SPIED: Tesla Model 3 testing with BMW 3 Series

News | April 6th, 2017 by 13
tesla model 3 750x500

Let me preface this by saying we don’t actually own the spy photos but they can be found at Jalopnik. Now, on to the story. …

Let me preface this by saying we don’t actually own the spy photos but they can be found at Jalopnik. Now, on to the story. Apparently, the folks at Jalopnik have caught what seems to be the real life Tesla Model 3 in the wild far before its official debut and it seems to be doing some testing alongside the BMW 3 Series. After all, the BMW 3er is the Model 3’s chief competition.

In the pictures, you can really get a good look as to what the Model 3 will look like. It isn’t wearing any camouflage at all and we can see every detail of the car. There even some interior shots, where we can see the gigantic dash-mounted tablet screen (albeit, through the glare of the window glass).

From the outside, the Model 3 is exactly what we thought it would be. It’s essentially a slightly hatchbacked Model S. While it isn’t bad looking, it isn’t really good looking either. For something that’s supposed to make or break the Tesla brand, you’d think Mr. Musk would have wanted something a bit more interesting. Admittedly, it is in keeping with the brand’s styling and that seems to be working, so don’t fix what ain’t broke, I guess. I will note that the front end does look a bit different from the Model S and has a sort of psuedo-grill built into the face of the car, despite not actually having a grill. To be honest, this is the best looking front end of any Tesla thus far.

Tesla Model 3 750x424


The rest of the car though? Ehh. Pretty nondescript and really lacking any sort of visual drama. The door handles seem to be changed but that’s really about it. I looks exactly like every other Tesla and a cross between the Model S and Model X, although it isn’t anywhere near as hideous as the latter (I saw a Model X on the road the other day and couldn’t stop gasping at its tepid awfulness).

On the inside, it’s hard to really make out any other details besides the massive screen but it looks pretty minimalist. That’s fine, of course, as that’s sort of the idea. Much like the BMW i3, the interior is meant to be calm, simple and serene, without much distraction. The massive tablet looks okay but it really has the sort of tacked-on look that Mercedes-Benz gets a lot of flak for. It looks like a TV on a wall-mount. There does seem to be some nice wood trim across the dash, though, which is nice.

Overall, the Tesla Model 3 looks exactly like every other Tesla but I guess that’s the point. Its buyers are the sort of tech-oriented folks who don’t really care about driving or style and are more interested in the technology under the skin. So keeping its design simple, both inside and out, is probably a smart idea. While it will bother more traditional car people, such as myself, that it looks more like an appliance than anything special, it will certainly appeal to its target audience, which is a new breed of car buyer.

[Source: Jalopnik]

13 responses to “SPIED: Tesla Model 3 testing with BMW 3 Series”

  1. Tommolog says:

    If Tesla does manage to release the Model 3 on time, and by 2018 they are delivering them in volume that’s even close to what Musk predicts, then 3 Series sales are going that a big hit in the US market. Hopefully BMW has a competitor in the pipeline…

    • Chris L says:

      At this point it may beyond hope, Tom. 2021? More than late coming to the party. Bloomberg article has hi-rez photos; the photo of the blue M3 looks particularly attractive. Dual-motor version will sell for less than what an i3 costs. If BMW really has an i5 concept waiting in the wings, better drag it out VERY soon indeed. And then there’s the multi-motor i-Pace out in 2018.

      • Tommolog says:

        I don’t necessarily have that same opinion, Chris. While I love what Tesla is doing (and have a Model 3 reservation), I don’t think they have the EV market locked up by any means. BMW, Daimler, VW, etc will deliver the EV that competes with Tesla when they are ready to.

        There were about 150,000 plug in cars sold in the US lats year, and that’s PHEVs and BEVs. That’s out of the nearly 18,000,000 cars & light trucks sold. Even if Tesla manages to sell 500,000 cars per year by 2020, they will still only have 1/40th of the market. You and I aren’t the “typical” car buyers, we’re early adopters by any definition.

        IMO the biggest asset Tesla has is the Supercharger network, not their cars, because the other OEMs can match or beat them at making cars, they have much more experience and resources to do so. The billion dollar question is what will the high speed 150kW+ DC fast charge infrastructure look like in 2020. That’s going to play a big role in how well the big OEMs do when they roll out their Tesla fighters in the coming years.

        • Chris L says:

          I agree fully with everything you said, Tom. I’m just not sure BMW has a competitive BEV “in the pipeline.” For me, in the pipeline means having a concept unveiled and a stated production date.

          I also don’t expect Tesla to have a lock on the EV market, nor would I want them to. I would like lots of competition. To date, I am gratified that Mercedes, Audi, VW, Porsche, Jaguar, and others have shown good commitment toward transitioning a significant segment of their product line to electric. In the non-premium segment, I applaud Hyundai on their new, very-well received Ioniq EV (selling after incentives for around $20k in some markets).

      • Kaisuke971 says:

        2021 isn’t “late”, BMW isn’t the only brand out of the german big 3 to have a standalone electric model for no reason. The public isn’t ready, the infrastructures aren’t ready. Tesla is early. It’ll still take a couple years before electric cars become an actual proposition worldwide.

        For the moment we’re slowly shifting to hybrid.

  2. SEB says:

    Range anxiety? No thanks. The 330e series is going to eat Tesla’s lunch and market share.

    • Whocares says:

      Wanna bet on that? I bet Tesla 3 will outsold any 3 series and its competitors.

      • SEB says:

        TEsla would need to sell over 200,000 cars per Month from august 1st onward, looks like this will not happen until way into 2018, too late. Volvo, Jaguar, Audi, BMW, VW, Daimler, and other Chinese manufacturers already leapfrogging tesla but again… Keep the dream alive!

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