Jose Altoveros / Tesla | August 01, 2017 07:12
Tesla's new Model 3 'entry-level' EV remains faithful to prototype design
Tesla initially unveiled the Model 3 in prototype guise as the brand's entry level electric vehicle more than a year ago. Now, Tesla has pulled the covers off the 2018 Model 3 during a turnover event of the first 30 units at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California.
Taking a first look at the production Model 3, the exterior has remained unchanged from the Model 3 prototype first unveiled. It retains the high-mounted LED headlights and grill-less front fascia. Moving along Model 3, noticeable are the flush door handles and a sweeping roofline idenitcal to the prototype. A short tail and LED tail lights at the rear complete the exterior look of the Model 3.
Inside, Tesla has taken a very minimalistic approach to the vehicle. Looking ahead, there is only a massive 15-inch touchscreen to be found on the dashboard. There are no traditional items to be found here such as hard buttons or an instrument cluster, everything is shown on the center display. A larger rear windshield give the interior a roomier feel despite the sloping roof line.
A peculiar thing to note about the Model 3 is that it doesn't have a conventional key to open the door and start the car, unlike the Model S and Model X. Instead, everything is done though an app on the customer's smart phone.
The base Model 3 has a range of 354 km, does 0-100km/h in 5.6 seconds and tops out at 209km/h. For those that need to go further, customers can opt to have the 'Long Range' battery option for extra. It increases range to 499 km, cuts the 0-100 km/h acceleration time down to 5.1 second, and reaches a higher top speed of 225km/h.
For those that want to go fast, a performance version of the Model 3 is slated for next year according to Elon Musk, Tesla CEO. However, Tesla is still currently focused on production of the Model 3 to meet customer demands.