Tesla Model 3: European prices and specs revealed, but how much will it cost in the UK?
It’s finally here, sort of. After making its UK debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year, European pricing and WLTP figures have been revealed for the Tesla Model 3 and it’s now in some showrooms.
Prices vary depending on the European market it is sold in, but a long-range AWD Model 3 will be available for around €58,000, while the Performance model will cost in the region of €68,000 – that’s around £52,000 and £61,000 respectively. Some way above the affordable EV Elon Musk originally promised, then. However, sources say there is still an ‘entry-level’ model making an appearance after launch, which should cost from around £30,000.
The car’s WLTP-correlated figures have also been announced, and it’s good news for European customers: the model available from launch will be capable of up to 338 miles between charges ��� an impressive range that will ensure Tesla remains ahead of the competition (even if they are a more expensive proposition). In fact, this official figure is more than Tesla’s own figure of 310 miles.
The Model 3 has made its debut in two showrooms – Park Royal in London and Manchester South, near Stockport. The company will be showing off its new model at ‘Meet the Model 3’ events – available to those who’ve already placed an order.
We now know it’ll be available in rear-wheel and four-wheel drive form, too, with the range-topping Performance model capable of 155mph and a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds.
The Model 3 sits below the more upmarket Model S and Model X ranges, and is aimed at taking on the likes of BMW’s 3 Series, and Mercedes’ C-Class. So can it shake up the petrol and diesel competition?
Well a glance at the performance figures confirms it’s more than capable of taking on a BMW M3. In fact, Elon Musk himself confirmed the aim of the Performance Model 3 was to be 15% quicker than the iconic German car. But aside from the headline-grabbing stats and pricing, what else do you need to know?
Well, it certainly looks the part; its styling is based very much on the larger Model S, although there’s a more tapered rear end and a curvier roof line. In essence though, it is a down-sized version of the larger car.
However, its bulbous roof and general American-ness means it is a little larger than its main competitor, the BMW 3 Series. Its body also means it benefits from an excellent drag coefficient of just 0.23 – impressive considering its class.
Step inside and things are even less complicated and minimalist than the bodywork. No conventional dials here. Instead the dashboard is dominated by a huge 15.4in floating screen that controls just about all the car’s functions.
All Model 3s come with an impressive specification too, featuring a wifi hotspot, keyless entry, dual-zone climate, voice command controls and of course Tesla’s ever-advancing Autopilot system that’s capable of semi-autonomous driving.
For those wanting a little more luxury, a Premium Pack can be added which adds wood-veneer trim (like the car in the picture), a 12-speaker stereo, heated and electrically adjustable seats. All Model 3s are expected to come with a panoramic roof, too.
Thanks to its low-lying electric drivetrain, the Model 3 gets two boots which combined offer 425 litres of space and, while that’s not quite what some of its rivals offer, it’s not too far off the mark.
Performance-wise however, it should be every bit as capable as the most potent petrol 3 Series. Even non-Performance models are capable of 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and provide a top speed of 145mph.
Thanks to a near-perfect weight distribution courtesy of those low-lying batteries, it should be as impressive in corners as it is in a straight line.
Other options include Enhanced Autopilot, which matches the speed to traffic conditions and is capable of automatically changing lanes. This does push up the price by another $5,000 (£3,800) though.
If a Tweet reply by Tesla founder Elon Musk is to be believed, the Model 3 will be available with the suitably named Ludicrous Mode too, which unleashes the full potential of that electric drivetrain – a Model S in Ludicrous Model gets to 60mph from rest in a startling 2.3 seconds, for example.
With UK deliveries set to begin in mid 2019, it’ll still be a while before we see the Model 3 out on the road. However, if you fancy a Tesla right now, you can find lease deals on the Model S and Model X by clicking here.