Tesla Model 3 Australian pricing and specs revealed

Tesla finally opens online ordering for Model 3, with two variants available from $66,000

Tesla Rhd 1422 1 1 Jpg

UPDATE - only a couple of days after this story was originally published, Tesla has opened the order books for Australia.

It will indeed bring in two models - the Standard Plus starts at $66,000 before on-road costs, offers 460km of range on the NEDC test cycle, while its top speed is 225km/h.

The dual-motor Model 3 Performance starts at $85,000 before on-roads, offers a claimed range 0f 560km and will leap from zero to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds.

The cheapest Model 3 is $66,000 before on-road costs plus an $875 delivery fee, with Tesla indicating delivery in August and an on-the-road cost of $70,340 in NSW.

The most expensive Model 3 - a fully optioned dual-motor Performance with a long-range battery - crests the $100,000 mark before on-road costs in the same state.

Tesla suggests that purchasers 'save' $5600 over five years in petrol costs, so despite the final bill exceeding $113,600 with on-road costs factored in, it's presented on the site as being a little over $108,000.

According to Telsa's Australian office, the Model 3 online configurator is now open to reservation holders as well as to the general public.

Deliveries will kick off in August and will be prioritised based on the buyer's reservation date, delivery location and configuration options.

A $3000 deposit is required to order a car, up from the $1500 figure before the configurator opened.

Interestingly, those who have been in the queue since 2016 appear to have gained very little in the way of faster access, with new orders also slated for August delivery.

The exchange rate between the Australian and US dollar has changed over the period, as well, with the average in 2016 equating to one Australian dollar equalling US$0.72.

Today's rate is closer to $0.66, which will potentially add between $3000 and $5000 to a price of a Model 3 in real terms.

As well, the promise of a basic, entry-level car is yet to materialise for Australian buyers, with the Standard Model 3 - which launched earlier this year - reverting to a special-order-only variant in the US.

A black interior and 18-inch rims come standard on both cars, with a $6200 Performance Pack adding 20-inch rims with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, bigger brakes with four-piston monoblock calipers, lowered suspension, a carbon fibre rear spoiler and an additional Sport mode.

Owners can select one of five colours, including the standard black, silver, blue, white and red. Silver and blue are an extra $1400 charge, white is $2100 and red costs $2800.

Tesla's much-discussed Autopilot will be standard across the range. A so-called Full Self-Driving Capability mode adds another $7100. 

It acts merely as an expensive self-parking feature and automatic lane-changer at present, but Telstra says that more capabilities - including a Summon mode - will be added in the future.

Tesla Model 3 order form



Tesla may have taken its sweet time, but at long last, there may be hope for the hundreds of people who laid down deposits on the company’s entry-level Model 3 hatchback in 2016 that they may see their cars in 2019.

Documents on the Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services website’s Road Vehicle Certification System page reveal data lodged by Tesla ahead of the car’s Australian debut, in order to ensure the Tesla Model 3 complies with Australian Design Rule (ADR) standards.

It lists June 1 as the date where the car will be inspected before receiving its identification plate approval, allowing it to be registered in Australia.

RHD Tesla Model 3 RVSC document

A black Model 3 used in the official documents has also been spotted atop a car transporter, though it’s impossible to confirm whether it is right-hand-drive from the images.

The details lodged via the RVCS show two four-door, five-seat Model 3 variants listed. The first, code-named E3RB, will have 225kW and weigh 1726kg, while the second, known as E3DB, will have 350kW and tip the scales at 1856kg.

The single-motor variant will most likely be the newly introduced Standard, while the dual-motor car will be the Premium.

No prices have been announced, but Motor magazine estimated that the Premium single-motor car could cost around $75,000 before on-road costs, with the double-motor version clearing $100,000.

The ‘R’ in the lower-powered variant alludes to the Model 3’s rear axle-mounted motor, while ‘D’ refers to a double motor set-up.

The single motor car will come with 18-inch wheels with 235/45R18 tyres and the dual motor machine with 19s and 235/40R19-sized tyres.

RSVC Tesla Model 3 Australian RHD documents

Interestingly, both cars feature the same brake package, with 320mm rotors up front and larger 335mm rotors in the rear.

Both cars will, according to the paperwork, have items like air conditioning, power mirrors and windows, anti-lock brakes and central locking as standard, with specs like fog lights and towbars listed as optional.

Speaking of towing, the documents also reveal that the Model 3 will be able to tow 910kg of braked or 750kg of unbraked trailer.

Both variants of Model 3 will share the same dimensions; 4694mm long, 1850mm wide and 1443mm high, with a wheelbase of 2875mm and ground clearance of 144mm.

RVCS, or the Road Vehicle Certification System, is the vehicle certification system used in Australia and is operated by the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch (VSS), part of the Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services.

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The discovery comes despite a lack of communication from Tesla around exact delivery dates for Australian-spec Model 3s. Several weeks ago, configuration pages opened on Tesla’s UK site, but as of late May, $1500 deposits were still required via the Australian page.

A Tesla spokesperson confirmed to WhichCar that deposit-paying customers will receive invitations before the website configurator is enabled for general purchasing.

Tesla, via its eccentric chairman Elon Musk, is aiming to build 1000 Model 3s a week – up from the current claim of 700 cars a week – despite the company issuing an edict to drastically reduce expenditure right across the business.

The company recently backtracked on a decision to close a majority of its dealerships – itself a plan that wasn’t shared with the dealerships themselves before publication – and has savagely cut the price on several of its models, including more than $80,000 from top-spec Model X SUVs.

Have you got a Tesla Model 3 on order? we'd love to hear from you in the comments below!


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