Replying to an over-enthusiastic superfan on Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said orders will start this month for the dual-motor and performance variants of the Model 3 sedan. Currently, Tesla’s Fremont, California factory only cranks out the rear-drive, long range model.
Production of the higher-end models begins in July, Musk claimed, but the CEO failed to give reservation holders waiting for a base $35,000 sedan anything new to go on.
“Tesla will enable orders end of next week for dual motor AWD & performance,” Musk tweeted. “Starting production of those in July. Air suspension prob next year.”
The CEO added, “Note, that’s when we *start* making them. Can’t instantly fill all orders. Will take 6+ months to do so.”
A July start date for dual motor production is pretty what Musk suggested after being asked via Twitter last July (by the same guy, no less). In that exchange, Musk estimated “the middle of next year.” Earlier this year, he said “probably July” in response to a similar question.
Tesla wants to hit its 5,000-vehicles-per-week production target for the Model 3 before adding “complexity” to the assembly line, Musk said at the time — a target, already pushed back, that sits at the end of June. It isn’t known if dual motor production will go ahead as planned if the target isn’t reached.
As for the much-touted $35k base model, that one won’t see the assembly line until the end of 2018 (at last report). That’s a pushback from an earlier prediction. While it’s been a long wait for reservation holders, many holding out since 2016, it’ll become even more painful when they see pricier variants added to the Model 3 line first.
It’s expected that adding a second motor will nudge the Model 3’s 310-mile driving range upwards a bit, while the performance model will likely see a range decrease to match its boosted acceleration.