Tesla Model 3 Release Candidate Undergoes Performance Testing

Tesla's entry-level sedan takes to the track to stretch its legs.

The Model 3 is Tesla’s affordable answer to the mass-produced long-range electric car. After first being announced in March 2016, prospective owners have been eager to see the final model set to begin production in mid-2017. Recently, a video was captured showing Tesla engineers taking their newest battery-powered sedan to the track for some testing.

Most news regarding the Model 3 has been speculation or cryptic communication from Tesla directly, however after some internal documentation was revealed ahead of schedule, some more information has been gathered regarding some of the Model 3’s limited configuration options.

In the video below, filmed by Electrek, the Model 3 can be seen testing on Tesla’s own track in Fremont, California. It is unsure what kind of testing was being pursued at this time, however based on the repeated start and stops, it may be possible the the engineers were testing the 0 – 60 time of the vehicle. Previously, it had been announced that the Model 3 would potentially have a 0-60 time of a modest 5.6 seconds.

What makes us think that this might be related to performance statistics and tuning is that the car can be seen accelerating from a stop twice in the video; once around 0:35, and again at 1:20.

It’s more than likely that this is a good look at a release candidate Model 3, as production is still set to begin in July. No official reveal has been made yet, but it would be surprising if the actual announcement focused on anything different. After falling short of their overall 2016 sales goal, Tesla would need to work very diligently in order to meet the goal of 80,000 Model 3 sales by end-of-year 2017, as discussed in a 2017 Investor Roundtable.

With a promised price starting at $35,000, Tesla would be looking at gross sales of at least $2.8 billion should these numbers be met, though that doesn’t necessarily mean that each sale will be profitable.