Posted by Olivier Birault on

This month, delivery begins on what has become one of the most anticipated vehicles of all time. No, it’s not some exotic supercar or extreme performance machine. It’s the Model 3 from electric car-maker Tesla. Touted as the BMW Series 3 killer, this chic sedan generated nearly 400,000 pre-orders worth upward of $10 billion, all based on people’s reactions to a close-to-production prototype. No other automaker in history has been able to achieve such a feat and it shows just how much customers care about an affordable electric car alternative that doesn’t compromise on curbside appeal.


Tesla Model S

Tesla was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers who wanted to prove that people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric – that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive than gasoline cars. Ever since, they have been working hard to prove their case and build a passionate following along the way.

The company’s flagship vehicle, the Model S, was the world’s first ever premium all-electric sedan and has become the best car in its class in every category. It offers the longest range of any electric vehicle, over-the-air software updates that make it better over time, and a record 0-60 mph acceleration time of 2.28 seconds. This type of performance comes at a price however, putting the Model S out of reach for most.


Tesla Model 3

The new Model 3 from Tesla has been designed to address the premium price point issue of the Model S. Effectively, the Model 3 is a smaller, simpler, more affordable electric car, that still delivers a whole more bang for your buck than your average electric car. On the performance front, the Model 3 can easily match pace with the BMW 3 Series, which was once considered the gold standard in the sports sedan segment and among the best sports cars available.

All early deliveries of the Model 3 will come with a single motor powering the rear wheels, while an all-wheel drive version will be added as an option from 2018. There’s also take of a "P" performance model, however, not much information has been made available at this stage. The base model, equipped with a 50 kWh battery pack, offers 220 miles of range and a 0 to 60 mph time of 5.6 seconds, while the premium version with 70 kWh battery pack, offers 310 miles of range between charges and a 0 to 60 mph time of 5.1 seconds.

What has really gotten people excited, however, is the entry-level pricing. The base version starts at just US$35,000, with the longer-range battery (the 70kWh version) adding another US$9,000 to the price tag. There are also a whole host of upgrades available, including the Enhanced Autopilot suite of active-safety systems, 12-way heated and power adjustable front seats, a panoramic glass roof, an upgraded audio system and so on.

Still, a Tesla Model 3 equipped with every available upgrade will still only run to US$59,500, which is fantastic value for the money. Just like our Oceaner 41.

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