His claims do sound pretty legit

The Model 3 handover party kicked off last Friday, late in the evening, making it a very late night for those of us on the East Coast. Be that as it may, I sucked it up and watched anyway. Now, I was really hoping for some special surprise to be presented – maybe an early concept of the Model Y or even the successor to the Tesla Roadster – but that, unfortunately, didn’t happen. The show wasn’t a complete bust, though, as not only did we finally get the specs we’ve been itching for, but we got to see Elon himself troll Volvo in a way that only he could pull off. In what has to be a pretty big blow to Volvo, considering the Model 3 quite literally kicked the Volvo S60’s ass in a 20-mph side-impact crash test. For those of you who don’t know, the S60 is regarded as one of the world’s safest cars and does have a five-star safety rating in all categories from the NHTSA. With that said, it’s mind boggling how much better the Model 3 was able to absorb such an impact.

When talking about the Model 3’s safety, Elon just couldn’t resist trolling Volvo just a little bit, saying “Something like the Volvo [S60,] great car – by normal standards very safe… the Volvo is arguably the second safest car in the world.” That line by itself isn’t exactly all that funny, but if you watched the live stream or hit play on the video below, you see that the context in which it was said was quite hilarious. And, you can’t blame him, the S60 is an amazingly safe car, so it’s pretty wild to see the Model 3 perform so much better in a side impact test. After all, Tesla isn’t exactly the world’s largest auto manufacturer. And, I have to hand it to Volvo, it has remained quite classy and has yet to fire back. Then again, you can’t really argue with results either. What would be nice, however, is to see Tesla team up with Volvo and other manufacturers to help improve the safety of all cars, on a global scale – now that would be something.

Handover Party Video

How Did Tesla Make The Model 3 So Strong?

2018 Tesla Model 3
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So, how the Model 3 can withstand a side impact with so much grace is a bit of a mystery, but it all comes down to how the car is structured. I won’t pretend to know what they did, but obviously, they did it right. I do have another theory, though, and it’s a bit more interesting. See, I think Wonderboy has made contact with extraterrestrial beings, and they provided Tesla with some significantly stronger materials to give the Model 3 an edge over the competition. It would make sense, wouldn’t it? I mean after all, how can the material used to build the Model 3 be that much stronger than that of the Volvo S60? There’s just no way around it. E.T. is giving Musk a helping hand. As a matter of fact, maybe Musk is E.T. masquerading as a human, slowly helping to save the planet out of the goodness of his little alien heart.

2018 Tesla Model 3 High Resolution
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Let’s Stay Serious Here

2018 Tesla Model 3 Exterior High Resolution
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Alright, so maybe I let my imagination run wild for a minute – it’s an occupational hazard, really. On a more serious note, I have to say that the Model 3 is quite impressive as far as safety goes, and the specs are pretty good, too. After all, we’re talking about an electric car that gets 220 miles per charge and can get to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. And, that’s just the entry level model. Move up to the Long Range model, and you’ll get 310 miles with a 5.1-second sprint to 60 mph. Those models top out at 130 mph and 140 mph, respectively.

But, is the Model 3 affordable as promised? Well, yes and no. The standard model comes in at $35,000, which is right about in line with what was expected. How does it compare, though? Well, that specific model doesn’t stack up too bad at all. Considering the Chevy Bolt is the only real competition at the moment (sorry, Nissan, but until you debut the new Leaf, you’re not in the running) and it comes with a 238 mile range – just a tad bit more than the Model 3, but it’s also a bit more expensive, starting out at $37,495. Plus, I have to be honest, the Model 3 looks a little better and certainly has more space too.

Elon Musk Takes a Stab at Volvo During Tesla Model 3 Handover Party Exterior High Resolution
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The Long Range Model 3 has more range but also starts out at $44,000. It sounds like a bit much, but if you were to buy a Chevy Bolt Premier, the range-topper, you’ll pony up $41,780 – that’s a little less, but it still gets the same 238-mile range in comparison to the 310 offered by the Long Range Model 3. So, in the end, the Model 3 really does turn out to be an affordable option if in a higher trim level. It will be hard for other automakers to match or beat out the Model 3 as they begin to roll out their all-electric lineups over the next few years. Needless to say, this should be interesting.

References

2018 Tesla Model 3 Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review of the Tesla Model 3.

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