China's regulatory body, under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), unveiled the specs for Tesla's revamped Model 3 on September 12. And, while the automakers might have groaned about this reveal, let’s just say we’re more than a little intrigued. Here's a snapshot of what we've gathered so far from the land of dragons and emperors.
Tesla is stepping up its game by offering two unique trims for its electric vehicle (EV) aficionados. The standard version of Tesla Model 3 in China, just like its European counterpart, boasts a single-motor rear-wheel drive (RWD) that can flex a power of 194 kW. But if that doesn’t float your boat, and you’ve got a bit more oomph in mind, Tesla's dual motor all-wheel drive (AWD) is there to dazzle you. This marvel of engineering harnesses an additional 137 kW motor powering front wheels, bringing the total output to a whopping 331 kW. Surprisingly, that's a lower output than on the Model 3 LR destined for the European market.
Before any vehicle can grace the Chinese roads, it needs a nod from the local regulators. The MIIT, being the gatekeeper in this context, gives a monthly sneak peek into what's brewing in the automotive world. Expectedly, automakers aren’t fans. But for the rest of us? It's like an early Christmas present. This little exercise in transparency tells us that we could very well see the new Model 3 on Chinese streets by October.
The single-motor RWD variant features a CATL-provided LFP battery. Weighing in at 3,880 lb, this vehicle dons a rather straightforward “Model 3” badge at the rear.
The all-wheel dual-motor variant, however, brings a tad more to the table. This model is equipped with an NMC battery courtesy of LG Energy Solution and tips the scales at 4,019 lb. It’s branded with a “Model 3+” badge, though let's hold our horses before jumping to conclusions about its official nomenclature. Given the idiosyncrasies of Chinese manufacturers, badge names sometimes undergo a bit of a revamp post these MIIT revelations.
The new Model 3+ dimensions are interesting. Measuring in at 185.8 inches in length, 72.8 inches in width, and 56.8 inches in height, with a wheelbase of 113.2 inches, the vehicle boasts a modest size increase from its predecessor. Specifically, the 3+ is 1.02 inches longer, a smidgen skinnier by 0.08 inches, and just a hair shorter by 0.04 inches. But if we're talking wheelbase? That remains unchanged. As for the rubber meeting the road, the car offers tire options of 235/40/R19 or 235/45 R18, and for those with discerning tastes, it comes with an optional Hankook tire.
Thanks to an earlier revelation from Tesla China, we have a good grip on the price tag too. The RWD Model 3 is priced at RMB 259,900 ($35,650), and if you're looking to snag the AWD Model 3+, prepare to shell out RMB 295,900 ($40,600). European prices are significantly higher and there is no info yet on when the updated Model 3 will reach the US shores.