New filings with the CARB by Tesla Motors throw some light on how well the Model 3 Dual Motor and Dual Motor Performance variants will fare against the rear wheel drive version in terms of range.
As reported by Electrek, the UDDS (urban dynamometer driving schedule) range for both variants was 455.32 miles. This is not the same as the EPA cycle, of course, but when you compare the UDDS range of 495.11 miles for the rear wheel drive variant, it becomes clear that the DM and DM Performance Model 3s might not have a range edge. The dual motors could actually be impacting the range negatively.
Of note is the fact that the EPA test cycle yielded a 334-mile range for the Model 3 with the long-range battery pack, but Tesla asked that it be lowered to 310 miles, which is the same range that the company advertised for the Dual Motor and Dual Motor Performance models.
Yes, you do get 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds with the Performance package, which is even better than the 4.2 seconds acceleration on the Model S 75D. But the 75D costs $3,500 less than the Model 3 Performance, it’s a bigger car with more cargo and passenger capacity, it has Air Suspension and the power liftgate and, of course, the free Supercharging deal. On the downside, the range is rated for only 259 miles per charge.
The implication is that buyers will have to pay $3,500 more for fewer features and a smaller car, but much better range (51 miles more even with the lowered EPA rating) and acceleration (0.7 seconds quicker). Not a bad trade-off because you get to choose what matters more – features and size, or range and acceleration.
The larger issue here is that the elusive $35,000 Model 3 that was Musk’s original dream could still take another six months to become reality. In a tweet on May 20 this year, this is what he said:
“With production, 1st you need achieve target rate & then smooth out flow to achieve target cost. Shipping min cost Model 3 right away wd cause Tesla to lose money & die. Need 3 to 6 months after 5k/wk to ship $35k Tesla & live.”
Tesla has only just achieved the 5k/wk level at the end of June, so we’re not going to see the $35,000 Model 3 until September at least, which is being optimistic. An early 2019 introduction is more likely.