Tesla will enable orders for new Model 3 versions next week

Key Points
  • Tesla will begin taking orders for a dual motor, all-wheel drive model and a performance version of the Model 3 at the end of next week.
  • Tesla has long promised to add a dual motor version and performance features, but has so far wanted to keep production as simple as possible to maximize efficiency.
The Tesla Model 3 vehicle is displayed ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Tesla Model 3 owners will soon be able to add some perks to their cars now found only on Tesla's higher-end vehicles.

The electric car maker will begin taking orders for all-wheel drive and "performance" versions of the Model 3 by the end of next week, said CEO Elon Musk in a tweet on Friday.


Right now Tesla only makes the Model 3 in a rear-wheel drive configuration, but the car maker has promised an all-wheel drive version, as is available with its other models. That version has two electric motors, one at the front axle and another at the rear. Tesla says this gives vehicles far better traction control.

In addition, the company is also making a "performance" version of the car, and Musk has hinted that that version will come with Tesla's Ludicrous mode option, which can significantly boost the vehicle's acceleration.

Vehicles equipped with Tesla's Smart Air Suspension, which automatically raises and lowers the height of the vehicle based on its GPS-determined position, will probably go into production next year, Musk said. It is another option already found on the Model S and Model X, and it is designed to adjust the height of the vehicle in different driving conditions. For example, it can raise the car's height when driving over rougher terrain, or through snow, and then lower the height for better handling.

Tesla has promised these features for quite some time. For example, Musk said in early 2017, before the car began production, that the first Model 3's would be rear-wheel drive in order to minimize the complexity of production.

Nevertheless, Model 3 production has repeatedly missed production targets, and there have been reports that many parts and vehicles have needed rework.

In April, Musk said Tesla would begin making a dual motor version in the car "probably in July," once the company hit its target of making 5,000 Model 3 cars per week. Tesla had originally intended to hit that goal by the end of 2017.


Tesla's earnings were better than expected, but Elon Musk still has a lot on his plate