The base price will be $45,000; it will cost about $35,000 in California after federal and state tax rebates.
Tesla Inc on Thursday introduced a new $45,000 version of its Model 3 sedan on its website, launching the auto as USA tax breaks for Tesla cars are about to decrease. Tesla has been focused on ramping up production to fill those higher-priced orders.
While the true entry-level Model 3 has yet to arrive-that's the auto former CEO Elon Musk has promised would cost $35,000 and deliver 220 miles of range-this mid-spec, rear-wheel-drive version achieves 260 miles of EPA-estimated range. The base price will be $45,000. But Musk said a "truer cost of ownership" for the midrange version would be about $31,000, his estimate for discounting the cost of gas.
The specs: an anticipated EPA range of 260 miles, 0-60 mph acceleration in 5.6 seconds, and a top speed of 125 mph-compared with 310 miles, 5.1 seconds, and 140 mph for the Long Range rear-wheel drive version that was originally introduced.
The surprise announcement, delivered via tweet to Musk's 23 million followers, comes as Tesla seeks to steer attention away from a chaotic period in which Musk battled with critics, smoked marijuana during an interview and pledged that he had the money to take Tesla private - a promise for which he was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and which he recently settled. In total, the mid-range Model 3 starts at $5200 less than the previous least-expensive model, the rear-wheel drive Long Range.
Musk said Tesla has set up a new web page to take orders for the lower priced Model 3.
To date, the company had only been offering more expensive versions of the vehicle. However, Tesla's ambitious $35,000 base version is nowhere to be seen due to production issues.
Tesla's newly revamped and simplified order page says that the midrange vehicle will be ready for delivery in six to 10 weeks if you order today, but expect that number to go up with demand. Musk has said that the company plans to offer a version of the auto that will have a base price of just $35,000 before any tax incentives.
The move could frustrate Tesla fans who put down a $1,000 deposit two years ago for what they believed would be a sleek electric sedan costing about $27,500 after tax incentives.
What will arrive in as little as six weeks, and be available in the USA and Canada, is called the Model 3 Mid Range.