The Model 3 is the cheapest electric sports car from Tesla prepared for all kinds of scenarios. This model sets up a relationship between performance and price. We know that Tesla vehicles are not the cheapest on the market, however, this one in particular offers more than what its competitors in the same segment can offer. But at what cost?
This model represents the true spirit of Tesla by Elon Musk in terms of sporty quality. The three editions – the Standard Range Plus, the Long Range and the Performance – of the Model 3 made it possible to cover several markets – from the most accessible to the one with the most performing character. As announced, the Performance edition is capable of the incredible feat of completing from 0 to 100 km / h in 3.3 seconds, placing it as the second fastest model of the American manufacturer of electric vehicles.
We had the opportunity to be behind the wheel of the Model 3 Long Range, where it was possible to assess important points about the model. Starting from performance, skimming some measures and aids to driving, observe relevant design features and the comfort of this sports road vehicle. In our rehearsal, accompany us to a well-equipped vehicle with everything you are entitled to.
Model 3 Long Range performance
Purely powered by electricity, the Model 3 is an all-wheel drive that equips two engines, one at the rear (with approximate strength to that of a diesel engine) and at the front, a more rotary (but less powerful), both with the advantage of having a torque always available, something that only an electric motor can guarantee. The rear engine has 203 kW of power (with 335V of maximum tension) and 330 Nm of torque, together with a front engine of 121 kW (335V of tension) and 163 Nm of torque that allows the car to start from 0 to 100 km / h in a modest 4.4 seconds.
Since we are talking about an electric motor, it excluded the need for a gearbox, however, Tesla uses an explanation (by equivalence) of what it would be like to have a transmission – the ratio is 1: 9 gears, which allows it to reach very high speeds. This incredible response from the Model 3 is due to the 1,844 kg of weight pulled by (combined total power) some 440 hp (324 kW), which gives it a dynamic behavior for all situations. By concentrating the batteries in the car’s chassis, it allows a low center of gravity, placing it at the level of some track sports cars.
Being an all-wheel drive, safety at the entry and exit of accelerating curves is no longer a major risk (as the car can distribute the torque depending on the need), when compared to a rear-wheel drive version. The Model 3 can reach 233 km / h (electronically limited) in order to save battery power. This model is the most autonomous vehicle, reaching a fantastic 580 km that is ensured by a set of 82 kWh batteries that will be almost sufficient for a journey, for example, from Faro to Porto.
The behavior of the model on the highway is exemplary, above all, if you use the autopilot (the recognized “auto-pilot”) that allows you to reduce the fatigue of traveling on the highway. Experienced drivers know that motorways offer the best and worst of driving – on the one hand, it increases comfort, on the other hand, excess comfort leads to distraction – which is solved in two ways: speed increase or pure distraction . Off the highway, we are facing one of the safest models both in and outside the city.
Safety and driving aids
The Model 3 includes the most advanced driver support systems that guarantee the active safety of your vehicle, both in emergency braking and in controlling the stability of the vehicle, as well as preventing accidents. The “Autopilot” is a semi-autonomous driving system that allows the driver to relax (keeping an eye on the action) without compromising safety – ideal on the highway and in the city – little recommended on worn roads and with poor markings on the asphalt.
Adaptive cruise control allows the vehicle to regulate the speed for the scene in which it finds itself. In addition, in scenarios considered safe (by the vehicle), you can even overtake (almost autonomously), at the distance of a simple “blink” triggered, which, when triggered by the driver, will allow the vehicle to start overtaking.
There is no shortage of videos captured from situations where any of Tesla’s semi-autonomous cars prevented accidents using cameras and ultrasound sensors that anticipated emergency braking over a distance of two or three vehicles in line. Advantageous is the option of these models to include constant updates to the electronic systems of any Tesla model, despite the existing hardware limitations.
In addition to active security systems, Tesla is also recognized for passive security. Know that when you buy a Tesla, you are acquiring a real shock absorption box in the event of an accident (both in frontal and lateral shock), where the Model 3 receives an honorable mention (being classified as the best in the category). This is achieved thanks to the space available on the “hood” (which does not have an engine) and the luggage compartment. The doors are reinforced in an alloy that incorporates both aluminum and steel (in order to guarantee the consistency of the body).
We would just like to remind you that although the maximum exponent of semi-autonomous driving is called “Autopilot”, the vehicle is not autonomous driving, as the vehicle and Tesla itself, oblige the driver to keep an eye on the vehicle in order to guarantee that does not run into major problems. The vehicle uses lanes to maintain its route, does not recognize light signals, nor does it respect vertical signs (although it identifies them), but despite recognizing all types of vehicles and people, it does not identify walls or small elevations, so you will have to be careful with these kinds of problems.
Vehicle dimensions and design
The Model 3 is 4.69 meters long, 2.09 meters wide (including mirrors) and 1.44 meters high, one of the most spacious and minimalist vehicles in the sedan segment. With five seats (for adults) and two luggage spaces, one at the front – due to the absence of a combustion engine – and one at the rear (with several compartments), both making a total of 425 liters of capacity.
Influential, the Tesla brand outlined a minimalist, yet extremely refined physical appearance, allowing it not to go unnoticed by even the least tuned to the automotive industry. It is that type of car that passes by us and we feel a temptation to return the look in a tone of call. This could only be a daydream of mine, but it is a reality. It is a feeling or “call” similar to that inflicted on us by a Mercedes (super sports car), a Ferrari or a Porsche – cars of this kind – this because we have already become accustomed to a powerful footprint.
The exterior signature is accompanied on the inside, but without ever abandoning those more luxurious touches of those looking for this segment. However, we cannot fail to highlight the instrument panel (from Tesla) also known (in this case) as an infotainment system, as it is all included in a 15.4 inch touchscreen center console that delights any technology lover, in the However, he exaggerates, by adopting a radicalization of the digital influence of the abandonment of some fundamental physical buttons. In addition, it also has a darkened panoramic roof that protects the driver from UV rays, but maintains the exterior style of the car.
Long Range driving comfort
It is difficult to classify driving style in terms of comfort. This edition of the Model 3 was one of the most comfortable we have experienced, however, I think it is important to mention that there is some rigidity inherent in the model’s sporting style, but even though we are talking about the “Long Range” model – which offers more autonomy – it should be comfortable for longer trips, it ceases to be comfortable if you are not driving it, as the rear seats are not as comfortable as they look (as they are closer to the ground).
The front seats are electronically adjusted in twelve alternating positions. However, in general, the five seats (front and rear) have heating upholstery – part of the vehicle’s air conditioning system – so that you never feel uncomfortable inside this Tesla electric. With multiple driving profiles, know that you can always have the car as you wish when it is your turn to drive – which is simply enjoyable!
If you don’t see yourself in this option (of physical comfort), and if the infotainment is enough to forget about physical tiredness, there are plenty of options that will distract you on a long trip (if you’re a passenger, of course), because as a driver, stay concentrated on the road. If you feel tired (other than sleep), you can always hang on the “Autopilot” for a while, but without neglecting road safety. Attention, driving aids are just that and should not be considered as one hundred percent safe, so if you are tired (and sleepy) you should stop so as not to put your life and that of others at risk.
Even betting on minimalism, Tesla never fails to appreciate its customers, taking the opportunity to include some very fun details that will certainly be able to fill true moments on board a car, complementing what must be a true sustainable mobility experience combined with pleasure driving – this is undoubtedly a car for those who like to drive – coupled with many other advantages.
The new Model 3 2020 presents a price starting at € 57,990.00 in your version Long Range (the one we tested), but there is, for € 50,900.00, the rear engine edition (“more accessible”). Finally, the edition “Performance”Has a cost of € 63,990.00 in Portugal. This is undoubtedly a very tempting proposal, as it allows what most electric vehicles in the same segment cannot do.
Little consumer, the Model 3 presented average consumption of around 20 kWh, which converting into fossil fuel energy consumption will be something like 2.0l (per hundred kilometers) in a vehicle diesel (10 kWh ~ 1.0l) or 2.2l in a vehicle gasoline (8.9 kWh ~ 1.0l). So, for the price, you can consider purchasing “a toy” of these seeing it as a medium-long term investment, where you will profit from your investment.
Is battery cost an issue? Yes and no. It depends on the deal you are given. If you choose to charge your vehicle more often at home, the battery’s longevity is longer, as it is subject to less strain on charging, which will allow longer-lasting charging cycles. There are models from 2012 and 2013 that still have an actual loading capacity of more than 95% – which means that performance is not yet affected (notably). Before care in internal combustion cars was the right fuel and the right oil, now it is the way it preserves the battery – the most fragile asset of your electric vehicle.
Extremely safe, the Tesla Model 3 is the cheapest alternative to the best in the segment, the Model S, which captivates electric vehicle and Tesla lovers. Leaving nothing behind, this model offers an opportunity and unique experiences to slightly more contained portfolios. It was, without a doubt, a fantastic experience that we had on board the Model 3 Long Range.
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