Even before the first cars are delivered to its customers, Tesla Malaysia has announced that the availability of a second model following the Model Y which was the first model for official sale in Malaysia.
This is the ‘Project Highland’ Model 3 and it is the latest one with upgrades and a revised design, with a starting price even lower than the Model Y at RM189,000. In accordance with Tesla’s business practice, orders can only be placed via its online channel with a non-refundable RM1,000 payment.
The Model 3 – which is the bestselling electric sedan globally – is offered in two versions for the Malaysian market: Model 3 with rear-wheel drive (RWD) and Model 3 Long Range, which costs RM29,000 more. The prices mentioned do not include costs related to the purchase nor insurance, so the actual price you would pay would be higher.
Up to 629 kms
Tesla doesn’t give many technical details but for the extra money, the Model 3 Long Range can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in a claimed 4.4 seconds and has a range said to be improved by 4.5% up to 629 kms (513 kms for the RWD). It also has two motors – one on each axle to provide all-wheel drive.
With the V3 Supercharger (designed and built by Tesla) that has a 170 kW DC supply, charging the battery pack for 15 minutes will provide a range of up to 282 kms. That’s plenty of range for a short time – but only if you use the Supercharger and a dozen charging stations are planned. Currently, 8 of them are available for use at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
Apart from a significant number of component changes to reduce noise levels, the updated styling has improved aerodynamics (down to 0.219 Cd), which would have contributed to the improved range. Also helping go further are the upgraded tyres on 18-inch wheels (19 inches available for an extra RM7,500).
Minimalist styling, premium look
Within the 4.7-metre long body (30 mm more than before) is the same sleek, minimalist styling and premium look and feel that you find in the Model Y.
360-degree acoustic glass keeps noise out while new features are ambient lighting, ventilated seats, a 15.4-inch centre touchscreen and 8-inch second-row display for passengers to enjoy entertainment and also adjust the climate controls.
Overhead is an expansive glass roof which gives a great view of the sky and enhances the feeling spaciousness within the cabin.
Colour choices – for extra money
Pearl White is the standard colour (with a black interior) but you can also get your Model 3 in other colours but there’s an extra charge of RM5,000 to RM11,000. You can also add the Enhanced Autopilot for RM16,000, and the Full Self-Driving system for RM32,000 more.
Earlier delivery than Model Y
Interestingly, Tesla Malaysia is indicating a delivery date in late 2023 for the Model 3, whereas the Model Y will only start deliveries in 2024. Perhaps demand for the Model Y is very high, not surprising as it is the bestselling electric vehicle in the world this year.