TG rides with stuntman Terry Grant, ahead of his two-wheeled mile record
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The Top Gear car review:Tesla Model 3
For:Bleeding edge tech, interior space, acceleration and handling
Against:Enormous waiting list, constant attention, superchargers no longer free
What is it?
Oh, just some sensibly priced electric BMW 3 Series rival from a little-known American start-up. Except this is the sensibly priced electric 3 Series rival that has the world’s knickers in a twist. You’ve probably heard the headlines: the Model 3 is a smaller, half-price (or thereabouts) compliment to the Model S and Model X; there are well over 500,000 paid reservations; it’s the lynchpin of Elon Musk’s mission to rid our roads of fossil fuels (before we all move to Mars), and it’s also the thing giving Musk a significant pain in the arse as his company tries to ramp up production to 5,000 cars a week in the short-term, building towards churning out 500,000 Model 3s a year. Currently the production number hovers at just over 2,000 a week.
Musk recently announced he has decided “to take direct control of the division producing the vehicles,” in a bid to get production on track. Via his Twitter account he added: “I’m back to sleeping at factory. Car biz is hell…”
Order a Model 3 now in the US and you’ll realistically be waiting around 18 months for delivery. Order a right-hand drive 3 in the UK now and it could be as long as two years. Demand is clearly feverish, but would you be prepared to wait? And there’s more - reports of sub-standard build quality as Tesla tries to push the cars out, are rife. It must be said, though, that the car we spent a day with in and around New York was perfectly well put together, but you’d expect no less from a press demonstrator.