A new sighting of one of the very first Tesla Model 3 with dual motor adds to the mounting evidence that the automaker is about to release the all-wheel-drive powertrain option to the new electric vehicle.
Last month, we reported on Tesla registering 19 Model 3 VINs with dual motor powertrain with NHTSA in the latest batch of new VINs.
Then earlier this month, Tesla registered a new batch of Model 3 VINs – bringing the total into the 11,000s and two dozen of those Model 3 VINs were registered with the dual motor powertrain.
Now a few weeks later, the first Tesla Model 3 dual motor all-wheel-drive was spotted in the wild:
As shown by the Model 3 vehicle identification number (VIN) decoder, the 8th digit represents the type of powertrain and the number B means a dual motor.
It’s also the highest VIN (#8370) spotted in the wild. Though as usual, it doesn’t mean that Tesla has produced 8,000+ Model 3 vehicles to date since the sequence appears to often be broken during the production ramps as Tesla tweaks the production and builds test vehicles, like this one.
In the latest Model 3 online design studio update, Tesla says that the first Model 3 dual motor deliveries are coming in spring 2018, which could technically mean as soon as next month.
The vehicle is likely a production prototype to test the manufacturing process of the dual motor configuration.
‘Spring 2018’ could mean anything from March to June, but Tesla has historically been delivering late on its own delivery timeline.
Though in this case, there’s mounting evidence that it should happen soon, especially since Tesla needs to add options to the Model 3 in order to work through its backlog. Many reservation holders say that they are waiting for this update to place their order even though they have been invited by Tesla to configure.
We also recently learned that the Model 3’s platform is already prepared to receive the front motor and it appears to need fewer modifications than the single and dual motor versions of the Model S.
For example, the cross-section where the front motor sits is already in place on the rear-wheel drive Model 3 and therefore, there’s no need to modify the front and reduce the frunk space to fit the motor.
It’s most likely mainly a question of manufacturing the front drive unit and making sure it is tuned and works well and with the rest of the powertrain.
Now, the big question is what will be the price of the option and what kind of performance drivers will be able to get out of it.
When we asked our readers what they expect to pay for the option, the majority said that they expect more than $3,500 – a little less than the $5,000 people were paying for the dual motor option on the Model S.