Of course the talk of the town this morning is the Tesla 3. The first 30 production models have been delivered to customers in a production hosted by Elon Musk at the company’s HQ in Fremont, California.
There will be two models. A Long Range model that will go 310 miles on a charge, thanks to a larger battery, and start at $44,000. A “Standard”, or short range model, will sell for $35,000 and have a range of 220 miles.
Those hoping for the less expensive model will have to wait until fall as Tesla will initially only produce the Long Range model. Both are rear wheel drive.
Go for the top of the line with all options flying, the Detroit News reports, and look for a sticker of $59,200.
How will it sell? The company is said to have almost 500,000 orders and many are wondering how Tesla will be able to add the Model 3 to its production schedule along with the Model X and the Model S. The first 30 were reportedly turned over to Tesla staff with customer deliveries coming by the end of 2017.
A select group got the chance to take a very short drive in a Model 3 and most praised its acceleration and handling.
The interior is quite plain with everything, and I do mean everything, centered on a 15-inch tablet in the center dash with some controls such as outside mirror adjustment, on the steering wheel. There is no instrument panel in front of the operator and a head up display is not in the works.
To enter the vehicle one must download an app from Tesla on to your smart phone. Bye-bye key fob. This could be a challenge if your Model 3 is covered by winter time ice.
Also if the screen goes down, how do you figure out how fast you are going? This is rather important if you live in an area that has purchased a few hundred fine inducing speed cameras.
Looking ahead to fully autonomous driving, Elon Musk told the gathering, “We aimed for a very simple, clean design, because in the future — really, the future being now — the cars will be increasingly autonomous,” Musk said Friday. “So you won’t really need to look at an instrument panel all that often. You’ll be able to do whatever you want: You’ll be able to watch a movie, talk to friends, go to sleep.”
Motor Trend got a chance to drive a Model 3 and said this might be “The Automobile 2.0”
USA Today said Tesla “just needs to, as promised, make 499,999 more a year to the same standards” as those at the show. It praised the fit and finish on the early product.
And Jalopnik concluded, “… if Tesla can deliver a sporty, reliable driving experience with a tight finish to all of its claimed half-million deposit holders, the Model 3 just might live up to its hype.”
Time will tell.
Fiat Chrysler has received a certificate of conformity from the Environmental Protection Agency and a conditional executive order from the California Air Resources Board permitting the production and sale of FCA US 2017 model-year light-duty Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles equipped with 3.0-liter diesel engines. Updates include modified emissions software calibrations, with no required hardware changes, and FCA expects that the modifications will have no effect on the stated fuel economy or the performance of these vehicles.