From Elon Musk’s late night tweets to seemingly endless speculation about share prices, there’s so much noise around Tesla that it’s sometimes easy to forget the company actually makes cars.
Granted, British buyers have been waiting rather a long time for this one. The Tesla Model 3 – the US brand’s much-vaunted entry-level model – was first unveiled nearly three years ago, and despite various production delays it has been on sale in the US for quite a while now.
Before you get too excited, you still can’t buy one in the UK. However, with the first customers in some of Europe’s left-hand drive markets having now taken delivery of their cars, it feels like we have moved a big step closer to its current summer 2019 ETA.
Some of you Tesla fans will doubtless know plenty about this car already, but for those who aren’t that clued up, what exactly is the Model 3? Well, it’s a pure electric car – Tesla doesn’t do petrols, diesels or even hybrids – and it’s the brand’s smallest model to date, sitting below the Model X SUV and the Model S luxury saloon.
It’s roughly the same size as the BMW 3 Series and, initially at least, there will be two versions: a four-wheel drive Long Range model and a more powerful Performance edition. If you convert from Euros, the former works out about £50,000 and the latter £60,000 – although the final Tesla Model 3 UK price will depend a lot on what happens to the pound in the wake of Brexit.
In short, though, the Model 3 will be priced somewhere between the Kia e-Niro and the Jaguar I-Pace, and, officially at least, can manage greater distances than either of those cars – up to 338 miles according to the latest European government tests – between charges.
Stay with us over the next few pages and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Tesla Model 3, including what it’s like to drive, how practical it is and how easy it is to charge. We’ll also run you through some of the car’s impressive tech.