On Thursday night, Tesla announced some changes to its Model 3 range. The lineup has been simplified, the prices have been altered, and in the US it will now be possible to lease the car.
First, Autopilot is now a mandatory option, although the company is only raising prices at $ 2,000 on each configuration instead of the $ 3,000 that customers have paid until this evening.
Next, the Standard Range Model 3 — the one with cloth seats that Elon Musk customs about as recently as February — is now gone. Instead, the cheapest model 3 will be a software-locked version of the Standard Range Plus, which now costs $ 39,500. Its range drops from 240 miles (386km) to 21
Tesla says that customers can pay to unlock the features of the Standard Range Plus at any time, or choose to downgrade to the Standard Range and receive a refund for the difference in price. Since the Standard Range is not listed on the site, we can confirm if the entry-level car now starts at $ 37,000 before any incentives at the time of writing. Assuming it is worth $ 2,500 for the extra 24 miles and those seat heaters.
The Long Range rear-wheel drive model 3 has now also been dropped from online ordering. If you want one of these you will also have to call or visit a store. However, you can still order a Long Range all-wheel drive Model 3 ($ 49,500 before incentives) and the Model 3 Performance ($ 59,500 before incentives). That means the most expensive model 3 with autopilot is now actually $ 1,500 cheaper than when we tested one a month ago; Not a bad deal for a car that certainly impressed me.
Finally, it will now be possible to lease a Model 3 instead of buying one — in the US, at least. All leases are for 36 months, with the option for 10,000, 12,000, or 15,000 miles a year (16,093km, 19,312km, 24,140km). The minimum lease deposit is $ 3,000 for all three Model 3s, although the amount due to signing varies depending on both spec and mileage; this ranges from $ 4,199- $ 4,584. Monthly leasing payments, if a customer chooses to make a larger down payment, but if not this range from $ 535 for the cheapest Standard Range Plus to $ 889 for the Model 3 Performance.
At the end of the three-year lease, there will be no option to buy the car. Tesla says that "with full autonomy coming in the future via an over-the-air software update, we plan to use those vehicles in the Tesla ride-hailing network." On April 22nd, the company is planning an open day for investors where it will reveal more details about its self-driving efforts, presumably intending to dispute the notion that it is lagging behind autonomous vehicle leaders like Waymo.