Tesla hasn't been quiet about the death of its final rear-wheel drivevariant, but with the deadline to order one arriving very soon, you'll have to get in now if you want to get in at all.
On Sunday, Sept. 24, Tesla will discontinue the rear-wheel-drive Model S 75. This represents the cheapest Model S you can buy at $69,500. When it goes away, the Model S 75D, with its dual-motor AWD setup, will become the cheapest Model S at $74,500. Thehas been AWD-only for some time now.
After the S 75 goes away, the only RWD Tesla available will be the much less expensive. Sure, you won't get the performance of the Model S, but with a 0-to-60 time of less than 6.0 seconds, it's still plenty quick. If you're holding out for the all-wheel drive, dual-motor Model 3, Tesla claims that'll go into production in early 2018.
Other than the lower price, there's no real benefit to picking up the rear-wheel-drive Model S. Sure, you could be the king of silent burnouts, but that's really about it. Tesla's dual-motor AWD setup, as we've experienced, is pretty excellent, providing both traction and acceleration in ample doses.
One benefit of removing the Model S 75 from production is that it might free up some production space for the Model 3. It also serves to further differentiate between the Model 3 and Model S -- after all, if a future Model 3 with all the bells and whistles starts approaching Model S price territory, it might cause a few buyers to make the leap to the larger car, and Tesla's not interested in cannibalizing its own sales.
So, if you want one, you'd better head to Tesla's website this weekend and whip up a custom order. Otherwise, you'll have to make do with two additional driven wheels and a $5,000 higher price tag.