Tesla will launch an updated version of the Model S and Model X Design Studio that “packages” vehicle configurations into three categories: standard, premium and performance. The update will come ahead of the company’s planned production of its $35k mass market Tesla Model 3, and is likely a precursor to what the Model 3 online configurator will eventually look like.
Also spotted in the newly designed online vehicle configurator is the removal of the 90 kWh battery pack option that’s currently planned for discontinuation on June 8, according to sources and also validated by our friends at Model 3 Owners Club. Model S and Model X buyers will choose from either a “standard” configuration with a 75 kWh battery pack that’s capable of 249 miles of range on the Model S and 237 miles on the Model X, or a “premium” configuration that utilizes Tesla’s long-range 100 kWh battery pack. Model S will be capable of 335 miles of range on the 100 kWh pack while Model X will have just shy of a 300-mile-range per single charge. Lastly, adrenaline junkies will be able to select the “performance” package that trades driving range for increased acceleration.
The Design Studio redesign comes shortly after Tesla published a chart comparing the Model S and Model 3 that seems to clearly push their “anti-sell Model 3” approach. The chart reveals Tesla’s drastically reduced number of configurations being made available for Model 3, at less than 100, and over 1,500 possible configurations for Model S.
Comparing Model S vs Model 3 https://t.co/JPM9VVGbhA
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 26, 2017
Tesla’s newest Design Studio with “packages” aims to simplify the car buying experience, but more importantly is a move that allows its production line to operate more efficiently by reducing the number of unique car configurations that can be built. Producing cars with like-kind features allows the factory team to build at faster speeds, with less complexity and at a lower cost.
Tesla invested heavily into designing the Model 3 for scale. The Silicon Valley electric car maker underwent a full redesign of the manufacturing equipment used on its vehicle production line. Tesla also purchased German automation company Grohmann Engineering to form Tesla Advanced Automation Germany which reveals that the company will go to extreme lengths to truly optimize its manufacturing process.
On the new online Design Center configurator, customers can click on the Compare button in the lower left corner to pull up the full list of detailed options in each of the three major packages.
Tesla has previously pushed to optimize its offerings with the constant refinement of battery pack sizes and discontinuation of unpopular options. Further updates to the battery packs, like upgrading the Model S and Model X battery to utilize the new high energy density 2170 lithium ion cell being used in Model 3, are expected in the near future as Tesla’s Gigafactory begins volume production of battery cells.
Buyers looking for more granularity in terms of options will still be to use the original configurator.