California-based electric car maker Tesla has almost single-handedly transformed the public’s perception of battery-powered vehicles from cringe-inducing milk floats to supercar-bothering lust material.
It’s doubly impressive that they’ve achieved this turnaround with a range made up entirely of the 7 Series-sized Model S.
The back-end of 2016 saw the brand double its offering with the Model X – an all-electric SUV, comparable to the Range Rover Sport or Audi Q7 in size, with vertically opening falcon doors.
Soon, they’ll introduce this – the Model 3 – which aims to create waves in the company car sector by poaching buyers who would usually opt for an Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class.
How far can it go?
One thing these long-distance drivers will instantly sneer at is the limited range of electric vehicles. However, Tesla has already smashed that concern with the Model S, which can cover up to 381 miles on a single charge.
The Model 3 will be able to drive for at least 215 miles before needing a recharge, with charging times ranging from three to six hours depending on the charger.
As a further incentive for company car drivers it will boast a low Benefit In Kind company car rating, and will be completely exempt from road tax.
How fast will it go?
Tesla boss Elon Musk joked that the company “doesn’t make slow cars” and although an exact 0-62mph sprint hasn’t been confirmed, he insists it will be less than six seconds.
Going off how the Model S played out, the high performance Model 3 will join the range later in the car’s lifecycle. With the Model S, Tesla developed different versions with varying performance and range capabilities, before introducing the aptly-named ‘Ludicrous Mode’ with its 2.5 second 0-62mph dash.
Can it drive itself?
Yes. The Model 3 will come with Tesla’s Autopilot hardware, which enables the car to drive autonomously and safer than if a human was in control. Apparently.
Does it have that massive iPad in the dashboard?
Indeedy, the Model 3 will come with a 15-inch horizontal touchscreen infotainment system planted in the centre of the dash.
How safe is it?
Tesla says the Model 3 has been designed to achieve a full five-star safety rating, but we’ll have to wait until Euro NCAP starts flinging it into walls to find out. The Model S managed five stars no problem, so there’s little reason to suspect the Model 3 won’t do the same.
How much will it cost?
Prices start from $35,000 in the US, which converts to £28,200 in the UK right now, but after taxes and additional charges have been factored in, that is likely to rise to £35,000.
You can reserve one now for £1,000 through Tesla’s website.
When can I have one?
The Model 3 will hit the UK market, some time in 2018.
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