$66k upwards, but is it worth it?
Three long years after the reservation list first open, American marque Tesla has opened the order books for their Model 3 compact saloon, with two variants on offer for the Australian market and prices beginning at an indulgent $66,000.
For that money you get a rear-driven Standard Long-Range variant with 460km rated range, and a century sprint time of 5.6-seconds. You could max out at 225km/h in theory (if you want to lose your license) but, more importantly, you could also (almost) get into a brand-new BMW 320d M-Sport.
But if you’re into that sort of thing, then Tesla will supply. And if 460km is not enough for you to do a round-trip to the shops then you can spend $85,000 for the Performance model. Along with all-wheel drive, the Performance model manages to hit 100km/h from rest in just 3.4-seconds, but if you drive it carefully you should be able to manage 560km on a single charge.
Both cars come as standard (unfortunately) with the (hideous) 18-inch aerodynamic alloys, but you can have any interior colour scheme you’d like as long as it’s black. Same goes with the colours, with silver & blue adding $1400 to the MSRP, white adding $2100, and red adding $2800. We hope you like black.
If you enjoy giving Elon Musk money you can tick the ‘Performance Upgrade’ box for your Model 3 Performance, where you’ll gain 20-inch alloys, a carbon-fibre lip spoiler, lowered suspension, beefier brakes, a ‘Track Mode’ and aluminium pedals, but lose $6200 in hard-earned money.
Still have money left over? Throw $7100 at the Freemont factory and you can add ‘Full Self-Driving Capability,’ which Tesla promises will be able to recognise road signs, traffic lights, and drive autonomously by the end of the year, but will currently do highway lane-changing and hands-free parking.
The Tesla Model 3 will be serviced by Supercharger sites across Australia, which are being upgraded to offer CCS Combo 2 charging cables.
Perhaps we’re luddites in this respect but, without the appealing Standard Range Plus models that are available in the States (starting at $56k thereabouts), the Tesla Model 3 just doesn’t make sense to us. Yes for the money you can only really get into a diesel BMW 3er but even then, you’d be plonking money down for a car that you know will have the neighbours’ curtains twitching and remains the benchmark for driving dynamics in the segment. We don’t get it.