Tesla has, apparently, axed the Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive version of its Model 3 compact sedan.
This variant was the one the Model 3 debuted with in mid-2017 but, last year, was removed from the automaker’s online ordering system. However, it was still available up until mid-June if customers ordered one over the phone or by visiting a Tesla store.
As revealed by InsideEVs, in a message from Tesla sent to customers the electric car manufacturer said production of this model was “immediately halted by the plant”.
“This means that this version is no longer available,” the message continued. “Current offers are no longer delivered. We are currently examining the extent to which the plant has always produced [sic] produced your previously placed orders… Next week, we will inform you of the orders we can no longer deliver and the alternative we can offer.”
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This means that Model 3 customers will have to either downgrade to the $31,850 Standard Range Plus, or upgrade to the $41,850 Long Range AWD (all prices are official and include Tesla’s estimated savings). Which is not necessarily good news for them, as the RWD had a more than adequate 325-mile (523 km) range and was just 0.5 seconds slower to 60 mph (96 km/h) than the AWD, at 4.9 seconds.
Although Tesla did not provide an explanation about this decision, the most likely reason is that it is trying to streamline the Model 3’s range by cutting down on variants, which should help speed up the production – and, probably, earn some extra money by making customers opt for the higher-profit margin AWD if they don’t want to compromise on performance.