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Tesla Model 3: Top 5 things you need to know

The all-new Tesla Model 3 has been burning everyone’s lips and fingers since its launch on March 31st. This highly anticipated product, which will go on sale in about 18 months, already has more than 275,000 pre-orders globally. 

But what do you know exactly about the fully electric compact luxury sedan? Here are five key points to remember:

1. Affordable price

Tesla became famous with the Roadster and especially the Model S, not to mention the all-new Model X crossover, but these are all expensive luxury vehicles. On the other hand, the Tesla Model 3 will be priced at $35,000 USD (Canadian pricing has yet to be announced), which is quite attractive ― even more so when you factor in government incentives of up to $8,500 depending on the province.

How is that possible? Through economies of scale, the company is set to make substantial savings on production costs thanks to its brand new and massive battery plant in Nevada (called “Gigafactory”). Construction of the latter partly explains the delayed introduction of the Model 3.

The BMW i3 ($45,300), Chevrolet Volt ($38,390), and Nissan LEAF ($32,698) all stand in its crosshair. Hybrid midsize sedans could also be hurt.

2. Promising performance and range

The Tesla Model 3 can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in less than six seconds, which is quite a bit faster than the average, gasoline-powered competitor. Furthermore, a full battery charge is said to provide a range of more than 345 kilometres ― ample enough for most trips. Charging times have not been specified, however.

3. Semi-autonomous driving

The Model 3 was designed to attain the highest safety ratings in every category. At the same time, like the Model S, it will be available with Tesla’s Autopilot technology allowing semi-autonomous driving. Actually, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that autonomous emergency braking will come standard, while automatic parking and autopilot will be optional convenience features.

4. Sleek styling with a unique twist

Sexy, don’t you think? From its wide, athletic stance to its huge glass sunroof, the Tesla Model 3 shares a large number of similarities with the Model S. Unlike the latter, however, the arching roofline doesn’t incorporate a rear hatch, but rather ends with a trunk lid. There’s an additional trunk up front, right under the hood ― a benefit of having no combustion engine. And since there’s no need for cooling down there, designers eliminated the front grille altogether, giving the Model 3 a unique fascia albeit a somewhat polarizing one.

5. Revolutionary cockpit

The first thing that catches the attention inside is obviously the sheer lack of gauges, buttons, and other controls. They have all been replaced by a gigantic 15” LG touch screen. This will definitely require some getting used to, and will likely cause a few distractions. But we have only seen Part 1 of the Model 3 unveil; Elon Musk says it will all make sense after Part 2. Should we expect something like a head-up display system to be included as well? Let’s hope so.