Model 3

Tesla Model 3 with dual motor AWD spotted in San Francisco

A Tesla Model 3 with a VIN number referencing an AWD dual-motor variant was recently photographed in the wild. The Model 3, which was designated with VIN 5YJ3E1EB3JF008370, was registered by Tesla on January 20, marking less than five weeks between the VIN registration and the public sighting of the car.

The find was shared by Ryan McCaffrey on Twitter, with the Ride the Lightning podcast host stating that he came across the vehicle in San Francisco, CA this past weekend. According to McCaffrey, the AWD Model 3 was painted red and equipped with 19-inch Sport Wheels.

Considering that VINs 8370-8388, all of which were AWD, were registered on January 20, there is a pretty good chance that sightings of more dual-motor Model 3s would happen within the coming weeks, or possibly even days.

Tesla updated its Model 3 online configurator earlier this year, showing references to the mass market electric car’s dual motor configuration. During that time, the estimated time for deliveries for the all-wheel-drive variant of the Model 3 was set for Spring 2018. After the Q4 2017 earnings call this February, however, the estimated timeline for the delivery of dual-motor Model 3s was moved to Late 2018 for some reservation holders.

Considering that a vehicle with two electric motors is now in the wild, it seems like Tesla is definitely hitting its stride in the manufacture and rollout of the upcoming Model 3 variant. After all, if the dual-motor electric car that McCaffrey recently photographed is being used for testing by Tesla, there is a good chance that some Model 3 reservation holders who ordered the variant can see a delivery within Spring 2018.

While VIN registrations are not a foolproof way to ascertain how many Model 3s are on the road today, being able to decode the meaning of the long string of digits and letters is a good way to determine the configuration of Tesla’s vehicles. As we noted in a previous report, Tesla’s 17-character VINs can be decoded as follows.

  • Digits 1 – 3: World Manufacturing Identifier
    • 5YJ = Manufacturer: Tesla Inc.
  • Digit 4: Make/Line/Series
    • S = Tesla Model S
    • X = Tesla Model X
    • 3 = Tesla Model 3
  • Digit 5: Body Type and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
    • A – Hatchback 5Dr/LHD
    • C = Class E (6001-7000 lbs) GVWR/MPV/5 Dr/LHD
    • E= Sedan 4Dr/LHD
  • Digit 6: Restraint System
    • 1= Type 2 manual seatbelts (FR, SR*3) with front airbags, PODS, side inflatable restraints, knee airbags (FR)
    • A = Type 2 manual seatbelts (FR, SR*3, TR*2) with front airbags, PODS, side inflatable restraints, knee airbags (FR)
    • B = Type 2 manual seatbelts (FR, SR*2, TR*2) with front airbags, PODS, side inflatable restraints, knee airbags (FR)
    • D= Type 2 Manual seatbelts (FR, SR*3) with front airbags. PODS, side inflatable restraints, knee airbags (FR)
  • Digit 7: Fuel Type
    • E = Electric
  • Digit 8: Motor/Drive Unit
    • 1= Single Motor – Standard
    • 3= Single Motor – Performance
    • 2 = Dual Motor (Standard)
    • 4 = Dual Motor (Performance)
    • A= Single Motor – Standard
    • B= Dual Motor – Standard
  • Digit 9: Check Digit to be assigned by manufacturer pursuant to 49 CFR § 565.6(c)
  • Digit 10: Model Year
    • H = 2017
  • Digit 11: Plant of Manufacture
    • F = Fremont, CA
  • Digits 12-17: Unique serial number

With this in mind, McCaffrey’s find, which carried VIN 5YJ3E1EB3JF008370, means that the vehicle was equipped with a standard, non-performance dual-motor drivetrain.

Tesla Model 3 with dual motor AWD spotted in San Francisco
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