Tesla Model 3 – a wolf in sheep’s clothing

There is little doubt that Tesla has captured the imagination of the electric vehicle market.

Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3

The vehicles have incredible range, particularly with the twin motor model, minimalist, although high-end executive interior, and in its most sporty form, supercar challenging performance.

Designed as a mass market electric saloon, that’s exactly what it looks like. It has sharp, coupe-like styling with only the rear spoiler hinting at the performance, while the 18-inch Aero wheels are striking and distinctive.

The range starts with the three specification Model 3, which at just over £40k for an executive, fully electric car, is a competitive price.

That has a claimed range of 278 miles, while the mid-range model driven here features a second electric motor, which boosts the mileage to well over 350 and adds the versatility of all-wheel drive.

The interior is light and airy, much assisted by a full length panoramic roof.

Capable of seating four people in comfort, it is finished in high quality trim and soft touch luxury. This model featured the optional Black and White Premium interior, a mixture of piano black and sumptuous white leather, which will set you back more than a grand.

The most revolutionary innovation is the brains of the car, a 15-inch tablet. It sits in the centre of a slimline dash, and controls virtually every function. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but the lack of other traditional controls adds to the minimalist look

There are a couple of steering wheel controls, an indicator stalk and a transmission selector stalk. The touchscreen controls sat nav, connectivity, headlights, mirrors, wipers, steering wheel position and cruise control.

You can even open the boot from there. In true tablet style it also includes a number of games to keep you occupied, maybe while waiting for it to charge.

On the road, the Tesla is a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It may not look like a hot performer, but in true electric car style, acceleration is instant and exhilarating.

This model hits 60mph in just over four seconds and it doesn’t run out of puff after the initial burst, accelerating up to 145mph where permitted.

It may be an executive saloon, but it is still practical with effectively two boots, the one to rear is the largest and what would have been the engine compartment serves as a second space to provide a total of 542 litres.

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