Official: Tesla unveils Model 3 a.k.a. its affordable electric car

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 1, 2016

The long wait is finally over as Tesla Motors Inc., revealed the Model 3 at its design center in Hawthorne, California. This will be the company’s first affordable electric car and its fourth model to be released. The first is the high-price but low-volume Roadster, the second being the higher-volume uber sedan Model S, while the third is the functional and high-volume Model X crossover.

Tesla Model 3 is expected to begin sales late next year with a price tag of $35,000. Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk disclosed during the event that for the past 24 hours, the company had already received 115,000 pre-orders at $1,000 each.

The Model 3 has the grille-less front end similar to that of the Model X but the overall appearance seems to be the mini version of its Model S. The interior though is a level higher compared to the Model S and Model X, especially with an infotainment screen that is the largest ever in a vehicle.

The infotainment screen starts from the dashboard and extends to an arm and has a look that is like a 4K monitor that many graphic designers use. Images of the Model 3 are available in the gallery. CEO Musk further revealed that the Model 3 has undergone the tests conducted by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and has achieved 5 stars on all categories.

All the trim levels of the Model 3 will be equipped with safety features and the company’s Autopilot hardware.

CEO Musk also gave an update on the growth and size of the Supercharger network as it will provide support to the Model 3. As such, all versions of the Model 3 will have the Supercharging capability as standard.

The company projects that the size of its Supercharger network worldwide will double by the end of 2017 to 7,200 stations with destination chargers expected to triple in number to 15,000. Compared to Tesla vehicle owners for the past years, owners of the Model 3 will be able to get better service and sales support for their vehicles.

Tesla reveals that by the end of next year, the number of support facilities will go from 215 to 441 locations. Prior to the launching of the Model 3, CEO Musk tweeted that the event would only be “Part 1” of the Model 3’s official debut.

While the company has yet to know when part 2 will occur, the debut of the Model 3 will still provide the automotive world with plenty of matters to debate on.

Powertrain

In terms of performance, it’s impressive that the slowest Model 3 can go from 0 to 60 mph in not even 6 seconds. The company however disclosed that a quicker version will be made available.

It has, however, an EPA-certified range measuring at least 215 miles. What this means is that the Model 3 has enough mileage to beat the Chevy Bolt with a range of more than 200 miles.

According to CEO Musk, this newest offering will also offer more space and comfort compared to combustion cars with a similar size.

The reason for this is that since the batteries have been placed beneath the floor, engineers at Tesla were able to not only move its front seats forward but also had a more compact instrument panel built in.

The result is that passengers in the rear get more space. Model 3 can comfortably seat five adults. With the amount of space available, one can even fit in a 7-foot-long surfboard.

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