Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 is a medium sized, all-electric, five-seat premium electric sedan, and is also the first California-based Tesla, Inc. Its potential customers include wealthy people (regardless of gender and age) who want to have an elegant, fast and modern car, and at the same time improve the environment on our planet. The whole model range is Tesla.
According to Tesla’s business plan, Model 3 appeared in 2007. The vehicle was conceived as a “budget” version of Model S. In reality, and it turned out: the new model is estimated to be 2 times less than the popular “older sister”.
According to the statements of 2013, the managers of the company said that the Model 3 will be evaluated by 20 percent cheaper than the version S. In addition, representatives of the U.S. firm noticed that the “troika” will be an electric analogue of such machines as Audi A4, BMW 3 series and Mercedes C-Class.
The car was officially presented on March 31, 2016. The novelty was developed on the basis of a new base, which differs from the one used in Tesla Model C and Tesla Model X.
The cars are manufactured at the main plant in Fremont, California. Batteries are supplied by Gigafactory 1. As announced, commercial deliveries will start at the end of 2017. From the very beginning, Ilona Mask’s vehicle was to be called the Tesla Model E, but Ford filed a lawsuit against Tesla Motors and won the title “Model E”.
During the annual shareholders’ meeting held on May 31, 2016, the company’s CEO said that those who own the Model 3 will have to pay for the operation of the Supercharger branded charging station network or will have to buy a similar option.
This was done to minimize the starting price of the electric car. When Ilon announced on June 2 that the design of the novelty was almost finished and that the company was planning to complete the development in 6 weeks. The specialists left any new ideas for the next machines. In addition, they announced that by the end of 2016 there will be an event dedicated to Model 3.
Tesla Model 3 2017 has already got up for assembly in Fremont, California. As of August, the U.S. firm has assembled 100 machines, and the following month – 1500. Every month the company plans to produce about 20000 cars.
The first batch of 50 cars has already been handed over to buyers (Tesla employees), and other American buyers who placed their pre-orders before the start of production, were to start receiving their small electric cars in October 2017.
Starting from spring 2018, the production of all-wheel drive vehicles will start, and the second half of the year will allow affordable electric cars to be sold in other car markets. In general, Model 3 is the most affordable electric car from Tesla.
In order to stand in the queue to buy it, it was necessary to make a deposit of $1,000. Since the name contained the number “3”, some believed that the car was better than its predecessors in the person of S and X, but the company was forced to dissuade buyers.
Despite the anti-advertising campaign, a line of 500,000 customers has already been lined up behind the new Tesla Model 3. According to the plans of the management, next year it is planned to produce exactly such a number of cars. The “last” buyers will wait for their own cars only by the end of 2018.
The design staff gave the novelty an extremely perfect and stylish exterior. The car has stylish frontal headlights, where there is LED stuffing, a neat bumper, where there are strips of running lights of horizontal type, correct body panels with unique ribs, a luxurious roof dome with a solid glazing area, elegant mirrors and nice LED-lights with three-dimensional optical impact.
The door handles on the electric car were made according to the type of keys. If they are pressed, the doors held in place by electromechanical locks open slightly. The wheel arches in the standard version contain rollers with the size of 18 inches, where there is a low-profile rubber. As an optional extra option, wheels of 19 inches can be fitted for $1500.
An American electric sedan is a bit like a recent futuristic concept model. In general, the car does not look stunning, but rather fresh and stylish. Some even say that the novelty has taken all the best from previous versions (S and X). But they are distinguished by the fact that in a cheaper sedan there is no more radiator grille, which was installed only for the sake of familiar and classic attributes.
The absence of the grille is a fully justified solution, as such a machine simply does not need it. Partly because of this the nose area of the car looks stylish and unusual. If to look at a side part it reminds a little bit some liftback though the electric car has received the average sizes.
Also among the differences is the fact that the luggage compartment opens without the rear window, which has found its place in previous versions of Tesla cars. As with previous versions of the S and X, the Model 3 was designed by Chief Designer Franz von Holhausen. A panoramic glass roof decorates the overall view. The clearance height was 140 millimeters. The loaded weight of the “four-door” is from 1,609 to 1,730 kilograms, depending on the level of equipment.
When you get to the Tesla Model 3 salon, you feel what real minimalism really is! Neither the console installed in the center, with buttons, nor the “board” of instruments is simply not there! All the necessary list of information for the owner comes out on a massive 15.4-inch screen that supports touch input.
It can also be used to control climate control, navigation and audio systems. In addition, the designers have provided 2 joysticks on the steering wheel. A little surprisingly, but the projection on the windshield in this machine is absent.
As mentioned above, a two-part panoramic roof can be installed as an option, as well as two-row seat heating, electric adjustment of the front seats and steering column, leather upholstery, a 12-speaker music system and a pair of wireless charging compartments for smartphones.
It is worth adding that the heating threads in the panoramic roof are only in the lower edge of the solid glass. We have already said that the car did not receive retractable external door handles, which were installed on the Model C – in return there are buttons, if you press them, the door “jumps out” of the opening by a few centimeters.
To open the door from the inside, buttons like those responsible for window lifts are used. The “Three” has frameless doors with electric locks.
Horizontal touch-screen displays for Tesla Model 3 will be supplied by LG.
Inside the Tesla Model 3 2017, only high quality finishing materials were used, and everything was gathered to the conscience, as even photos testify eloquently. The American saloon of the sedan was designed so as to emphasize the maximum reserve of free space for 5 people and provide a free boarding for all passengers.
The seats used in the front are ergonomically designed and have good side support, the most rigid filler and a wide range of settings. For those sitting on the back row there was a comfortable sofa, which received a well thought out profile, where there is a folding armrest, placed in the center.
Modell 3 doesn’t have standard keys. The car can open doors and start when it detects a signal from the driver’s smartphone. In case the driver forgets the smartphone, he can use the key in the form of a credit card.
To carry luggage in an electric car there are 2 luggage compartments in the front and rear. In total, their volume amounted to 435 liters of useful space according to the American EPA methodology. In addition, the rear seats can be folded according to the standard scheme – in the ratio of 40/60.
For the new product, there are several modifications with rear-wheel drive to choose from (later will start producing models with all-wheel drive). The standard version is an electric motor with a power of 235 hp and 430 Nm of torque. Thanks to this “motor” the car conquers the first “hundred” in 5.6 seconds, and the maximum speed at the level of 209 kilometers per hour.
The standard version has a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 60 kWh. On one charge the electric car can drive at least 354 kilometers. If you charge the car with the standard socket, then for 1 hour the batteries will be charged to 48 kilometers. If you use the Supercharger terminal, then 30 minutes of charging will be enough for 209 kilometers.
There is also a Long Range package that has received 85 kWh of rechargeable batteries. Razgon to a hundred will be 5.1 seconds, and the maximum speed mode will not exceed 225 kilometers per hour. Full charge lasts for 499 kilometers.
Household network allows you to charge the batteries for 1 hour for 59 kilometers, and with the help of Supercharger – 274 kilometers in 30 minutes. The battery itself is located under the floor, which is a very good solution.
Suspension and chassis
Like the “older” models, the vehicle was designed around a flat aluminium storage area, to which a steel body and sub-frames were attached using “winged metal”. If we talk about the undercarriage of the car, it is fully independent here. A two-lever architecture was installed in front of the car, and multilever architecture was installed at the back. As a separate paid option it will be possible to install an air suspension.
Brake system and steering
All Tesla Model 3 wheels are equipped with ventilated brake discs. The steering system has a rack and pinion mechanism and an electric power amplifier with variable characteristics.
Tesla Model 3 2017 has an autopilot, and to be more precise, its most primitive version – the car can move in an independent order in the lane, however, in order to rebuild the owner will need assistance.
For the vehicle to have an improved autopilot, where there is a function of independent switching between lanes, additional cameras and a more powerful computer to process information, you will need to pay another $ 5000.
After the American company makes a full-fledged autonomous autopilot, it can also be installed for 3000 dollars. The autopilot function is so important for the company that it has been brought to the gearbox lever together with the modes “parking”, “rear”, “neutral” and “ride”.
During the presentation of the novelty, the company said that electric sedan is among the safest cars in the world. This is confirmed by the NHTSA’s service in the United States of America. And this is despite the fact that independent crash-tests have not yet been conducted.
However, the company already has experience in previous models, which do not allow to doubt the words of Ilona Mask. In addition, there is a video where an American company itself is testing Model 3 during its crash-test. The opponent is Volvo S60.
Based on the video, the electric car was able to surpass even Volvo, minimizing body deformation. Generally speaking, when it comes to passive safety, Tesla keeps the benchmark for Volvo vehicles, which is not surprising, because the latter are the leader in this segment. All three vehicles are equipped with eight airbags in the cabin and a whole set of auxiliary electronics, which can include 8 cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors.
Price and equipment
In the United States of America, the standard Tesla Model 3 package will be valued at $35,000. The basic equipment includes:
- Eight airbags;
- Double-zone climate control;
- 18-inch rollers
- LED optics;
- 15.4-inch infotainment system display;
- Cruise control with emergency braking option and a set of equipment for autopilot operation (this can include radar, eight cameras and twelve ultrasonic sensors).
In addition, there is a navigation system, LTE, Wi-Fi, voice control, fabric seats, keyless access, stabilization system, automatic braking and collision avoidance. In order to install a high-capacity battery, you will have to pay from $44000.
However, this is not all – a list of additional options is provided for the sedan. In order to install leather interior decoration, LED fog lights, heating and folding mirrors, wood inserts, UV-protected panoramic roof, wireless charging slots for smartphones, a pair of USB ports for rear passengers, electric drive of steering column, exterior mirrors and front seats, as well as advanced “music” you will need to buy a Premium Upgrades package worth $5000.
As mentioned above, the autopilot function itself is estimated at $3000. To paint the body in metal color the buyer will need to give another $1000.
Pluses and minuses
- Pleasant and stylish appearance that electric cars usually cannot boast of;
- Powerful electric power unit;
- Ability to install an air suspension system;
- Well-designed centre of gravity, which increases the stability of the machine on the road and increases the quality of operation;
- Comfortable seats;
- Original interior;
- 15.4-inch touchscreen display;
- Electric power steering;
- Personal dynamic characteristics;
- May set additional options for a fee;
- Economical maintenance and minimum cash consumption while charging the battery;
- Ecological vehicle type;
- Separate security systems;
- 8 airbags;
- There’s an autopilot function;
- May update software via Wi-Fi;
- Rigid and reliable bodywork with steel and aluminium
- Two luggage compartments;
- Low drag coefficient;
- Support fast charging function;
- Ultrasonic sensors;
- Small motor size;
- Small number of nodes and elements that can fail over time;
- Silent operation;
- Key access;
- Can be charged even in domestic conditions;
- Pretty acceptable value (the cheapest car among all manufactured cars by Tesla);
- Big and nice wheels;
- One of the safest cars in the world;
- Energy recovery system;
- Small number of consumables;
- In the following year it is planned to supply all-wheel drive machines;
- Spacious salon.
Cons of a car
- Number of specialized refuels with fast charging function not so many;
- Not very spacious two luggage compartments;
- In contrast to the “older brothers”, Model 3 has received more modest dynamics and reduced travel distance on one charge;
- Incost battery replacement.
We sum up
The appearance of Tesla Model 3 on the automotive market can be confidently called a success. Those who previously wanted to buy a variant of Tesla X or S, but the price was bitten a lot, will be very happy, because the cost of “trash” is much less than their “older” brothers. It is worth noting that many indicators, such as Model C, exceed the data of Model 3, which can include the dynamics, range on a single charge, engine power and battery capacity.
In addition, inside the new car after the Model S cabin it seems that something is obviously missing. The fans of minimalism, undoubtedly, will appreciate this moment. Otherwise, the machines are almost identical. The fact that the car is the cheapest among the entire range of Ilona Mask’s products, in no way suggests that it is ugly or impractical. Appearances make you look at it, and if you drive it in the city stream, you will clearly stand out.
Safety, autopilot function, various auxiliary systems, spacious interior and two luggage compartments – all this allows to use the novelty in the same way as any other car with internal combustion engine. The interior is quite spacious, and there are many additional options to choose from, which can be purchased for a fee. An environmentally friendly vehicle is no longer a myth, but a reality. Ilona Mask’s company has made its electric cars more affordable, which will undoubtedly lead to increased sales.
It turns out that it will be even more difficult for automotive companies producing vehicles with internal combustion engines to compete with electric cars. Even the direct rivals of Tesla Model 3 are electric cars in the person of Chevrolet Bolt, “trash” and “five” BMW, estimated at $36,620, $33,500 and $51,000, respectively, which is also not cheap.
However, on the Tesla side, there is a longer distance on one charge, a high level of safety, different branded systems and an improved center of gravity, allowing you to be on the road more confident. Undoubtedly, the release of Tesla Model 3 will be appreciated by many motorists! It’s also nice that electric cars are becoming more accessible!
We advise you to read the article: Tesla Motors history