The Tesla Model 3, touted by Tesla CEO Elon Musk as the electric car for the masses was recently spotted on the streets running behind a Model S fitted with a rear camera rig; most probably for filming for marketing purposes or Musk’s ‘part two’ of the unveil.
The Model 3 is claimed to cover over 400 km on a single charge while carrying five adults “comfortably”; and like the Model S, comes with cargo space in the front AND the back (since there’s no engine to fit in). It is also said to do 0-100 km/h in less than 6 seconds. “Tesla doesn’t make slow cars”, as Musk puts it.
The Model 3 has become the envy of many an automaker; it’s already a huge success even before production has begun. Since its unveiling last week, it has created a new sales record with over 325,000 units reserved. That’s about US$ 14 billion in total sales (completely unheard of in any industry), with production not even expected until 2017.
Not to pour cold water on this hot new car but Tesla hasn’t had a great history of timely delivery. The Model S sedan was besieged by production and technical delays as has the newly introduced Model X SUV (which is also affected by recall as of yesterday). Thus far, Tesla has built about 50,000 cars a year and is expecting to nearly double that capacity this year with its expansion program to fulfill its delivery commitment of the existing models.
Nevertheless, the Model 3 is said to be a showcase for a platform that will form the base of a multitude of vehicle types (perhaps a compact SUV or even a pickup is on the cards).
The Model 3 in the footage is a pre-production model as the interior (not seen in the video) is still just a rough mock-up and more details should be revealed in ‘part two’. Despite the hype, Tesla is probably the company that is spurring on the electric vehicle movement; its opening up of its patents also plays a big role, allowing car manufacturers to use technology already developed by Tesla thus saving on R&D.