Currently reading: Tesla Model 3 to be revealed
Tesla's Model 3 will go on sale in mid-2017 as an all-electric rival to the BMW 3 Series, with prices starting at around £35,000
Darren Moss
3 mins read
31 March 2016

The Tesla Model 3, the American firm's third model and an all-electric rival for the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4, will be revealed early on Friday morning.

The Tesla Model 3 has now been unveiled. Click here to read about it.

The unveiling of the Model 3 will take place via a live stream event, which you can watch here. It is due to start at 4.30am UK time. Customers around the world have already begun queuing to place orders in such large numbers that Tesla boss Elon Musk has revealed that they have been capped at placing deposits for two cars. Some analysts are suggesting that first-day deposits could total 50,000 cars - an unprecedented level of interest for a new car, especially given the Model 3 is at least 12 months from production.

As Tesla's teaser images have shown, the Model 3 is about three quarters of the size of the current Model S and sits at the bottom of Tesla's range. It joins the Model S saloon and the recently revealed Model X SUV

The Tesla Model 3 has now been unveiled. Click here to read about it.

Prices for the Model 3 have yet to be set, but in the US it's expected to cost around $35,000, which is equivalent to around £25,000. However, once the cost of bringing the car to the UK has been taken into account, prices are likely to rise to around £35,000. 

Few details about the Tesla Model 3 have been revealed, but sources have indicated that performance up to 62mph could eclipse that of the BMW M3, which records a 0-62mph time of 4.1sec. Sources suggest the Model 3 will have a range of up to 300 miles on a single charge.

Initially, it was thought that Tesla's crucial third model would arrive late last year, but Tesla boss Elon Musk has since explained that his firm's Gigafactory - which will produce batteries for all Tesla vehicles - needed to be up and running before the car came out. The Gigafactory is currently being built with partner Panasonic and is due to open in 2017. It's claimed the Gigafactory will revolutionise the way in which batteries are produced for electric vehicles and bring crucial economies of scale for Tesla.


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Chris Porritt, Tesla’s vice-president of engineering, has previously told Autocar: “I expect there will be very little carry-over [from the Model S]. We’ve got to be cost-effective. We can’t use aluminium for all the [small car’s] components.” This suggests that the Model 3 will use mostly steel in its make-up, although it will probably use bonding and rivets in its construction.

Tesla’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, has told Autocar the Model 3 will feature more distinctive styling than that of the relatively conventional Model S. “We will become more experimental as we develop as a brand,” he said. “Our cars need to have some personality.” However, the brand's hallmarks, including a black, closed grille and a large central touchscreen infotainment system, are likely to feature.

Tesla insiders have also revealed that the Model 3 has been engineered to accommodate a number of different bodystyles if the manufacturer decides to make them. As well as traditional estate and coupé options, company bosses have previously talked about making a Tesla pick-up.

In addition to the Model 3, an all-new Tesla Roadster is under development for launch in 2019.

Read more:

Tesla Model S P85D review

Tesla's £3bn Gigafactory

Blog - Why Tesla's Elon Musk doesn't think like other car company executives

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12 July 2012

Looks good and nice and very good value.

27 November 2015
Where bits of its sister company's rocket have just washed up.

12 July 2012

As this sector is where there's money to be made it should push BMW and others to bring out Electric/ range extenders a sooner rather than later.    Just as well they linked uop with Toyota!

14 September 2012

With the features of these new Model S saloon truly it will bring rivalry to bmw , toyota, ford and other manufacturers of automotives that are producing electrically powered vehicles. But still it will be a tough competition among other auto manufacturers since quality would always be at stake and performance.


23 July 2015
C'mon Autocar IT, block these spammers!

23 July 2015
Be affaid. They'll have to answer this with their own 3 series plug-in or enlarge the i3 into a more conventional hatchback/saloon.


24 July 2015
Better than the usual "but what about range?" and "electric cars all run on coal" tosh I normally find in the comments section.

24 July 2015
Disagree about the spammers but fully take your point about the luddite views regarding electric cars, which ignore the considerable energy used in refining and transporting petrol and diesel before it ever gets to the pump.

31 March 2016
Daniel Joseph wrote:

Disagree about the spammers but fully take your point about the luddite views regarding electric cars, which ignore the considerable energy used in refining and transporting petrol and diesel before it ever gets to the pump.

The considerable amount of energy you claim is used in refining and transporting petrol and diesel is 15%. About 10% of electricity generated is lost though transmission and transforming especially from small sources like wind and Solar power usually in remote paces.

I expect this Tesla will retail for £35k to £50k with a range of 150 miles up to about 230 for more expensive versions in real world use just like the bigger S model.

To compare Tesla with BMW is a joke, just look at the warranty problems with Tesla from US and Austrailian websites. Your typical BMW driving executive will not want to be limited to such a short range with very few charging points.

24 July 2015
I'll be impressed if it does come in at £30k as that is cheap for an electric car especially if its range is anything like that quoted, isn't a Nissan leaf around £20-25k with a quoted range of about 110miles? And with the performance it has I would have expected a higher price, closer to that of a performance 3 series if not an M3, this would be a bargain at £30k. Can't wait.


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