Here’s everything you may or may not know about Tesla Motors’s upcoming mass-market sedan, the Model 3
In roughly 36 hours, the world will see Tesla Motors Inc.’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) biggest ever event, the Model 3 unveiling. Based on Tesla officials’ spilt beans, Bloomberg issued a report on 17 secrets regarding Model 3, covering everything we may or may not know about the vehicle and its event.
The mass-market sedan will be 20% smaller than the premium sedan, roughly Audi A4’s size, according to CEO Elon Musk. Since it is an EV, it doesn’t require transmission tunnel and backseat riders might have extra leg room. It would be interesting to see what Tesla does with Model 3’s front trunk, which is usually empty for storage in Model S and Model X.
According to the Model 3 event’s invitations, guests may get their hands on a working prototype of the vehicle. Mr. Musk had previously specified that Tesla might not show the full vehicle, whose deliveries will start late 2017.
Mini Model S
Only a handful of people in Tesla’s top management know about the Model 3 design. A Tesla insider has confirmed that Model 3 looks like a smaller Model S.
Mr. Musk has already opened Model 3 reservations for Tesla and SpaceX employees and reservations for customers will begin 10 pm local time on March 31 for $1,000 refundable deposit. At 8:30 PT, online reservation will be opened.
Tesla has already stated that the existing Model S and Model X owners will get priority ahead of other customers in terms of deliveries. Existing owners and reservation holders of top-of-the-line Model 3 will get their deliveries first.
No Signature Series
Unlike the Model S/X, Model 3 may not have a Signature Series but Tesla may offer upgrades, like advanced battery, Autopilot, and Ludicrous mode. The company aims to keep its promise to promote the vehicle as a $35,000 EV, even if customers end up paying $50,000.
Tesla has vowed that its mass-market car will have range of at least 200 miles. If Tesla offers Model 3 60 kWh like Bolt EV, it could provide more range considering it’s a compact size and performance of premium Teslas.
Although the company has said that the event will focus on just Model 3 sedan, there have been rumors that a mass-market SUV might also be unveiled at the event. Global Equities Research’s Trip Chowdhry believes a mini SUV might be revealed in October.
Model 3 will be the third car platform after the Roadsters and Model S/X. The vehicle includes new battery architecture, new motor-tech, and new structure to produce it in efficiently, quickly, and with ease. Mr. Chowdhry expects the vehicle to be made of steel and weigh 3,900 pounds.
Tesla has been working Gigafactory’s first cell production scheduled for 2016-end. This will significantly reduce the battery cost.
Model 3 will be priced at $35,000 excluding incentives, which could vary from $7,500-13,000 in the US. The federal incentive of $7,500 will exhaust after total US sales hits 200,000 which are expected to be in 2018.
Since the vehicle will be a mass-market product, consumers should not be expecting many bells and whistles with the Model 3. It might not have several features that Model S and Model X have.
Tesla is considering building new factories in Europe and China exclusively for Model 3 by 2018. The company already has Fremont Factory and Gigafactory.
Since Mr. Musk expects all the new vehicles fully-autonomous in 10-15 years, Autopilot program might be extended to the Model 3. However, additional fee might be charged.
Like its predecessors, the vehicle will have eight-year (infinite-mile) warranty, which will indeed be transferable.
Not Model III
Although Model 3’s logo has three equal horizontal lines, the vehicle is not Model III. According to the CEO, the horizontal-lines imply a stylized E in the logo. Since Tesla couldn’t get Model E trademark from Ford, it found a new way to complete Model S-E-X.
Entry-Level Luxury Market
Although Model 3 will be competing against automobile behemoths, it will perform well in the lower-end luxury market, like Model S outperformed in premium sedan market. The vehicle will be cheaper than most of its competitors even without incentives, it will have the bling-bling factor that ever Tesla car have with superior driving experience, safety, comfort, style, and the Autopilot.