Tesla Model 3 – production entry-level model unveiled

Tesla Model 3 – production entry-level model unveiled

It’s been more than a year since the Tesla Model 3 – the cheapest model by the Palo Alto company – was revealed in prototype form, but the production car has finally seen the light of day. The first units of the new electric sedan has been delivered to customers at an event at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California.

The mini-Model S exterior has been virtually unchanged, retaining the tall LED headlights, grille-less front fascia, sweeping roofline and stubby tail with L-shaped LED tail lights. Two wheel options are offered, with an 18-inch Aero design coming as standard and a 19-inch Sport version costing an extra US$1,500 (RM6,400).

For the first time, Tesla has revealed the interior of the Model 3, which features a simple horizontal dashboard dominated by a massive 15-inch touchscreen. There’s no traditional instrument cluster – everything is shown on the centre display, including speed – and there are almost no hard buttons around the cabin. A large rear windscreen extends over the heads of the rear passengers, increasing the sense of airiness.

Unlike the Model S and Model X before it, the Model 3 doesn’t come with a key – unlocking and starting your car is all done through an app on your smartphone. Buyers can also specify a US$5,000 (RM21,300) Premium Upgrades Pack which throws in heated seats with 12-way powered adjustment at the front, a premium sound system and a glass roof.

Tesla Model 3 – production entry-level model unveiled

The Model 3 comes with eight cameras, forward radar and 12 ultrasonic sensors that provide driver assists like collision avoidance and autonomous emergency braking. A US$5,000 Enhanced Autopilot throws in semi-autonomous driving features such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping and changing and parking, while an extra US$3,000 (RM12,800) gives the car full self-driving capability, subject to regulations.

As promised, prices start at US$35,000 (RM149,800) and for that you’ll get a car with a range of 354 km, as well as being able to sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds before reaching a top speed of 209 km/h. Another US$9,000 (RM38,500) adds a long range battery that pushes range to 499 km, cuts the 0-100 km/h acceleration time to 5.1 seconds and extends the top speed to 225 km/h.

One more thing – for that price, you’ll have to pay to charge it via Tesla’s network of Superchargers, whereas the service comes free for the first 400 kWh per year with the Model S and Model X. Although deliveries have begun, production is currently at low volumes, with plans to ramp up progressively – so buyers who place their orders today are only expected to receive their cars in 12 to 18 months.

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.

 

Comments

  • arowana on Jul 31, 2017 at 11:37 am

    LOL Elon Musk why he’s so nervous while doing the presentation.. the big boss of Tesla also no confidence when talking to audience meh?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 31
    • Leafable on Jul 31, 2017 at 11:53 am

      Do you prefer a CEO that let their results/products do the “CONFIDENCE” talking or the “CONFIDENCE” CEO talking BS with no real result/product? I know where my money will go to.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2
      • Periasamy on Jul 31, 2017 at 1:03 pm

        US35k is affordable to most US people. Come here become RM500k.

        Who can afford?

        Recent Tesla gomen bought also RM1 mil each and they bought quite a few. So much for prudence.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
        • Tesla gomen? Which country it came from?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
        • Greentech M’sia leases free tax TESLA cars.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
        • kzm (Member) on Jul 31, 2017 at 4:52 pm

          Affordable for everyone? Do you really ask American about that? any site i can go to confirm ur claim?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3
    • astroawani on Jul 31, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      the public already know that he speaks like that on the stage. If he’s an RPG character, you can say he has his speaking skills slided to the far left and his brains & knowledge maximized to the far right

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3
    • Muuuuj on Jul 31, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      Well he’s been known as someone that wants to explain every little thing to people but do not want to be complicated as much and had to be careful with what he says also. As CEO that have to present everything instead of PR, that’s hard. I heard that he also wants to talk everything about it but find it difficult in front a lot of people. It’s been know for a while now about his presentation and even interview. Oh well, he is a genius. Let the action do the talking though :D

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
  • I don’t know whether to call the interior simple… Or boring

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3
  • passion on Jul 31, 2017 at 11:56 am

    wow super kosong interior. fantastic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3
  • Tesla copy Mesidis floating ipad but with laptop screen? Sack the designer!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 13
  • Come in Malaysia, costs triple or even quadruple than original, even though its electric car. Btw, if come in Malaysia, put solar on top of the roof, to charge the car during traffic jam, more savings and efficient as Malaysia and hot weather already synonym.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • Ksatria on Jul 31, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    At last.. a Tesla for the mass.
    Hope it can land on our shores one day with reasonable price when our bolehland has sufficient charging facilities.
    350Km/charge would be a great efficient daily commuter for for me. Single tab-like centralised controls..hmmm no biggie..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
    • 12yrsold on Jul 31, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      Bro, I sincerely hope its for the mass. At US35k, that is about RM150k excluding taxes bro. That is hardly affordable for Malaysian. Lets hope it will be made affordable in 3-5 years time for Malaysian. Cheers…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Pak Syed on Jul 31, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Tesla, their advancement in technological and electric car engineering had made current global auto producers worried.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • Tauke Shah on Jul 31, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Perghhh habislah Proton

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • The Engineers -” hmmm.. the exterior took a lot of time to finish and it looks nice! But we have no F*$%ing time to design the interior, especially the dash board.”

    The project Manager – ” Just put the biggest tablet available on the market and we will call it “simple and centralized” controls ”

    and we get a plane boring dash with a small “TV” Screen !!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3
  • awg1031 on Jul 31, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    does the screen changes colour (like waze and google map) when it’s dark? it’s distracting and reflects too much at night if its not

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • thepolygonal on Jul 31, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I hope lots of people buy this so to encourage electric cars production. Malaysians? I guess it’s hardly affordable here :(

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
    • I oso hope Elon setup EV battery disposal/recycling plants instead of just throwing it to 3rd world countries to deal with the problem.
      What? Not glamour enuff so he dun gip a F? Okayyy…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • RavenAii (Member) on Jul 31, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    If you lose your phone, you’ll lose your car as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
    • Somedude on Aug 01, 2017 at 1:19 am

      When you lose your phone, do you lose your money in the bank account as well?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Middle Age Driver (Member) on Jul 31, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    This car is for US mass market as the acceleration of 5.6 sec will increase our accident rates by 10 fold. For Malaysian, the mass market car will be EV Myvi with a slower acceleration of 15sec. Even then, drivers will still crash the car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
 

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