Tesla Model 3 spied on test in Pune, India launch expected towards the end of 2021

A test mule of the Tesla Model 3 has been spied for the first time in India ahead of Tesla’s imminent market entry in the coming months. At the end of what has been a seemingly endless wait, Tesla is determined to finally get its India journey going. For perspective, Tesla had started accepting pre-orders from customers in India all the way back in 2016, for the most affordable offering in its portfolio, the Model 3. Now, a new spy shot confirms the Tesla Model 3’s India testing has already begun, and its launch in the country is only some time away.

The Tesla Model 3 caught on test in Pune is the Long Range AWD model. Image: pune_exotics

The Tesla Model 3 caught on test in Pune wore Deep Blue Metallic paint, 18-inch ‘Aero’ wheels and sported the ‘Dual Motor’ badge, confirming that the version spotted was indeed a Model 3 Long Range AWD. A handful of Model 3s are understood to have been shipped into the country for ARAI testing and certification purposes, and this is one of them. In its home market, the Long Range AWD version is the mid-spec version of the Tesla Model 3 – a notch higher than the single-motor Standard Plus (which is rear-wheel-drive only), but below the Performance, which can do 0-100 kph inside 3.5 seconds.

For the uninitiated, the Standard Range Plus has an EPA-certified range of 423 km and can do 0-100 kph inside six seconds. The Long Range AWD, on the other hand, has an EPA-certified range of 568 kilometres, and can complete the 0-100kph run in less than 4.5 seconds. As it will be shipped in as a completely-built-up (CBU) vehicle to begin, expect the Tesla Model 3 to cost upwards of Rs 50 lakh. Tesla is in the process of identifying locations in select metros to set up its stores via which it will retail the Model 3.

Tesla has already registered its Indian subsidiary in Bengaluru and is said to be scouting locations across different states to set up a local production facility.

After Elon Musk confirmed earlier in 2021 that Tesla would finally make its India entry in 2021, the company has made several high-profile hires for its India operations, including the likes of Samir Jain (former aftersales head at Porsche India) as Lead Aftersales, Nishant Nishant (former business development head at Ather Energy) as Country Head for charging infrastructure, and Chithra Thomas (former HR head at Walmart and Reliance AJIO) as its HR Leader in India.

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