Tesla Model 3 Performance version coming, after 'production hell' ends
Now that the Tesla Model 3 has officially entered production, the electric-car maker's main goal will be to ensure the manufacturing process ramps up smoothly.
With 1,800 new reservations reportedly placed each day for the affordable electric sedan, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to confirm the company needs to get through six months of "production hell" with its most mainstream model.
After the automaker stabilizes production of the Model 3, Musk promised, a performance variant will arrive.
The CEO hasn't forgotten about buyers who want some additional performance from the electric car; he said in a tweet the "middle of next year" is the potential timeframe for a Model 3 performance version.
In the meantime, the Tesla Model 3 will continue production in its Long Range variant only, with the base model to come later in the year as volumes increase.
The Long Range Model 3 arrives with an EPA-estimated 310-mile range and a $9,000 premium over the $35,000 base price.
The as-promised base $35,000 Model 3 will enter production this fall and will be capable of traveling 220 miles, per EPA estimates.
Tesla hopes to produce 100 Model 3s this month, 1,500 during September, and it has targeted a weekly production rate of 5,000 cars by the end of December.
As for a performance variant of Model 3, it's likely the car will receive an all-wheel drive system and a similar dual-motor design to the "P" performance versions of the Model S and Model X.
Acceleration will no doubt increase, although it's unlikely the less expensive car will achieve the same feats as the Model S P100D.
Owners of the Model S P100D have been captured on video reaching 60 mph in under 2.4 seconds.
What the addition of a P performance model means for current reservations remains to be seen.
Tesla recently confirmed a total of 455,000 Model 3 reservations after the car's launch; those who may want to switch into a Model 3 performance variant will have to wait, even if they're among the group of buyers who get first priority in Model 3 purchase.
Those include existing Tesla owners, those living in California, and those who willing to spend the extra cash for the highest-spec versions.
Tesla won't remain quiet in the meantime, however.
Next month, the company plans to unveil a Tesla semi truck with a slippery design and appealing driving characteristics, per tweets and statements from Musk.
In the coming two years, Tesla says it will also reveal a pickup truck.
The most crucial next vehicle for its future, however—the one about which more details are most eagerly awaited—will be the electric-car maker's small crossover, the Model Y, which will share Model 3 underpinnings and likely arrive in 2019 or 2020.
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