Elon Musk tweet-announces a $78,000 performance Model 3 with all-wheel drive

On Saturday night Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a few announcements via Twitter about new options for the Tesla Model 3. Specifically, the CEO said that in July the Model 3 would be available with options for a dual-motor and all-wheel drive. On a normal Model 3, that addition will come at a cost of $5,000.

Cost of normal dual motor AWD option is $5k. Range is also 310 miles. Takes 0-60mph to 4.5 sec & top speed to 140 mph.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 20, 2018

Musk also announced a “performance” Model 3, which will also have dual-motor, all-wheel drive. That model will cost $78,000. What you get for all that extra cash will be the ability to go 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds, with 155 mph top speed and at range of 310 miles. “Cost of all options, wheels, paint, etc is included (apart from Autopilot),” Musk tweeted.

In 2016, Tesla announced similar upgrades for the the Model S and Model X in the P100D version. The Model S P100D offered 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds and a 315-mile range. The Model X had a similar option available, though the heavier car went from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds and had a 289-mile range. Upgrading those already-pricy cars cost $10,000 at the time. In November 2017, Tesla announced a new Roadster that it says will take 1.9 seconds to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour, with a 620-mile range. That performance vehicle has yet to make it to production.

A non-performance Model 3 with the dual-motor setup will be able to go 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds, Musk said. It will also have a top speed of 140 mph and a range of 310 miles.

The dual-motor announcement comes as the one-year anniversary of the Model 3’s launch approaches. It’s been a rocky year, with Musk admitting early on that his California and Nevada factories were in “production hell” as quarter after quarter slipped by with disappointing Model 3 production numbers. Only recently has the company been able to push out a significant number of cars per week, although investors have remained wary of Musk’s often overly-optimistic projections.

In a response to a question on Twitter about the dual-motor configuration, Musk noted that the vehicle will have an AC induction front motor and a switched reluctance, partial permanent magnet rear motor. Tesla has avoided relying too much on permanent magnets in its motors, despite the industry trend in favor of the lightweight, powerful component. Permanent magnets are made primarily of rare-Earth minerals, and excessive dependence on them puts automakers at the mercy of nations, like China, that have developed mining operations for those minerals.

“Tesla AWD is dual motor, so you can fully drive the car even if one breaks,” Musk said in another tweet. He added that the dual-motor vehicles will have one motor optimized for power and the other optimized for range.

An additional announcement from Musk concerned customer service. “Will soon enable Tesla owners to request service from their phone with a few taps,” the CEO tweeted. “Tesla Ranger will come to you to take care of your car. No need to bring the car in yourself & zero paperwork.”

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