Tesla has confirmed spec for the upcoming Model 3, but it says you should be more excited with current offerings.

THE TESLA MODEL 3 might seem like the next big thing to come out of the American manufacturer, but Tesla CEO, Elon Musk wants you to think otherwise. Last week, an anonymous self-proclaimed insider at Tesla leaked what they said was a screen grab of a comparison page between the upcoming Model 3 and the current Model S, and by all accounts, the Model 3 was lacking. And that’s exactly the desired effect.

For starters, compared to the Model s, the Model 3 is shorter by 132mm, has up to almost 200km shorter range, over 3sec slower 0-100km/h, requires pay per charge (no free unlimited supercharging), has seats five not seven, doesn’t have an electric trunk (and with 450 litres less boot space), gets a 15-inch rather than 17-inch infotainment screen and is available in just 100+ configurations rather than 1500+, among other differences. But is that really sacrificing much to get into an affordable all-electric car?

The Model 3 still looks like a typical Tesla too, and has 396 litres of boot space, gets around 350km range from a charge and accelerates 0-100km/h in around 5.8sec. With over 400,000 pre-orders, it would seem the Model 3 is one of the automotive world’s biggest success stories.

The problem Tesla faces is the Model 3, at its current starting price in the US of $35,000, is barely profitable. And a decline in Model S orders year-to-year compared to the increase in Model 3 pre-orders is showing the cheaper car has already begun cannibalising sales of its larger sibling.

Musk claims Tesla has already been trying to antisell the Model 3 and hasn’t been advertising the car in a bid to curb enthusiasm: “We antisell the Model 3, but our net reservations continue to climb week after week,” Musk said during a conference.

“No advertising, anti-selling, nothing to test drive… (it) still grows every week.” And the worry is that buyers might think the Model 3 is as good or better a car than the current offerings: “We’re doing our best to clear up that confusion so people do not think that Model 3 is somehow superior to Model S,” he said.

Despite what Musk says, the Model 3 still looks good on paper, even if it doesn’t match the spec of the more expensive Model S.

Deliveries of the Model 3 in the US are expected to finally start in the second half of this year, although the wait for current pre-orders is beyond 12 months. The Model 3 will also be arriving in Australia, although no dates or pricing have been announced.


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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax, Carsales.com.au, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

1 comment

  1. I thought the idea of the 3 was for it to be a high volume car, which would likely make it a low profit vehicle to so it is more affordable??

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