Tesla has been making a lot of changes to the options and configurations of its current flagship vehicles, Model S and Model X, in preparation for the launch of the less expensive Model 3.
The changes appear to have been mainly geared toward better differentiating the base version of Model S with the new Model 3 in order for the latter not to cannibalize the sales of the former.
As part of this strategy, Tesla is now about to discontinue the cheapest version of Model S, the 75 kWh battery pack with the rear-wheel-drive powertrain.
Tesla salespeople have started contacting potential buyers and Tesla owners who have expressed interest in upgrading their car to let them know that the powertrain option on the Model S will soon not be available.
The company confirmed to Electrek that discontinuing the option is in the plans by the end of the year – without any firm date for now.
At $69,500, the Model S 75 with a single rear-wheel-drive motor is the cheapest new Tesla vehicle currently available with the Model S 75D with dual motor all-wheel-drive being the second cheapest at $74,500.
Unless the vehicle is being replaced by something else, all Tesla vehicles, Model S or X, will be dual motor all-wheel-drive.
The Model 3 is also expected to have a dual motor option, but CEO Elon Musk said that early production will be dedicated to rear-wheel-drive units in order to streamline production. The base $35,000 Model 3 before incentive will be for the rear-wheel drive version of the car.
The move should help further differentiate Model S and Model 3.
On top of being bigger, quicker, and having more options, the Model S still also has the advantage of having the opportunity to have free unlimited access to Tesla’s Supercharger network if purchased through the referral program by the end of the year.
The Model 3 is expected to be on Tesla’s new pay-per-use model when it comes to Supercharging.
After a slight miss on deliveries during the last quarter, Tesla says that they expect to keep up deliveries of Model S and Model X during the second half of the year despite the arrival of Model 3. Those recent changes appear to be geared toward achieving that.