Tesla Model 3 Reveal Tentatively Set For March 2016


Tesla Model 3 Rendering

Recent Tesla Model 3 Rendering by Auto-Moto (based off the Ford Evos Concept)

Tesla Model 3 Price Target Is $35,000 Before Incentives

Tesla Model 3 Price Target Is $35,000 Before Incentives

Detailed yesterday in Tesla’s earning call is the announcement that Tesla Motors hopes to first show its ~$35,000 Model 3 in March 2016.

Quoting Elon Musk:

“We are hoping to show the Model 3 in March of next year.”

March is a tentative date that Musk openly admits might change, but that’s the target right now for Tesla.  In fact, the CEO added, “don’t super hold me to that month.”

As for production of the Model 3, Musk says that won’t get underway until late 2017:

“Late 2017 is probably more realistic.”

Tesla’s track record of always being late leads us to believe that the Model 3 won’t actually be delivered until sometime in 2018.

Full Q1 2015 results and commentary on Tesla products can be found here.

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61 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Reveal Tentatively Set For March 2016"

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I’m confident that Model-3 will look nice. So I would rather know Model-3’s anticipated performance specs and whether it will have a performance “P” version or an AWD dual-motor “D” version.

I figure it will be more like a BMW i5 or Ford Focus / Leaf form factor.

I wish sites would stop using that image. It’s the Ford Evos concept from a few years ago. Someone stole it and put a Tesla logo on the front.

Here you can see the same image (different color car) on one of Ford’s own websites: http://evosconcept.fordmedia.eu/photos/highres/FordEVOSConcept_19.jpg

Yes. And this expensive glass roof? Wheels? Expensive lights? Look more sporty then even Tesla S??? No way, Tesla would put such car for 40k$* on the market. Would leave not much reason to get X nor S. * If You read carefully, EVERYBODY (and their grandmas 😉 ) aim at 40k$ EV cars… But state 30’s k$ **with incentives applied** With Tesla S/X many buyers will have 7,5k tax to deduce from. With 40k$ cars, more buyers wont be able to afford those taxes. No taxes reduction without taxes -> higher real price of car. Also people from not-so-subsidized markets are getting wrong impressions. (30k$ is less then 100k PLN, while 40k$ is more then 100k PLN in my country – important barrier on price of new car!) I expect something along recent Volvo e-Golf feature set with some extras, just because Tesla can buy batteries cheaper, but also Tesla have better software side. But ultimately it will be car with 7-10 seconds to 100km/60miles, top seep less then 150 miles, range less then X, and “modest” feature set compared X. Just because this will be cheaper car. Even if Tesla could deliver more, they wont. Last thing they… Read more »

I’m suprised that no one has countered your pessimistic argument. Tesla is far more ambitious than you suggest. They want to sell half a million a year by introducing the Model 3. That will likely be a 4 or 5 to 1 split between the Model 3 and S/X. And value for the money will need to match. In other words definitely 200+ range (50kWhrs is easy at $250/kWhr), definitely BMW 3 series or better quality (Model “3” is not by chance), definitely top safety (now Tesla’s bread and butter) and definitely an AWD option which will add range/speed (a 2nd motor is clearly great value). At the same time, the S/X will also continue to progress in capabilities. The Model S has been selling better than any luxury sedan, you don’t think they can achieve the same again with the 3?

Oh, it is fine to use . . . just make clear that it is just a fantasy rendering that some 3rd party did for fun and is in no way connected to the real Tesla company.


We will add some details about the sourcing of the image via a third party in the caption just to avoid any confusion.

Even so, this is a cheap copy-paste picture.
Inside Evs should not use this at all. Misleading from another brand of car, not at all related to the Model 3.

wow good eye – thanks for the link. That being said – this is a nice looking car

Wow, Ford can make a good looking car.

Who knew?

Obviously you’ve never seen a Ford Mondeo before. Ford’s European designers always made good looking cars, it just wasn’t until recently that they started bringing them over to the US.

Elon Musk’s love for the word “super” was just taken to the next level… “Don’t super hold me to that month”


It’s funny he uses that word a lot, usually Americans don’t use that word much. It tends to be used by non native speakers, but yeah, he did take it to another level…

Wish he was a native American– then he could run for President. 😉

He could also run a casino in any dealerships on tribal land. 🙂
I think you meant natural citizen

No, I meant he’s not a native American.

If he were from an indigenous tribe– he’d be a Native American. 😉

Yeah, “natural-born citizen” is the phrase in the constitution. And that is an odd phrase . . . it makes it sound like test-tube babies would be ineligible.

AFAIK, he is a non-American native English speaker. In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of non-American native English speakers in the world.

Speaking of over-used words, Tesla needs a more “compelling” ability to hit target dates.

I almost don’t care what it looks like. I’m not a “car guy” who endlessly goes on about car looks. As long as it’s a 200 mile EV with Tesla’s engineering prowess and supercharging access, they will get my money.

Yes! I AM a car guy, but most cars are inoffensive at worst (though I’ll make an exception for the Honda Crosstour). The Leaf gets a lot of hate for its appearance, but honestly it doesn’t stand out on a crowded street.

Like you said, just give me a well designed car that thrills me with its utility and performance, and that will make me appreciate the looks.

Its okay if you have no taste, most people dont, but looks matter.

Uhh ohh.. They can’t even show the thing till 2016? Not even a digital rendering? Deliveries might be in 2018.. Love me some Tesla, but the Bolt is looking better and better everyday…

Nobody saw the Bolt until this year and its going into production in late 2016… same time frame?

Actually, we haven’t even really seen the production-intent Bolt. All we’ve seen is the concept version. Concepts are usually much more fanciful than the final production model.

Indeed. When the Volt was still a concept car, it was stunning. By the time it went to production, it was vanilla.

Sorry, not the same thing..

Bolt: In my garage in 2016-2017.

Tesla Model III: Might get lucky and see it in my garage in late 2018 with all the 1000’s of preorders ahead of me.

Well, take the Bolt and Photoshop a Tesla logo onto it. That will almost certainly have a look much closer to the actual Model ≡ than the Ford Evos seen above!

I hope not, between the two, the blue evo looks nicer. (imho)

Bolt never looked good

Tesla had the luxury of long lead times with the roadster and Model because none of the other automakers believed EVs were worth a darn. Now, everyone has seen Tesla’s “success” (yes, I know) and, minimally, proof there is a market there. As a result, other auto makers are entering the fray and even with their own long lead times are starting to create compelling products and even introduce second gen cars like the Volt. If the Model III looks anything like the Model S, it will likely have a leg up on the Bolt/i3 style contigent.

However, 200 miles of range is a lot less than people think (esp in Winter) and the supercharger rollout isn’t nearly as pervasive in much of the country as it is on the coasts. Indeed, a recent drive from Dallas to Austin showed me that even with the superchargers in Waco (half way) I would have been in a questionable bind with an 85kw Model S as I headed out to the Hill Country for a wedding that night. 200 miles of range would have been a non-starter.

1) Tesla is still building out the Supercharger network with lots of locations being added all the time, and they still have a couple of years before this car comes out.

2) Primary markets are the coasts. Even if Tesla could only sell on the coasts due to some perceived supercharger limitation, they would still sell every single one they could build.

Could the Model 3 be delivered ahead of expected schedule?

Take Today’s Model 70D @ $57,500

then less

~$9,000 Gigafactory Lower Battery Cost
~$4,000 Front Drive Only (no Frunk)
~$5,000 Squeeze Vendors for Volume Discounts
~$2,000 1 Step Down Fit & Finish
~$2,000 Lower Per Unit Margin
Total: ~22,000

Throw in a few “I’m Different than S” body cosmetics.

= Price $35,500 *After Incentives & Gas Savings

At same time, add more cool bells and whistles for Model S & update body style.

Seems to me that Model 3 could be a much simpler development & build than Model X with Falcon Doors.

Then again, Elon may want to go after the Model 3 with a clean sheet.

The Model S 70D is more like $75,000. Your other numbers are fanciful, too.

Model S 70D

After Incentives & Gas Savings

That’s current price per the online Tesla Design Studio:

That calculator is a TCO calculator. It doesn’t give you the price of the car, it gives you the total cost of ownership FOR THE CUSTOMER over a time period, _compared to ICE cars_, using certain assumptions .

That TCO has nothing do to with Tesla’s costs in _producing_ the car.

Step 1) use cheaper parts
Step 2) use cheaper parts

Cheaper plastic parts and steel body will go a long way to that 22k mark.

As for the GF cost, you gotta think its going to have around a 50 battery in it for the size of the car they are going to build to get that 200mile mark.

Yup, I agree 2X. Plus these too:

step 3) Decontent feature
step 4) shrink size to use less total materials.
step 5) Reduce acceleration/performance, allowing for cheaper parts throughout the drivetrain, suspension system, and smaller wheels/tires.
step 6) Standard paint quality instead of super-premium paint like on the S.

Heck, just switching to a sane set of 17-inch wheels/tires would save a few thousand dollars.

+ 1 on the tires… Tesla, I love you guys but, if you are listening, please do not put expensive tires (sizes) on the Model III and stick to common tire sizes like 195/65 17’s or similar. I learned from a major tire shop in Gilroy CA, right next door to a Tesla Super Charger site, which sells the various tires for the Tesla Model S, that they cost about 1k to replace [4-set] and usually last about 20k miles; WHAT? And, Model S tires being sold buy major tire shops do not even have a tread wear warranty [yet]… Yikes! Going electric for me means saving money since it should be MUCH cheaper to run the car since electricity is VERY cheap at night. I drive 25k per year and figuring 1k per tire set @ 20k miles + electricity @ ~$1200 (off-peak charging) per year would come awfully close to what I spend on gas+tires per year on my present car. My gas car tires are usually 80k mile warranty @ ~$350 [bridgestone, pirelli] on sale so I get about 4 years out of them on about ~1600 in gas per year. So my yearly costs would be… Read more »

It truly amazes me that so many people have bought into the notion that the Model ≡ will resemble a slightly scaled-down version of the Model S. Apparently the source of that misunderstanding is somebody at Tesla saying the Model ≡ will be “about 20% smaller than the Model S.”

It’s neither practical nor sensible for an auto maker to take the design for a car which costs twice as much as a new model, and try to trim off bits and pieces until they get down to half the cost.

You can take this to the bank: The Model ≡ will be a clean sheet design. The Model X was always intended as, and described as, a variant on the Model S; the Model ≡ won’t be. It’s unlikely the Model ≡ will resemble the Model S any more than the Model S resembles the Tesla Roadster.

Tesla, just like any other auto maker when designing a truly new type of car, will make a list of things the designers and engineers think they can put into a car to fit the target budget, and then design a car to contain those things.

Although I think you’re right, don’t be too certain about it.

After all, for many years, most everything Audi made was commonly referred to “same sausage, different size”.

Which is what Ford is doing with their Fusion grille. Applying to everything in their portfolio smaller than an F-150. It’s even there in all its dorky misplaced glory on their full sized Transit van, which should have gotten a modified F-150 style grille.

So realistically 2020 for volume production, based on “Tesla Time”. There might even be suitable DC fast charging out here in the uncharged territories by then.

I don’t think Tesla is stupid enough to make it look anything like the current model S. That image is worse than useless (sorry).

Elon has said it will be different than the Model S but not some “weirdmobile”.

That kind of bums me out because I’d love something just like the Model S but 20% smaller.

I think for 35k it should have Falcon wing doors in the front & rear……….HeHe

What? No hinging Falcon rear hatch or Frunk? Cancel my reservation….


Well, I’m tempted to say that if I were to choose what would and won’t be part of the Model ≡, that space-wasting frunk would be the first thing to go. Based on pure style vs mechanical functionality, it appears the only reason Tesla put that on the Model S is to make it look more like a gas guzzler… and there’s no need for a BEV to resemble one.

Of course, one could argue that the long nose improves the streamlining, but the BMW i3 achieves superb streamlining while having a very short nose.

However, I also know that Tesla used the long nose to create a long crumple zone for the passenger cabin, making the Model S one of the safest cars on the road in a collision. And I doubt Tesla wants to compromise any more than it has to on that. So, I do expect a shorter nose, with less empty space; perhaps no front storage space at all. But I don’t expect a “pug” nose, like the BMW i3 or the Bolt.

BMW i3 drag coefficient is .29
Tesla Model S is .24.

There is a reason to make Model 3 look like a gas guzzler; to sell the vehicle to current gas guzzler owners.

Most owners of gas guzzlers don’t want some weird mobile that looks like a Prius or LEAF or VW XL1.

You forgot that:

a) A lack of frunk would make the rear facing seats much less usable. Piling your luggage on top of the kid(s) sitting there is going to make you pay dearly in compensation ice creams.

b) Elon has 5 kids

To me the biggest thing with still having a frunk is the crash protection.. Its really nice to have some buffer/slow down things before whatever you hit reaches you..

Ford EVOS body!

If the model 3 doesn’t come out until 2018, they are going to miss out on quite a bit of buyers. With the Chevy Bolt and Leaf Gen2 hitting the market with much greater range before then, there will be a lot of buyers that won’t want to wait for the Model3. Combine that with the fact that come 2016/17 there will be a lot of state rebates expiring and the $7500 federal credit will be getting closer to the limit for Chevy and Nissan (and Tesla) they will likely miss out on a few buyers who can’t afford to wait.

Jonathan said: “If the model 3 doesn’t come out until 2018, they are going to miss out on quite a bit of buyers.” That’s true, but then you could say the same thing if it came out today: That it has already “lost” a lot of buyers to the Leaf, the Volt, the i3, and other EVs. The question is this: Whatever year the Model ≡ debuts, can Tesla sell as many as it can possibly make? If the answer is “yes”, then it doesn’t matter how may nominally “200 mile” EVs came out before the Model ≡. I don’t think Tesla is much concerned with “losing” the 1% of the automobile market which represents non-Tesla EVs. We can hope that number will swell to perhaps 2% or (to be very optimistic) 3% in 2017, when the new “200 mile” EVs come on the market, but again from Tesla’s perspective, I suspect any “competition” from that very narrow market segment is nearly irrelevant. The potential market Tesla is aiming for is the 99% of the automobile market currently populated by gas guzzlers. Tesla isn’t much interested in competing with the Leaf, the Volt, the i3, or even the upcoming Bolt.… Read more »

A base Model 3 will compete with a V6 Accord,Camry and Altima.

Even with fuel and maintenance savings it will be far more expensive than a Corolla or Civic.

Elon has stated more than once the main target is BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. I guess he does not mention C-Class because of Tesla’s relationship with Mercedes.

Yes Tesla will take some sales from current owners of Civic, Corolla,Prius, Versa and other sub $30k cars but the German compacts plus Lexus ES and IS are the MAIN targets.

Assuming these people base their decision solely on price. Which is not true.

The main buying impulse is emotion. You buy the car you want to be seen in. So if you see that sexy, fast, efficient, solar power eating Model 3, there suddenly is this voice inside: “I wants it”. On the Tesla Motors forum, people have admitted they spent 2x on their Model S than any other car they ever owned.

I.O.W. what people buy is not limited by what they CAN pay for it, but what they WANT to pay for it. And yes, there are many that want to pay more to drive electric. And therefore the Model 3 is competition for cheaper cars (cheaper as in ‘total cost of ownership).

FYI: TCO of the Model S is not very good compared to any similar GAS competition car because of the tires Tesla put on the car. Look up the tread life (20k miles and no warranty!) and replacement cost (1k+). WTH?

Lol i will wait for anything Tesla, they build the best cars, could care less for the leaf or bolt

My prediction: The Model will be both late and over the target price.

But it will still be a great car and people will line up to buy it. But it is not going to hit the 500,000 per year level. At least not initially.

It should hit 500,000 in annual global sales by 2020 when both sedan and crossover versions of it are available.

400 ppm of CO2 globally…congratulations earthlings for achieving a step closer to self destruction.