Exclusive: Tesla Model 3 First Drive Review


Exclusive: Tesla Model 3 First Drive Review


The Tesla Model 3 is here, and it is a many critical automobile of a century.

Yes, a exaggeration is necessary. The strange Tesla Model S was a explanation of concept—it was probable to make a long-range electric vehicle. The Model X showed that we could make an electric SUV. But conjunction was affordable to a masses. And nonetheless a Chevrolet Bolt has shown that 238 miles of electric operation is probable for reduction than $40,000, GM’s volume aspirations are modest.

Not so for Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who wants to blow out a walls of his Fremont, California, bureau to build a half-million Model 3s any year. That’s a destiny of electric travel right there, and a success or disaster all hinges on a ability of Tesla to remonstrate a mass marketplace that a Model 3 is a improved car, regardless of powertrain, than mainstream vehicles such as a Toyota Camry V-6 or BMW 3 series.

Motor Trend was absolved to get a expostulate of an early-build Model 3 a day before Elon showed it to a world. Are we impressed? Mightily.

© Motor Trend Staff
Tesla Model 3 lead

Anyone informed with a Model S will fast be oriented with a small brother. However, give a shifter petiole some additional taps, and it double duties as a journey control lever. All of a car’s infographics reside on a 15.4-inch, landscape-oriented, multitouch shade that’s perched on a roughly Scandinavian-simple dash. And being a Tesla, it’s an hors d’oeuvre tray of program delectables: interior atmosphere (from watchful vents) is directed by relocating spots around on a arrangement (even mouth-watering them to send airflow past any ear). Other coolnesses? There’s side-by-side, twin preliminary iPhone chargers, a steering mainstay tilts and telescopes by corkscrew wheels on a spokes, and a scenery potion roof though protects like SPF 90 sunscreen.

For a compress vehicle, Tesla struggled with interior space, pronounced Tesla arch engineer Franz von Holzhausen. The lurch is pushed forward and pulpy down; a Model 3 has a case opening instead of a Model S-like induce in sequence to undo a crossmember that shaves back headroom. Up front, a ‘frunk’ is precisely sized to reason a carry-on suitcase. “If it’s too large here, you’re going to have to check it,” he said.

How does it drive? The rush of torque clearly indicates DNA common with a Model S. Yet it’s a new engine specific to a 3, and Franz is decorous about a horsepower. But Tesla’s explain of 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds seems right when interconnected with a Long Range Battery ($9,000). Yes, there will be a choice of dual batteries—the bottom providing 220 miles (while still doing 0-60 mph in sub-6-second times), and a LRB will yield 310 miles of cruising.

What’s blanching, though, is a car’s float and handling. If anybody was awaiting a standard tedious electric sedan, we haven’t been profitable courtesy to Elon’s ethos. The float is Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio-firm. Quickly, I’m figure Stunt Road like a Sochi Olympics hulk slalomer, micrometering a apexes. we peek questioningly during Franz. “Go for it,” he nods. The Model 3 is such an astonishing scalpel that we drive, though I’m sputtering for adjectives.

CLICK TO CONTINUE READING ON MOTORTREND.COM

Motor Trend

UP NEXT


Do you have an unusual story to tell? E-mail stories@tutuz.com