As Tesla’s new addition to its line-up, the Model 3 is now hustling down the assembly line, the company made another change to its portfolio, cutting the Model S 75, which was the least expensive model the EV maker offered prior to the Model 3.
The rear-wheel drive Model S 75 started at $69,500, but now the least expensive Model S is the 75D, an all-wheel-drive version of the 75 that starts at $74,500.
In addition to creating a bigger price gap between the two vehicles, it also means that the Model S family is only available in AWD.
The Model 3 starts at $35,000, but once buyers add a few options to the car, it’s likely hit the mid $40K range by most analyst estimates. However, Tesla’s plans appear to ensure there is a substantive differentiation between its entry-level model and the rest of the portfolio.
(Tesla drops base Model S 60 and 60D. For the story, Click Here.)
In addition to the big gap in price, there’s also a big gap in what you can do to the vehicles. According to Autoblog, the Model S can be configured in more than 1,500 ways while the “lowly” Model 3 comes in less than 100 configurations, which helps keep costs down.
Additionally, Model S owners get a few perks that Model 3 owners don’t, including lifetime use of Tesla’s supercharger network for free. Model 3 owners have to pony up like everyone else who gets gas, er, uses a charger.
(Click Here for more on Tesla’s efforts to set up a Chinese auto plant.)
The move isn’t entirely surprising either. Tesla has often shuffled or eliminated the bottom of the Model S range in the past few years. In fact, it killed the Model S 60 and 60D earlier this year in anticipation of the new Model 3. It seemed unlikely that anyone would pay $70K for a vehicle that has the same range (about 230 miles) as the entry level model as well as only a few more options.
The maker also admitted that it wasn’t selling well in its newsletter. The company said most folks were just spending extra to unlock the additional 15 kWh in the battery and settling for a lower trim level.
(For the latest on the launch of the Tesla Model 3, Click Here.)
The company first offered the 60kWh battery model from 2012 to 2015, before the Model S 70D took its place. However, Tesla renamed it again in 2016, changing it back to Model S 60. The MSRP on the 60 was $68,000.