buy or afford to advertise. That is the real bottom line in this situation-it isn't like there is a lot full of these awaiting delivery. "We've no product for a year, media coverage has turned on us, what to do ? Hey we can pull an Apple !!

    • See 2 previous
    • Vulpine Vulpine on Apr 04, 2016

      @derekson "When did Apple make people pay up for the right to order a product that is coming out in 18 months?" A cell phone is not a car. Irrelevant simile. If someone wants to order a car even from the long-established OEMs, they have to wait an average of three months on an American-built car and up to six months and longer for a European- or Asian-built car. That's for cars already in production. Cars just take longer, as seen by the auto-show circuit where a new concept may take up to four years (and in some cases ten years or more) to reach the showrooms.

  • Jalop1991 What is this "dealer" thing Ford speaks of?
  • Picard234 So this release amounts to 2.7 hours of gasoline consumption in the US. You won't even see a penny. The administration is draining the reserves for political optics, nothing more.
  • ToolGuy If that nice young man really wants to help this hardworking American, he can have his people deliver the gasoline directly to my fuel tank. Thanks in advance.[42 million gallons divided by 233 million licensed drivers in the U.S. makes 'my' share almost two 12-ounce soda cans. This is huge, thanks for the effort lol.]
  • The Oracle Farley proves once again he is WAY in over his head.
  • Theflyersfan Gas prices went up $1.00/gal today at the three stations I just passed to get home. Was there a war? No? Could it be oil company greed? Perhaps.