Tesla has quietly retired the Mid Range Model 3, a version of the electric sedan that allowed the company to bring the vehicle’s price down while the $7,500 federal tax credit was still active. The removal of Mid Range Model 3 comes amidst Tesla’s release of its most affordable variants of the electric sedan, the Standard and Standard Plus versions.
The Mid Range Model 3 RWD debuted back in October 2018, not long after Elon Musk started dropping hints on Twitter that a “lemur” was about to arrive. The vehicle (speculated to be dubbed the LEMR for Limited Edition Mid Range) was equipped with a long-range battery pack that was fitted with fewer cells, giving the electric car a range of 260 miles per charge, a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds, and a top speed of 125 mph.
The Mid Range Model 3 was initially priced at $45,000 (later raised to $46,000) before incentives, making it around $3,000 less than the Long Range RWD Model 3, which had a range of 310 miles per charge, a 0-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds, a top speed of 140 mph, and a price of $49,000 before incentives. Tesla advertised the Mid Range Model 3 as its most bang-for-your-buck vehicle then, whose cost when the $7,500 tax credit and gas savings are included comes closer to the company’s promised $35,000 price.
The Mid Range Model 3 largely worked in Tesla’s favor, with the vehicle helping Tesla hit record delivery numbers in the fourth quarter. When Elon Musk announced a round of layoffs in January, the CEO suggested that the Mid Range Model 3 will likely be distributed to other territories as the company worked to bring the costs of the vehicle’s production down until it could manufacture the $35,000 Standard Model 3.
As it turned out, Tesla would be capable of offering the $35,000 Standard Model 3 just a couple of months later. Tesla introduced the two most affordable versions of the Model 3 in early March: the $35,000 Standard and the $37,000 Standard Plus variant. Both vehicles offer a lot for their cost, with the base model having a 220-mile range, a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds, and a top speed of 130 mph. The Standard Range Plus, which comes with a “Partial Premium Interior,” is equipped with a range of 240 miles per charge, a 0-60 mph time of 5.3 seconds, and a top speed of 140 mph.
The removal of the Mid Range Model 3 seemed to be inevitable once Tesla started rolling out the Standard and Standard Plus variants. The Mid Range Model 3 was brought to the market to make the car more affordable for customers, but with the company already releasing lower-cost versions of the car, there is very little to justify its production. Elon Musk’s fondly-dubbed “lemur” had a great run, and it allowed buyers to acquire an affordable Model 3 at a time when the $35,000 version was simply not possible. Now that it is, it seems fitting for the Mid Range Model 3 to make its exit.