It's priced at $35,000 in America, which is equivalent to around £27,000 - but American cars tend to be cheaper stateside than they are in the United Kingdom, so expect the Model 3's United Kingdom price to be around £35,000.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the stage at a companywide event in Fremont, Calif., on Friday night to handover the vehicles, just a few of the approximately half-million to put down $1,000 to eventually own an affordable long-range all-electric auto.
But the initial deliveries will be of the upgraded long-range model that starts at $44,000 (a $9,000 battery upgrade, essentially); it has a rated range of 310 miles, can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and will top out at 140 mph.
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The Model 3 is Tesla's biggest bet to date.
The company enters crucial phase as it seeks to meet its ambitious production schedule for the Model 3. But I'd be stunned to find that not a single Model 3 reservation holder ended up surprised by Friday's event, where it was made crystal clear that a base model is really just that-the bare essentials.
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Tesla bills the Model 3 as a slightly smaller (not to mention significantly less expensive) version of the Model S. For the most part, that analogy rings true.
A 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty is offered on the auto, while an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty is offered on the battery (Long Range battery gets 120,000 miles). Once Musk took the stage, he thanked Tesla employees and then unveiled the 30 first production Model 3s and their new owners were able to get behind the steering wheels. The curb weights for the hybrid steel/aluminum body are 3549 pounds for the base model and 3814 for the Long Range model with all those extra batteries. Within a month, 373,000 customers had put down a $1,000 refundable deposit. "Model 3, it serves its objective for getting people involved with electric vehicles who might not otherwise be able to", said Tesla owner Dee Duncan.
Not only does the Model 3 have to contend with competition from established automakers that already have solid sales and fix operations in place. We wish we could do all this faster and get you yourModel 3 right away. She's borrowing a friend's Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid while she waits.
Like many analysts, Krebs will be keeping her eye on the quality of the Model 3 sedans that Tesla delivers in the coming months.
"It's kind of like organic food".
"I know I'm sandbagging a lot", Musk said. But mainstream buyers will be less forgiving. "It's nearly like Steve Jobs and the iPhone; the Model 3 will be the vehicle to put Tesla in the spotlight". But already it doesn't appear to be sticking to its schedule. Musk says given the cars are increasingly going to be autonomous, you won't need one.
Tesla aims to produce 5,000 units of the Model 3 a week this year, and 10,000 units a week in 2018, almost six times its 2016 production.