Tesla doesn't update the Model 3 on a year-to-year basis, instead choosing to incrementally improve the car over time. The biggest and most recent change is the introduction of a new base model. With this model, dubbed the Standard Range model, Tesla has finally achieved what they set out to do, sell an all-electric vehicle to the masses at a base price of $35,000. This new base price is significantly less expensive than what was available earlier, truly bringing an electric only option to huge number of Americans.
The Tesla Model 3 comes in four different configurations. Currently, the car is available in rear-wheel drive with what Tesla calls either its "standard-range battery" or its optional "mid-range battery." The car also comes in dual-motor all-wheel drive with the "long range battery," and in dual-motor all-wheel drive in "performance" guise. Tesla claims a 220-mile range for the standard battery, while the rear-drive Mid Range model will hit 60 mph in 5.6 seconds with an EPA-estimated range of 264 miles. The AWD Long Range will cover 310 miles, with acceleration to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Performance trim with all-wheel drive accomplishes the same feat in just 3.3 seconds while not compromising range. Top speed on the Performance is estimated at 155 mph.
Step inside the Tesla Model 3 and it immediately becomes apparent that the future has arrived. Rather than a typical dashboard, a 15-inch tablet-like device dominates the central dash area, displaying everything from map information to the radio. The result is an incredibly clean and spartan looking interior that does away with much of the clutter that's defined modern interior styling.
For now, the Model 3 rides on a choice of 18- or 19-inch wheels, though the Performance can be upgraded to 20s. Inside you'll find what Tesla calls its Premium interior. This means that standard features include heated front seats with 12-way power adjustment, four USB ports and two smartphone docks, a tinted glass roof, custom driver profiles and one year of Tesla's connectivity service free of charge. This service includes both navigation updates with traffic as well as in-car streaming from media devices. LED foglamps and heated exterior mirrors are also standard.
For those who really want to experience the future, Tesla offers a $5000 Enhanced Autopilot option. Enhanced Autopilot includes auto-lane change, autosteer, active cruise control and Autopark and Summon functions. Tesla also expects to add fully autonomous self-driving capabilities to the Model 3, though that function is not currently available.