New Tesla Model 3 to Make UK Debut at Goodwood

The new Tesla Model 3 will make its UK debut at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed later this month, organisers have confirmed.

With the car featuring in a static display alongside the Model S, Model X and Tesla’s home charging Powerwall, reservation holders and the general public will have the chance to inspect a US-spec Model 3 up close ahead of its scheduled arrival in Europe in 2019. There’ll be no opportunity to drive it in Goodwood’s Moving Motor Show, however.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently took to Twitter to confirm the prices and specifications for a pair of new dual-motor variants of the Model 3. As well as the BMW M3-baiting performance version, Musk revealed details of the standard all-wheel drive option.

With a motor powering each axle – one optimised for range, the other for power – it is claimed to cover 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds, 0.6 seconds below the time of the fastest rear-driven Model 3. Top speed is 140mph.

Battery capacity remains the same at approximately 75kWh, as does the projected 310-mile range. Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot tech will be offered as a cost option.

Musk stated that the dual motor Model 3 will cost $5,000 more than the the rear-wheel drive Model 3 – so expect a price of around $49,000 in its home market. That translates to roughly £37,000, but expect UK prices to be closer to £50,000.

Tesla Model 3 Production Delays

These details were made public following some long-awaited positive news on the production front. Reports suggested that Tesla had slashed its delivery predictions for the Model 3, revising the wait for US rear-wheel drive Model 3s to between four and six months. Production numbers for the Model 3 were thought to be in the region of 500 units per day, with a target of 5,000 per week slated for the end of June. Indeed, by 1 July Musk revealed that Tesla had built 7,000 units in seven days, though it’s not yet clear if the company can hit this figure consistently.

Tesla claims it will eventually increase this figure to a run rate of 10,000 Model 3s a week as production ramps up further.

Due to increased production of the Model S and Model X, Tesla posted net losses of $619 million (£468m) in the three months leading up to 30 September, nearly doubling its Q2 losses. During Q3 last year, they made profits of $21.9 million (£16.6m).

Tesla Model 3: Launch Specifications and Information

In 2006 Tesla CEO Elon Musk published a ’top secret masterplan’ on Tesla’s website. It was low on detail but the groundbreaking electric car company has stuck to it. Tesla, it said, was going to ‘create a low volume sports car, use that money to develop a medium volume car at a lower price and use that money to create an affordable, high volume car’. 

The Tesla Model 3 is that ‘affordable, high volume car’. It joins the current Tesla range alongside the Model S executive saloon and the Model X SUV and it’s been launched to an audience of Tesla employees and customers at a special event held outside the Tesla factory at Fremont, California. The first 30 customers collected their Tesla Model 3s at the event with Elon Musk revealing that 50 cars had been built so far.

Two core versions of the Tesla Model 3 are being offered from launch, the standard and Long Range models. The standard car comes in at a price of $35,000, that translates as £26,650. The standard Model 3 has a 220-mile range, a 5.6s 0-60mph time and a 130mph top speed but for $44,000 (£33,500) you can have the Long Range model. That car ups the ante with an official range of 310 miles, a 5.1s 0-60mph time and a 140mph top speed. 

 

Official UK prices have yet to be announced and it’s expected that the Model 3 entry price will be closer to £35,000 when it arrives in the UK, with that figure then lowered by the £4,500 plug-in car grant. These ballpark figures put the Tesla Model 3 in direct competition with the household names in the European compact executive car market with a BMW 320d opening around the £31,000 mark and the likes of the  Audi’s A4 ,  Jaguar’s XE and the Mercedes C-Class coming in at a similar level. The Model 3 looks even more competitive next to other pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids. 

Interior and Exterior Design Details

In terms of exterior design, little has changed compared to the pre-production Tesla Model 3 revealed in March 2016. The Model 3 adopts a more conventional hatchback body, but retains the sleek sloping roofline Teslas has become known for. A larger glasshouse than that seen on the bigger Model S creates a higher roofline, while the sunken bonnet gives it a very distinct profile.

Appearance-wise, it’s no surprise that the Tesla Model 3 looks like a downsized Model S. With electrical gear taking up so little space, downsizing the Model 3 was mostly a matter of shrinking the ends of the car and shifting the front seats forward to provide more rear-seat room.

Like other Teslas, the Model 3 offers two boots, front and rear. The Model 3 has no grille, save for a small scoop at the bottom edge of the bumper. While this is no doubt good for aerodynamics, it gives the car a rather unfinished look when seen from the front, although the facelifted Model S and Model X both now have a similar look.

Tesla Model 3 Ludicrous Mode and Supercharger Access

Musk has confirmed in a tweet that the Model 3 will be getting Tesla’s ‘Ludicrous Mode’ – a software tweak which unlocks even more potential from the car’s electric drivetrain. When employed on the most powerful Model S, the P100D, it can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 2.3 seconds – although we don’t expect the Model 3 to be quite that fast as it won’t recieve the 100kWh battery pack, again confirmed by Musk. 

Tesla’s smallest car won’t come with free Tesla Supercharger access either – the company is ending the practice of allowing new customers to top up for nothing at the stations. Model S and X owners will get Supercharger credits, but any freebies for Model 3 owners look unlikely.

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