Tesla spells out the differences between Model S, Model 3

For customers struggling with a choice between two Tesla sedans — the Model S and the unreleased Model 3 – the electric vehicle maker has set up a handy chart.

A shorter summary: The Model S is an electric car starting around $70,000. The Model 3 is a slightly smaller electric car that starts around $35,000.

CEO Elon Musk said this year that some consumers have been confused about the differences between the two vehicles. “We anti-sell the Model 3,” Musk told investors in May. “But our net reservations continue to climb week after week. No advertising, anti-selling, nothing to test drive, still grows every week.”

Analysts question whether Model 3 reservations — announced at nearly 400,000 shortly after its launch last year — will cannibalize Model S sales. Musk has refused to update investors on Model 3 reservation numbers.

For the tale of the tape, the pricier Model S checks a foot longer than the Model 3, has more than twice the cargo space, carries up to five adults and two children versus the five adults in the less-pricey sedan.

Model S buyers also get two video screens, additional custom settings,  range of between 249 and 335 miles and a Ludicrous mode that accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in as fast as 2.3 seconds.

The poor man’s Model 3 comes with a smaller battery pack, a full-charge range starting at 215 miles and starting line acceleration to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.

“We want to be super clear that Model 3 is not version 3 of our car. Model 3 is essentially a smaller, more affordable version of the Model S with fewer features,” Musk told investors. “Actually Model S will be better than Model 3, as it should be, because it’s a more expensive car.”

The company delivered a record 76,230 vehicles last year, and led the U.S. market for large luxury sedans.

The Model 3 is slated to go into production in July and the first deliveries are expected in the next few months. Fans have spotted prototypes of the sedan near Tesla’s Palo Alto headquarters and the SpaceX offices in southern California.

Photo: The Model 3, Tesla’s $35,000 electric sedan, was unveiled Thursday, March 31, 2016. (Tesla Motors via AP)


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