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Tesla launches discontinued Model 3 Long Range RWD as made-in-China car

Tesla has officially launched the Model 3 Long Range RWD in China with production at Gigafactory Shanghai, a version of the electric car that it previously discontinued.

When first launching the Model 3, Tesla offered the vehicle with its Long Range battery pack and rear-wheel-drive (RWD) configuration.

The model was later discontinued as Tesla started to only offer the Long Range battery with a dual motor all-wheel-drive (AWD) drivetrain.

Earlier this year, we learned that Tesla might bring the vehicle back, but only in China with production at Gigafactory Shanghai based on documents submitted to the China Ministry of Industry.

Now Tesla has made it official with an update to its Model 3 online configurator in China that now includes a Model 3 Long Range RWD under the “China-made model selection”:

As you can see, the car is listed with a whopping 668 km of range (415 miles), but that’s based on the NEDC cycle, which is discontinued in other parts of the world and considered to rarely match real-world driving results.

The original Model 3 Long Range RWD had an NEDC rating of 675 km, but the EPA rating was 325 miles (523 km).

Tesla lists the price of the new version of the Model 3 at ¥366,550 (~$52,000), but it comes down to ¥339,050 (~$48,000) after EV incentives in China.

Interestingly, Tesla now also lists the Model 3 Performance under the “China-made model selection” on its Chinese online configurator.

Until now, the only Model 3 made-in-China vehicle offered is the Standard Range Plus RWD.

When announcing the production of the Model 3 in China, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the automaker would only produce the lower-end versions of the car in the country and the higher-end would still be produced in Fremont, California.

Electrek’s Take

Obviously, the current circumstances, namely the pandemic shutting down the Fremont factory, have likely forced Elon to change his mind on that.

It makes sense for Gigafactory Shanghai to produce all versions of the Model 3 long term so they might as well start now that Tesla can’t even import them from California.

Also, I liked the Model 3 Long Range RWD. I think it’s a configuration that makes sense.

I’d like for Tesla to bring it back everywhere, but I am glad that at least the Chinese market will have access to it.

Despite the impact of the coronavirus, I think Tesla’s situation in China is looking good. The March numbers certainly reflect that. Now it will be interesting to see if they can maintain that.

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