The Tesla Model 3 will be revealed late this month, with reservations beginning on April 1st.
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So, what is expected of the latest Tesla model? The latest Model S and Model X have similar interior designs, with a large navigation screen and all of the amenities expected of a luxury vehicle.
But, at a $35,000 price point, what can the public expect? I think it’s very fair for Tesla to pare down to the price point. For every Lexus LS model, there is an entry-level Lexus ES or Lexus IS model that introduces new customers to the brand. The Tesla Model 3 can be that vehicle.
Would you expect two motors? I wouldn’t. While there is an advantage in terms of energy regeneration, it is also additional weight that is unnecessary. The Tesla Model S and Model X are already terrifyingly quick in dual-motor form. In fact, the Tesla Model S 70D, dual motor, still has an estimated range of 240 miles with a 0-60 time a tick over 5 seconds. Point blank, it’s a flat out quick car. One motor with roughly 160 horsepower, enormous torque, and 200 mile range would be a great powertrain to start with. After all, torque from an electric motor feels considerably more powerful than an internal combustion engine, especially considering that peak torque begins just after 0 rpm.
What else would I expect? I think the formula for Tesla is simple, especially at the price point. I do expect a very similar interior and dash layout. The car will have electric power steering, power windows and door locks, and a main center console with a large navigation screen that also controls other features of the vehicle. I do not expect anything in particular to be bespoke to the Model 3.
I also think the car will be smaller. No, it won’t be the size of a Tesla roadster, but I think it’s fair for Tesla to create a compact-sized electric vehicle. It may only have one trunk, instead of the two that come with the Model S or Model X. Anything the size of a current Mazda3, Toyota Corolla, or Honda Civic would be a fair size comparison.
I also think the car would come with all required autonomous driving hardware. One of the best features of Tesla is the ability to constantly update programming while the car is charging.
All of that being said, it is quite a large business proposition to build a vehicle to a specific price point. Tesla is perceived as a luxury vehicle with specific levels of performance to compete against stiff competition. With the Model 3, the competition is larger, but at least the price point makes the vehicle more available to a large base of customers. While I have expressed heavy interest in the Mazda6 and the Honda Civic the Tesla Model 3 may just be the one worth waiting for.