Tesla will use the Model 3 Performance as its test drive cars for individuals interested in the compact electric car. In a recent announcement on Twitter, Elon Musk stated that Tesla is aiming to start test drives in the Model 3 Performance within 4-6 weeks.
Elon Musk’s update on Tesla’s test drive cars for the Model 3 line came as a response to an inquiry from the Model 3 Owners Club, who inquired when Canadian reservation holders can order their Model 3. Responding to the group, Musk noted that order pages for the Model 3 Performance are being rolled out over the next week. Musk further teased that test drives in the Model 3 Performance will be a “mindwarp.”
Model 3 Performance order page progressively rolling out to reservation holders over the next week or so. It’s a really great car. Not saying that lightly. Test drive is a mindwarp. Aiming to have these as our first test drive Model 3 cars in stores within 4 to 6 week’s.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 3, 2018
Prior to Musk’s announcement, Model 3 reservation holders have mostly resorted to more unconventional ways to test drive the vehicle. Some, for example, have opted to rent the car through online services such as Turo, in order to check out the electric car’s performance and functions. Others coordinate with members of the Tesla community to get in touch with existing Model 3 owners.
Tesla’s test drive cars have proven to be popular among the electric car community. Last year, it was revealed that test drives in Tesla’s South Korea branch in the Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam District in Seoul ended up with a six-month wait time, due to the number of people interested in trying out the vehicle. According to a local news report then, Tesla Korea sent emails to customers who pre-ordered the Model S 90D that test drives are being offered. With only ten test drives being conducted every day, the wait list for the Model S 90D stretched out to six months. That’s longer than the three months it took to import the Model S 90D from the United States to South Korea.
Apart from providing an update on Model 3 test drives, Musk also announced an update on Model 3 leases. According to Musk, Tesla would probably not offer Model 3 leases for 6-9 months, considering that leasing would negatively affect the company’s cash flow.
Leasing negatively effects Tesla cash flow, so we prob won’t offer Model 3 leases for 6 to 9 months. Loan financing is a better deal anyway, as bank conservatism for new car models is v conservative about residual value, but Teslas have always had strong residual value.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 3, 2018
Elon Musk has stated that Tesla would be profitable by the third or fourth quarter of 2018. With this in mind, Tesla’s decision to not offer leases for the Model 3 for the next 6-9 months is a step in the right direction. After all, when buyers purchase the Model 3, Tesla gets paid upfront; whereas the company gets paid over time when the vehicle is leased. Tesla’s focus on profitability and keeping its cash flow positive was also highlighted by Musk recently, when he discussed why the $35,000 standard range RWD Model 3 is not being produced yet.
While Musk has stated that test drives in the Model 3 Performance would be a “mindwarp,” another Tesla electric car would most definitely have test drives that are even more extreme. Last month, while responding to a Tesla fan on Twitter, Musk revealed that test drives for the next-generation Roadster would be offered “towards the end of next year.” With 10,000 Nm of torque, a top speed beyond 250 mph, and a 0-60mph time of 1.9 seconds, a test drive in the all-electric supercar would undoubtedly be far beyond ludicrous.