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Emme Hall/Roadshow

​Tesla discontinuing the least expensive, shortest-ranged Model S 60 next month

Tesla will stop taking orders for the entry-level Model S 60 and 60D variants with their 60 kWh battery packs in April.

If you're a prospective Tesla Model S buyer on a tight budget, you may want to get your order in soon. Tesla is quietly discontinuing the least expensive version of its Model S electric car according to a report by Electrek and emails that the automaker has started sending to potential buyers.

Buyers will no longer be able to order the Model S 60, which started at $68,000, or its all-wheel drive 60D variant after an April 16 deadline. Tesla's reasons revolve around the claim that buyers enticed by the 60's price usually end up upgrading to a Model S 75 for its extra battery capacity and range.

Interestingly, every Model S 60 was physically equipped with a 75kWh battery pack with 15kWh reserved via software. Buyers could then pay to unlock the full capacity, effectively transforming their Model S 60 into a Model S 75 via software. Essentially, what Tesla is doing in April is getting rid of that post-sale transaction and the software capacity block and just raising the Model S' effective starting price to reflect the physical equipment.

2016 Tesla Model S 60
Emme Hall/Roadshow

Buyers will be left to choose between the new base, 265-mile Model S 75 starting at $74,500, the all-wheel drive and increasingly capacious 75D, 90D and 100D ranging between 275 and 351 miles and the top-trim, highest performance P100D.

The electric automaker is also likely freeing up some space at the lower end of the price range for the upcoming Tesla Model 3, which should start arriving in mid-2018 at around $35,000. However, with options, trim levels and inevitable higher-performing variants, the 3 may start to creep close to the S' former $68,000 floor at the upper end of its price range, which could mean that Tesla is just making some breathing room between the models' price tags.