Tesla confirmed on Friday that the $35,000 Standard trim Model 3 could be upgraded with a dual motor AWD option.
The dual motor AWD upgrade costs $5,000 for the Long Range RWD version of the electric car. If Tesla does not adjust its pricing for the upgrade, a Standard trim Model 3 with dual motor AWD would likely be priced around $40,000. In comparison, Tesla’s Long Range Model 3 with dual motor AWD is priced at $54,000 before additional options such as premium paint, 19″ Sport Wheels, and Autopilot.
— Tesla (@Tesla) August 9, 2018
Tesla’s $35,000 Standard trim Model 3 is arguably one of the most anticipated vehicles in the company’s lineup. When Elon Musk wrote his Master Plan back in 2006, he mentioned using the money earned from the sales of medium-volume cars like the Model S and X to fund the development and release of an affordable, high-volume car. The Model 3 is that vehicle — a car designed to push Tesla into the mainstream car market. The $35,000 starting price of the Standard trim Model 3 is a huge draw to the vehicle, helping Tesla hit its record-breaking reservation numbers when it was unveiled back in 2016.
It could be said that the $35,000 base Model 3 is Tesla’s most ambitious vehicle to date. While it does not have all the bells and whistles of its more expensive siblings like the Model 3 Performance, the base Model 3 is still a capable electric car. Its battery pack, comprised of Tesla’s new 2170 cells, is expected to provide the vehicle with 220 miles of range per charge. The speed of the Standard trim Model 3 is not to be scoffed at, either, with its 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph. The base Model 3 is also fitted with Tesla’s industry-leading safety systems, including 8 cameras, forward radar, and 12 ultrasonic sensors that enable features such as collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking.
Inasmuch as the $35,000 Standard trim Model 3 would likely be a huge success when it enters the market, Tesla’s production rollout for the vehicle has experienced delays as the company faced challenge after challenge over the past year. Musk explained these delays in an update on Twitter last May, when he stated that if Tesla manufactures the $35,000 Model 3 while the company’s production output is not optimized yet, it will cause Tesla to lose money.
With production, 1st you need achieve target rate & then smooth out flow to achieve target cost. Shipping min cost Model 3 right away wd cause Tesla to lose money & die. Need 3 to 6 months after 5k/wk to ship $35k Tesla & live.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 21, 2018
An update to the $35,000 Standard trim Model 3 was announced by Elon Musk on the 2018 Annual Shareholder Meeting, when he stated that production of the Standard trim’s smaller battery pack would likely begin sometime at the end of the year. Musk also suggested that the vehicle would probably see a release in early 2019.
“Yes. We will definitely offer a $35,000 version of the Model 3. And probably at the end of this year is when we will be able to make a smaller version of the battery pack, and get into volume production of $35,000 version in Q1 next year. We would definitely honor that obligation, and we would do so right now if it were possible,” Musk said.
Tesla only makes three variants of the Model 3 today — the Long Range RWD, Dual Motor AWD, and Performance versions — but the vehicle is already starting to make an impact in the United States’ auto industry. In July alone, the Model 3 ranked seventh in GoodCarBadCar‘s list of America’s Top 20 best-selling vehicles list, which includes gas-powered cars like the Toyota Camry. Once the $35,000 Standard trim Model 3 enters the fray, Tesla’s newest electric car would likely command an even bigger piece of the car market.