Tesla promised a large electric car for the masses since its founding, and on Friday, this car finally arrived.
Before transferring the first 30 model 3 models to the owners of the Tesla plant in California, I had to spend about 15 minutes behind the wheel of the last car of the future (I had also had a short walk in a prototype model 3 in March 2016 when the vehicle was revealed in Los Angeles).
I drove all Tesla vehicles, from the original Roadster to the flagship model S P1 00D. They all impressed.
But model 3 is something else.
I driven a well-equipped car: a premium version with 310 miles range, zero to 60 seconds from 5.1 seconds, and a minimalist and charming interior, all leather and open grain, with metallic accents A touch screen in the center of the interior, and no group of instruments, and a roof made almost entirely out of glass.
The midnight silver model 3, I took aerodynamic aluminum wheels and looks very much like a smaller model model, echoing the sloping rear roof line of the larger sedan. It is a strong car, and undoubtedly Tesla.
When you slip on the driver\’s seat, you are immediately presented with … not too much in the way of distractions. There is no key. Instead, you lock and unlock the car using your smartphone and an app. There is a credit card backup that can be slipped on the outside near the door handle, itself is embedded and chrome-plated, but not self-presented as in the S model.
No group of instruments
The steering wheel features a pair of customizable and adaptable multifunctional miter wheels that can be used to adjust mirrors and control audio functions (the sound system is quite good, via streaming music and the usual radio but also USB and Bluetooth connectivity if you want to browse this route). There are two control rods, one controlling P-R-N-D – as a smaller version of the former column rocker – the other manipulating the turn signals.
Everything else happens on the screen: climate control, driving dynamics, navigation, communication, speed, turn signals. You have to get used to it, but only a little. I was basically agog how nice it was to contemplate a preserved dashboard area. You do not even really have ventilation for the heated and cooled air. There is a long, thin slit going from one side of the dashboard to the other and, using the screen, you can move the airflow literally.
All this sounds very cool, but it makes the interior less complicated to build – and it\’s a boon for Tesla, as they have to build enough model 3 to satisfy what could be over 500,000 pre-ordered.
The seats are comfortable and comfortable without being too comfortable. If you really need a serious sports seat in your car, the S model could disappoint. But it\’s okay for most people.
Almost all the roof is made of glass. You\’re here
On the road, model 3 is fast, with all that juicy couple we know and love Tesla and other electric cars. I drove a rear-wheel-drive vehicle (the two-wheel-drive wagons will come later) and enjoyed the speed, which was not head-shaped like the Ludicrous mode in a P100D, but more than enough pessimistic To keep my attention and ask me to stop looking at the dashboard.
The handling was sharper and clearer when I adjusted the direction of power supply in Sport mode, which removed any inaccurate lightness and added just the right amount of weight. The brakes are regenerative, which still requires a little refitting, but they prevent the car from going very fast. There is also a surprisingly large trunk, and a “frunk”, giving the model 3 enough cargo capacity to challenge compact crossover SUVs.
Ultimately, model 3 is as convincing as the S model was before. No, it\’s not a vehicle as nice as the S model, and CEO Elon Musk has noted this many times. But it’s extremely nice. At its price, about $ 45,000 for the more fun version, model 3 will blow a lot, lots of minds. It is easily the most luxurious, all electric car of the market, the most attractive.
I drove it without delay, but I drove just about all the other all-electric cars you can buy, and I can safely say that Model 3 has no competition.
But it\’s more than that. Although it is a small four-door door and the market is moving away from this type of vehicle to embrace crossings and SUVs, there is no one who will sit at the driver\’s seat Of this car and does not want it, if only briefly. Model 3 prevents immediate desire, and lust persists. It really changes everything.
Now, all Tesla has to do is build half a million.