By on May 12, 2018

Tesla Model 3, Image: Tesla

Replying to an over-enthusiastic superfan on Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said orders will start this month for the dual-motor and performance variants of the Model 3 sedan. Currently, Tesla’s Fremont, California factory only cranks out the rear-drive, long range model.

Production of the higher-end models begins in July, Musk claimed, but the CEO failed to give reservation holders waiting for a base $35,000 sedan anything new to go on.

“Tesla will enable orders end of next week for dual motor AWD & performance,” Musk tweeted. “Starting production of those in July. Air suspension prob next year.”

The CEO added, “Note, that’s when we *start* making them. Can’t instantly fill all orders. Will take 6+ months to do so.”

A July start date for dual motor production is pretty what Musk suggested after being asked via Twitter last July (by the same guy, no less). In that exchange, Musk estimated “the middle of next year.” Earlier this year, he said “probably July” in response to a similar question.

Tesla wants to hit its 5,000-vehicles-per-week production target for the Model 3 before adding “complexity” to the assembly line, Musk said at the time — a target, already pushed back, that sits at the end of June. It isn’t known if dual motor production will go ahead as planned if the target isn’t reached.

As for the much-touted $35k base model, that one won’t see the assembly line until the end of 2018 (at last report). That’s a pushback from an earlier prediction. While it’s been a long wait for reservation holders, many holding out since 2016, it’ll become even more painful when they see pricier variants added to the Model 3 line first.

It’s expected that adding a second motor will nudge the Model 3’s 310-mile driving range upwards a bit, while the performance model will likely see a range decrease to match its boosted acceleration.

[Images: Tesla]

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33 Comments on “Another Line Forms: Dual-motor and Performance Tesla Model 3s Start Production in July, Musk Says...”


  • avatar
    Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

    Building out pricier (and usually more profitable) models first during a new vehicle intro is a standard trope in the auto industry. I first saw it referenced in “Iacocca” regarding the K-Car introduction.

    I wonder how things would be different now for Tesla had the company been forthright with its plans for the Model 3 from the start. Muzzling Musk and his outlandish production targets would have certainly helped, too.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Musk’s timelines are Silicon Valley style stretch goals.

      As a recovering software engineer, the “stretch goal” pattern is very easy to see, because I’ve lived it.

      Most companies, even in SV, have the sense to avoid publicizing their internal stretch goals. But it’s hard to avoid publishing some sort of schedule if you announce the product publicly before it’s ready for customers. Worse yet, if you tell the employees one thing and the customers another, then the employees will feel less pressure…

  • avatar
    arthurk45

    Tesla’s supposed goal was to provide an affordable car for the masses, not a $50,000 plus vehicle that has taken years to produce. Tesla’s Model 3 ws widely reported , quoting Tesla, as a $35,000 vehicle. Of course, Tesla also claimed their Model S base version would cost $49,000 and we know how that went. Tesla is consistently sleazy and now claims they are making the high priced version because the assembly line somehow demands it. So how are they going to switch back and forth in the future between models? Good to see Musk pushing those uncontrollable high torque high output versions – safety last, as we saw in the most recent Tesla crash and battery inferno. Tesla cars seem to have this bad habit of incinerating themselves and their occupants.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Motorweek wasn’t all that enthusiatic about the 3 either, likening the 3 as the EV version of what the BMW 3-series has done for motoring, sportiness.

      And with only the long-range battery available, thus popping up the price by $11K over the shorter-range version, this 3 remains a niche vehicle for the early adopters.

    • 0 avatar
      ceipower

      The same day that Tesla went up in flames a Kia Soul also did , killing all three occupants. These gas powered cars “burst “ into flames every day. It’s a fact. As to missing all those production targets I guess you could speed up The Whole process and build crap like GM did for over a decade. How’s your Chevy Citation and Vega holding up , or your V8-6-4 Cadillac? Starting a Car Company from nothing is beyond monumental. Have mistakes been made? Of Course! Who else had the balls to start a car company with a non conventional drive train from scratch and has a better record that Musk?? The haters just love it when there is a negative Tesla story, Thus the coverage of the Kia Soul with three people killed in a firey crash got almost no news coverage. Put your thoughts in perspective!

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        ” The haters just love it when there is a negative Tesla story”

        Maybe they were disappointed by Elon’s promises not kept.

        They say there is no wrath like a woman scorned. But let me tell you, p!ss off a car enthusiast and you ain’t seen nothing yet.

        You know, like people who bought a lemon, or a service-bay queen, or someone waiting years for their Tesla. It doesn’t matter what the brand is, they all have their bad assembly days.

        Just read the blogs on ttac.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          https://apnews.com/20074553e4da49f99a76bfb43ff38ba1/Tesla-with-Autopilot-slams-into-truck-stopped-at-red-light

          I had some trouble trying to post this, and it may be old news to some of you fans.

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          As if us car-lovers are the center of the universe. Clearly, given the death of manuals, the sacking of the Rome of perfomance coupes and sedans by the barabrian hordes of CUVs and the like, we are not nearly as important as you think we are.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “As if us car-lovers are the center of the universe.”

            Of course we are. It was the buyers who determined what they would buy, like those “barabrian hordes of CUVs and the like”, and that’s what caused the automakers to refocus on what we would buy.

            For decades the automakers have been driven by bad press and bad word-of-mouth spewed forth by unhappy campers of their products.

            Remember the CR/Suzuki thing? Or the Nader/Corvair thing? And the unsubstantiated Toyota Unintended Acceleration debacle?

            All of them caused serious repercussion, unless debunked like in the Toyota UA thing. Ford used the same CTS gas pedals but nobody went after them.

            Sometimes government mandates on behalf of the far-left liberal environmentalists greeweenies can also cause the demise of a class of vehicles, like ” the sacking of the Rome of performance coupes and sedans.”

            Buyers are the most important elements the automakers have. Without them, they can’t stay afloat.

            As in the GM and Chrysler of yore. They died. There weren’t enough buyers for their products along with some fatal UAW-negotiated obligations that killed them.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Nothing like bringing up relics from 40 years ago to make the point: making cars is HARD! Lol

        Also, I wasn’t aware that the Kia Soul had a very uncommon and supposedly revolutionary powertrain that promises to be God’s answer to everything? All to make the point: gasoline is FLAMMABLE! What a amazing conclusions!

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “Good to see Musk pushing those uncontrollable high torque high output versions – safety last, as we saw in the most recent Tesla crash and battery inferno. Tesla cars seem to have this bad habit of incinerating themselves and their occupants.”

      Show me a 5-star crash-rated car that doesn’t kill its occupants in a high-speed collision with a wall, especially when piloted by a teenage driver who was cited for going 112 mph in the same car in March.

      Now I understand why some people think Porsche killed Paul Walker.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Two things wrong with your statement.

        1. The percentage of teslas burning up is far higher than ICE cars DESPITE them having a tank full of an extremely flamable liquid in board.

        2. The impact from the crash of this dangerous Model S did not kill these occupants. It was the fact that the doors couldn’t be opened and they were burned alive. They very well may have survived this crash had Tesla not designed a vehicle that has a propensity to burst into flames.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          Where are your statistics from. Were talking about 60 miles per hour into something.

          By the way, at the speed of that crash, doors on ICE cars don’t always open either.

        • 0 avatar
          healthy skeptic

          @EBFlex

          >> The percentage of teslas burning up is far higher than ICE cars DESPITE them having a tank full of an extremely flamable liquid in board.

          You sure about that? I’m only aware of a handful of incidents, out of maybe 150,000 cars Tesla has built to date. That works out to a small fraction of a percent. Intuitively, I think ICE cars would have about the same rate of catching fire, if not higher. The difference is that Tesla fires make national news, whereas ICE fires don’t.

          Sources, please.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Haha ok Musky.

    July of what year?

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Presumably no base-model 3’s will be available until the federal tax credit has run out, making them as expensive as buying a long-range one now anyway, thus encouraging people to stretch their budgets and Buy It Now.

    And AFAIK they’re still not offering Model 3 leases, so there’s no magic bullet to reduce the payment.

    Soooo, I just got a 2018 Chevy Volt. Compared to a base 3, it’s got the same form factor and the same price but less performance, less range, less prestige, and still has a damn gas tank. Of *course* I’d buy a 3 for the same money instead if I could, but I can’t, so I didn’t. And ya know what, I like the Volt: it’s quick enough to amuse, well-executed inside, relaxing to drive, and built like a tank. Plus, no range anxiety ever.

    I wonder if the base-model 3 will go the way the 40kWh bargain-basement Model S did: they’ll build half a dozen to say they did, and kill it.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      The limousine liberals would all be driving Sonics if they really cared about reducing emissions. Teslas are fashion statements, the Hummer of the 2010s.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        I appreciate what you’re getting at, although it’s only true in states totally dependent on coal-fired power. There, the two are pretty close. Anywhere else, even a fat-boy Model S is cleaner wheel to well. And limousine-income Americans, regardless of politics, ain’t gonna buy a Sonic.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Liberals are experts at “do as I say and not as I do”

        In fact, a recent study found that these global warming nazis are actually less likely to do things that are good for the environment than global warming skeptics.

        You are exactly right that if these fools really cared about the environment they would drive a Sonic or Prius. All teslas are is high dollar fashion accessories build by an utter fool who has no business building (extremely unsafe) cars.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          Plenty of conservatives driving Teslas too. By the way, we don’t always buy EVs to save the environment. Some of us like the performance. Far better than any ICE car.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            No point, mcs…his echo chamber is way too loud to hear what you’re saying.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “No point, mcs…his echo chamber is way too loud to hear what you’re saying”

            Says they guy who writes an entire tiraid about the fuel economy of the Ford EcoSport and derides the fact that there is no “eco” despite it being in the name…..all while not realizing that its pronounced “EchoSport”.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          So 60 miles per hour into a wall and yet you feel that somehow the doors should still be openable and it shouldn’t catch fire. Really. You know, there’s a limit to safety standards.

          People should have a right to drive what they want and it shouldn’t have to conform to some fabricated safety standard. You sound like you want everyone driving around in an abrams tank.

          An EV is a lot cleaner than a Prius or Sonic. Where I live we have solar, natural gas, and nuclear. If I want to go cleaner, I can install solar.

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    I had thought the dual-motor AWD and Performance were one and the same. Seems like not. I guess you can get a non-Performance dual-motor?

    This means the Performance versions is probably going to be really expensive. Not sure if I’d opt for it, given that the standard RWD is pretty quick to begin with.

  • avatar
    ydnas7

    generally with tesla

    rwd is base model
    awd has 2 smaller, similar (but not identical) motors, but the traction greater than rwd
    performance mates the awd front motor and the rwd rear motor
    ludicrous is a spec for performance that may or may not be standard, its basically upgraded precision safety fuses to allow greater current.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    This is all playing out exactly as I predicted. I said the Model 3 was going to be a $50K+ car at the end of the day, and that’s exactly what it is.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      That assumes no changes to the product on Tesla’s part.

      Their history suggests that they’ll get there by a large number or shall changesm. They’ll get it…. Eventually.

      Musk’s timelines are stretch goals, not the actual schedules that all y’all from the world from beyond SV are used to.

  • avatar
    incautious

    PT Musk I mean Barnum. A sucker born every minute.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Is it reasonable to assume the $7500 credits are used up by the time the first base model is delivered?

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