Elon Musk drops specifications for Model 3 upgrade: ‘Quicker than a BMW M3’ and easier to handle

Tesla’s CEO is boasting that a Model 3 update will be faster than a comparable BMW and can ‘beat anything in its class on a track’

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 May, 2018, 3:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 21 May, 2018, 3:00pm

By Javier E. David

Elon Musk has boasted of adding new bells and whistles to Tesla’s Model 3, classifying the highest end version as a car that rides quickly, smoothly and has the ability to “beat anything in its class.”

In a series of posts on Twitter, Tesla’s CEO announced that he was working on two separate versions of the car, one “optimised for power and the other for range.”

He outlined a list of specifications: the all-wheel drive (AWD) performance Model 3 will boast a top speed of 155 miles per hour, can go from 0-60 in less than four seconds, and has a top range of 310 miles.

Starting at US$78,000, the AWD performance Model 3 would make it pricier than BMW’s high performance M3 that’s priced over US$67,000 and marketed as the “ultimate driving machine.” Musk, however, boasted the Model 3 would be faster and easier to handle. The AWD performance Model 3 “will beat anything in its class on the track,” the billionaire added.

A normal dual-motor will be less costly, Musk said, but will do 0-60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 140 miles per hour.

Musk’s tease comes as a recent report suggested the Model 3 could take a production leap in spite of its well-publicised woes. Tesla has struggled to ramp up production of the Model 3, which is expected to catapult Tesla into the ranks of mainstream auto producers, instead of a niche purveyor of high-end roadsters.

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Electric car blog Electrek, citing a leaked email from Musk to employees, said it was “quite likely” Tesla will make more than 500 Model 3 cars per day this week.

If that prediction holds true, then Tesla could conceivably hit a weekly production rate of 3,500 cars per week. The company is trying to reach a production rate of 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of the quarter, but has had to push back that timetable.

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Musk and his ambitions have come under withering scrutiny, heightened recently by a controversial earnings call in which the billionaire was openly dismissive of analysts’ questions.

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Last month, Musk boasted that Tesla would be cash-positive in the second half of this year. However, a number of prominent Wall Street analysts have warned the company is facing a cash crunch, and may need to tap the market sooner rather than later. Goldman Sachs estimates Tesla may require as much as US$10 billion in additional capital by 2020.

Tesla’ stock, which shed nearly three per cent in Friday’s trading session, is down more than to 11 per cent year to date.

--CNBC’s Robert Ferris contributed to this story.

Read the original article at CNBC