Elon Musk reveals stats and price for quicker Model 3, while entry-level $35,000 car still isn't in production
The $35,000 entry-level Model 3 Tesla revealed over two years ago still isn't in production. However, company boss Elon Musk has just announced two faster versions, with one costing from $78,000.
Musk tweeted over the weekend to say dual-motor, all-wheel-drive versions of the Model 3 are coming soon. These will be sold alongside a pair of single-motor, rear-wheel-drive versions of the Model 3, of which only the long-range car with a larger battery pack is currently in production.
That car will be joined later in 2018 by the entry-level car with its smaller battery — the famed $35,000 electric car Musk promised when the Model 3 first launched over two years ago.
After this, the pair of newly announced dual-motor Model 3s will go into production. Musk said the regular dual-motor car will have the same 310-mile range and 140 mph top speed as the single-motor car, but with a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds (down from 5.1). Opting for the second motor will cost an additional $5,000.
Musk said a 'performance' version of the dual-motor Model 3 will also offer 310 miles of range, but with a higher top speed of 155 mph and a lower 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. This will make it one of the quickest cars on sale in a straight line, but Musk also made the bold claim of it being able to "beat anything in its class on the track."
Tesla dual motor, all-wheel drive performance Model 3:
3.5 sec 0-60mph
155 mph Top Speed
310 mile Range
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 20, 2018
In particular, Musk said the performance version of the Model 3 will be 15 percent quicker than a BMW M3, "and with better handling." Considering the M3's bloodline stretches back to 1985, and BMW's M Division is one of the most highly-regarded performance sub-brands in the automotive industry, this is a significant claim.
As well as extra speed, the performance Model 3 gets a carbon fiber rear spoiler, 20-inch 'performance' wheels, and a black and white interior which will initially be unique to the car.
The Model 3 Performance will be made available imminently to "early reservation holders" — in other words, those who were among the first to order a Model 3 two years ago, but are yet to receive their car.
But all that performance won't come cheap. The performance version, which has all optional extras apart from Autopilot, costs $78,000, or more than double the entry-price of the single-motor Model 3 with regular-sized battery pack — a car which hasn't yet gone into production. Tesla says it will begin making that car in late-2018.
Musk shed some light on why the entry-level Model 3 still isn't on sale. "Shipping minimum cost Model 3 right away would cause Tesla to lose money and die," he said, explaining that the company needs to produce the more expensive model at a rate of 5,000 units per week for three to six months before the base $35,000 version can go into production.
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
Meanwhile, there is some brighter news for reservation holders who may be running out of patience. According to Electrek, delivery estimates for long-range, single-motor Model 3 orders placed now have been slashed from 12 to 18 months to four to six months.
According to the same report, if you order an entry-level Model 3 in the US today, you will receive a delivery estimate of six to 12 months, down from 12 to 18 months.