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Headed for SA? What we know about Tesla's new Model 3 sedan

2017-07-28 10:08

Image: Tesla

New York -  Earlier in July, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed images of its production Model 3, its first electric car for the masses. What's more, the new EV could be headed for South Africa.

Tesla's set to deliver the new electric Model 3 compact car to its first 30 customers on Friday (July 28).

The car is half the cost of Tesla's previous models, so it has the potential to attract many more customers to the brand.

Tesla hasn't revealed many details about the Model 3. 

Here's what we know so far:

Size: Tesla has said the Model 3 will be similar in size to the Audi A4 or the BMW 3 Series, which would put it in the medium-sized sedan segment. 

The company says the Model 3 can seat five adults and has more cargo capacity than similar cars of its size, since it has trunks in both the front and rear.

Price: The starting price of the Model 3 is $35 000 (the equivalent of R455 000). With a $7500 US tax credit, that falls to $27 500, but that tax credit is likely to begin phasing out in 2018 Tesla sells more than 200 000 vehicles in the US. Many states offer additional tax credits, including California, Colorado and New York.

Range: 346km on a charge.

Features: The hardware for Autopilot, Tesla's partially self-driving system, will be on all cars, but customers will have to pay extra for the whole suite of capabilities, including automatic lane-changing. 

The Model 3 will have fewer configurations than earlier Tesla vehicles, to make manufacturing less complex. But CEO Elon Musk has said customers will get to choose a color and wheel size.

Ordering: Potential buyers can put down a $1000 refundable deposit to get on the list for a Model 3. 

People reserving a car now will likely get it in the middle of 2018, Tesla says. Tesla hasn't said how many reservations it has for the car.

Lines are moving! #Model3

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Headed for SA?

SA petrolheads went wild with excitement when Musk tweeted in 2016: "Adding several more countries to Model 3 order page. Check for details but will include India, Brazil, SA, SK, New Zealand, Singapore & Ireland."

The Model 3 could arrive locally in 2018 or 2019.

It’s the only American car in the 2018 North American Car of the Year:

The Model 3 has been made the eligible vehicle list for the 2018 North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards, the only US vehicle to make the cut


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