A primer for people who are thinking about buying a Tesla

By Henry Farkas
Tesla's software and monthly updates makes for a unique experience
Tesla's software and monthly updates makes for a unique experience

My Tesla Model 3, unimaginatively named "Blue Tesla," is relatively new. I bought it in June 2020 during the pandemic. Didn't really need it. Not going many places. Bought it anyway. I'd been thinking about buying one for a long time.

Because it was a pandemic, they arranged a touchless buying experience. They called me from the Tesla place when the car arrived. They said it was the blue Model 3 outside the door of the showroom. It just so happens that I live relatively near the Tesla Service Center in Owings Mills, Maryland It looks more like a regular car dealership than most of the Tesla stores.

So I went there, and I couldn't figure out how to get into the car. Remember touchless? Well, there wasn't even a salesperson around. I had gone on a test drive a few months previously, before the pandemic. The salesperson had opened the door for me. I remembered that the model S has a handle that comes out to greet you when you put your hand near it. Not the Model 3. After poking and prodding a bit, I called the number they gave me and spoke to someone inside the showroom. He pointed out that if I pressed in on the back of the handle with my thumb, the front part of the handle will swivel out from the door, and I could grab it with my fingers. It's nice that the handles are flush with the doors. Less drag and less wind noise when driving at highway speeds. But people unfamiliar with the Model 3, including some of the Model S and X owners, won't be able to open the doors of your Model 3.

Then, I sat in the car and signed the papers. I put the papers and the check in the envelope and put it in the slot in the door of the showroom. I gotta say, this was the quickest car buying experience I've ever had, and I've been driving for sixty years. On the other hand, this car has lots of differences, and I didn't get an orientation. Fortunately, YouTube has the orientation. Here's a link to one of them.

Shifting is a bit different than most other cars. The shift lever goes back to a neutral position when you shift so you need to use other cues to know what gear you're in. I was used to this because I used to drive a Prius, and they have the same issue. Here are the clues.

If you're in Park, the picture of your car on the center screen is seen from the left front. The picture of your car, with its original color, is angled towards the left lower corner of the screen. Push down on the steering column mounted gearshift lever for Drive and up for Reverse.

In Reverse, the picture of the car is seen from the top, and you get a big picture from your backup camera with lines showing you where the car is going to go if you back up. That's a really good clue that you're in Reverse gear. Turn the steering wheel, and the lines move.

If you're in drive, the car is pictured as if you're looking at the car from the rear and slightly above. You can see that the car is going to go forward. If you're going less than five mph such as backing out of your driveway, you don't need to stop before shifting to Drive. You don't even need to step on the brake. Just shift to Drive, and the electric motor will stop the car and immediately start it going forward.

That will get you on the road. There are lots of helpful videos on YouTube about the features of the Model 3. Those videos are an excellent way to learn about your new car. Go to YouTube and search on Tesla Model 3.

Tesla Will Accelerate the Release of Its Next-Gen Model, While the Robotaxi Takes a Backseat

By Cláudio Afonso

Today, Tesla published its 2024 Q1 report, showing revenue of $21.3 billion, 9 percent lower than the same period last year and a total GAAP gross margin of 17.4%, down 19.1% in Q1 2023.

The company teased its upcoming Robotaxi and its next-generation platform saying its “purpose-built Robotaxi product will continue to pursue a revolutionary ‘unboxed’ manufacturing strategy”.

Tesla mentioned that it suffered “numerous challenges“ during the first quarter including the Red Sea conflict and the arson attack on its GigaFactory in Berlin and the ramp-up of the updated Model 3. Earlier today Tesla officially announced its new Model 3 Performance model.

Accelerating the Launch of its Next-Gen Model

The company said it will accelerate the launch of new models including its upcoming “$25k,” next-gen vehicle. Tesla stated:

“We have updated our future vehicle line-up to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of our previously communicated start of production in the second half of 2025. These new vehicles, including more affordable models, will utilize aspects of the next generation platform as well as aspects of our current platforms, and will be able to be produced on the same manufacturing lines as our current vehicle line-up.”

When it comes to layoffs, Tesla says it undertook “a cost-cutting exercise to increase operational efficiency” adding it is “focused on profitable growth” by “leveraging existing factories and production lines to introduce new and more affordable products”.

The automaker reaffirmed its focus on autonomous driving with the recent price cuts on the purchase and subscription of its FSD software in the US and Canada.

“The future is not only electric, but also autonomous. We believe scaled autonomy is only possible with data from millions of vehicles and an immense AI training cluster. We have, and continue to expand, both. To make FSD (Supervised) 5 more accessible, we reduced the price of subscription to $99/month and the purchase price to $8,000 in the US.”

Robotaxi

Tesla also revealed that its Robotaxi will now differ from its next-gen vehicle. Although Tesla will follow more traditional processes for producing its more affordable vehicle, Tesla says the Robotaxi will still follow the new, more efficient, “unboxing” manufacturing strategy. This comes just days after Musk said the Robotaxi will essentially be its next-gen model without a steering wheel.

Tesla’s quarter-end cash, cash equivalents and investments were $26.9 billion.

Earlier today, Tesla launched officially the highly expected Model 3 Performance with deliveries starting in May. The new version starts at $45,490 (after applying the $7,500 Federal EV tax credit).

In recent weeks, the company has been reducing prices in its primary markets, including China and the United States. The initiative followed the recent introduction of lower and even 0% interest financing programs in certain markets.

At the time of this writing, Tesla stock is currently trading 7 percent higher at $145 per share.

Tesla Officially Launches the New Model 3 Performance, Deliveries Start Next Month

By Cláudio Afonso

Today, a few hours before releasing their first quarter financial results, Tesla launched the highly anticipated Model 3 Performance. The new version starts at $45,490 (after applying the $7,500 Federal EV tax credit) and deliveries are scheduled to start in May.

With 510 horsepower and a top speed of 163 mph, the new Performance variant brings an improved sound system, a re-designed interior featuring more comfortable rear seats with some features coming directly from the recently revamped Model 3. Tesla also says that the new Performance model has “significantly less” road and wind noise thanks to the rear spoiler and changes to the front bumper.

“The front and rear fascias, rear diffuser and carbon fiber spoiler work together to help reduce drag and improve lift balance at high speeds”

Tesla’s most powerful Model 3 ever is now cheaper than the Model 3 Long Range after the federal tax credit. The Model 3 Performance model is the only Model 3 variant that is eligible for the government incentive.

Performance

The new Performance model comes with 20
The new Performance model comes with 20

While the new Performance model is largely based on the recently revamped Model 3, while including design changes to the front and rear diffuser, as well as the addition of a rear spoiler. In terms of performance, the model announced today offers a 22% increase in continuous power, a 32% increase in peak power, and an additional 16% of peak torque. The Performance model now has 500 hp and includes a “performance” motor that’s unique to the Performance model.

The new Model 3 Performance is capable of going 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than the previous incarnation. It didn’t take long for Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk to comment on X stating that the Model 3 Performance is “quicker than a Porsche 911.”

Specs of the new Tesla Model 3 Performance
Specs of the new Tesla Model 3 Performance

Track Mode V3

The new Model 3 Performance is equipped with an updated Track Mode, v3, that features an all-new calibration for the powertrain and adaptive suspension.

Tesla's Track Mode V3
Tesla's Track Mode V3

Range

The Model 3 Performance has an EPA range of 296 miles (476km) on a single charge, an increase of 10 miles (16km) when compared to the previous version while being slightly lower than the Long Range variant.

Rear Display

As seen in the revamped version of the Model 3, Tesla is also bringing the rear 8” touchscreen with climate controls, Bluetooth connectivity and entertainment for the rear passengers. With Tesla update 2024.14, Tesla is improving the rear screen by adding trip information, time and temperature information to the top of the display.

Exterior view of the new Tesla Model 3 Performance
Exterior view of the new Tesla Model 3 Performance

All-new Adaptive Suspension

According to Tesla, the new adaptive dampening system adjusts to driver and road input in real-time. While the new Model 3 already included suspension improvements over the previous generation, the Performance model takes it one step further.

New Seats

The new model includes the new Sport Seats that we’ve seen in spy shots before. Although the new model is officially named “Performance,” the sport seats feature the Ludicrous badge. The seats include improved side and cushion bolsters to help keep you in an ideal driving position

The new Sport seats feature the Ludicrous badge
The new Sport seats feature the Ludicrous badge

Deliveries

The model just went up for sale a few hours ago, but orders placed minutes after the launch show an estimated delivery of May/June 2024 in the United States. In Canada, where the Model 3 Performance starts at CA $69,990, the estimated delivery is currently slated for June/July.

View All How Tos

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

More Tesla News

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Sponsors

Find out how to become a sponsor and have your site listed here.

Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.