That’s the question being asked by a bevy of cynical journalists and industry observers after Tesla CEO Elon Musk regailed his Twitter audience with descriptions of the automaker’s upcoming pickup truck last night. How does a heavy-duty 240-volt power outlet sound? Self-levelling suspension? Hmm?
At the same time, Tesla’s Design Studio announced revised pricing for the dual-motor Model 3 and its Performance variant. Remaining Model 3 reservation holders were also told they would soon get the opportunity to configure their long-awaited vehicles.
Either the big tent’s working out just great and production is well on track, or there’s something investor-rattling coming down the pipe.
As you already know, Tesla has just three days left until a key target date arrives. The company’s self-imposed production goal of 5,000 Model 3s per week was pushed back earlier this year, with Musk settling on the end of the second quarter as a revised timeline. One the company hits this mark (“sustains it” would be a more apt phrase), its Fremont, California production space, some of it located indoors, can begin building pricer, faster dual-motor sedans.
According to Tesla, the all-wheel-drive dual-motor Model 3, which was to be a $5,000 walk up from the premium-interior single-motor Model 3, is now a $4,000 climb. That puts the price of the cheapest AWD Model 3 at $53,000.
The company has also de-contented the Performance variant in order to list it as starting at $64,000. Previously, it carried a $78,000 price tag. Would-be buyers can add a Performance Upgrades package (20-inch wheels, carbon fiber spoiler, sport pedals, red brake calipers, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber, and a 10 mph top speed increase) for an extra $5,000. Want a white interior? That’s another $1,500. Pricing changes have been applied retroactively in order to keep order among the ranks of those who’ve already made a reservation.
While this is all catnip for Tesla aficionados, not all of the price changes put money back in buyers’ pockets. The much-maligned “full self-driving” package, which outfits the car with everything needed for autonomy at a later date, rises in price by $1,000 (to $5,000), assuming you’re adding it after your purchase. Ordering it at the time of purchase carries an unchanged $3,000 price tag.
Now, about that pickup truck:
As you’d expect, Musk’s initial query resulted in a deluge of snarky replies regarding production timelines, fulfilled promises, and sustainable assembly practices, not to mention a lack of tent.
Musk went on to describe the vehicle as having a six-passenger cabin and a driving range of 400 to 500 miles. Previously, he stated that production will begin in 2020. Of course, before that happens Tesla first needs to develop and launch the Model Y crossover and fulfill its promise of selling a $35,000 entry-level Model 3.
The bare-bones, shorter-range Model 3 is still in the works. In its Tuesday night update, Tesla said buyers can expect that model in 6 to 9 months.
[Image: Elon Musk/Twitter]