Long-legged Tesla Model 3 Revealed, but It's Not For You

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

By “you,” we mean those of you not living in China. In that country, however, customers will soon have access to a Tesla Model 3 variant with more range than what’s available in North America.

As Tesla’s Shanghai assembly plant ramps up production and adds more variation to its offerings, Tesla is in a good position to dominate the country’s “new energy vehicle” market. It also frees itself from import tariffs that suppressed sales via higher sticker prices.

The model revealed Friday is a rear-drive version of the Model 3 Long Range, which Reuters cites as having significantly more than 600 kilometers of driving range. That’s roughly 400 miles on (slightly more optimistic) overseas driving cycles.

A RWD Long Range once graced Tesla’s U.S. online showroom, but alas, no more.

Previously, Chinese buyers were able to buy an imported AWD Long Range model built in California, with customers swallowing the import costs. The longer-ranged new model is said to carry an after-subsidy entry price of just over $48,000. The imported AWD model (range: 322 miles) set buyers back more than $62,500. Deliveries begin in June.

Early next year, Shanghai will begin cranking out Performance variants of the model 3, dropping that model’s price from above $72,000 to below $60,000.

News of the new additions to Tesla’s Chinese factory come as the automaker celebrates a sales milestone in that country. Despite the sales disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic (a scourge China says it has now mostly eradicated), March proved to be Tesla’s best sales month to date in the People’s Republic. The 10,160 Tesla vehicles delivered last month made up 30 percent of the country’s battery electric vehicle volume.

[Image: Aleksei Potov/Shutterstock]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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