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Tesla will open up AWD, performance Model 3 orders next week

Production should start in July, the key word being "should."

Tesla Model 3 Long Range
Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Elon Musk isn't your average automotive CEO (duh). Whereas most companies are content to announce new vehicle trim availability in a press release, Musk just hops on Twitter and casually mentions it in a reply.

According to Musk, Tesla will open up the Model 3 order books to include dual-motor all-wheel drive and performance variants at the "end of next week." Per the same tweet (efficient!), production of these new variants will begin in July.

As for air suspension, Musk says that probably won't happen until 2019. That's also the timeframe for right-hand-drive vehicles.

The Model 3 is currently the only Tesla available in rear-wheel drive. The automaker deleted rear-wheel drive from both the Model S and Model X lineup, further differentiating its lower-priced offering from the more expensive stuff.

Specs barely exist on Tesla's Model 3 page, so we're not quite sure what to expect from these new vehicles. The Model 3 lists its 0-60 time as "5.1 to 5.6 seconds," but it doesn't say whether or not the AWD version is factored into that -- it's unlikely anything branded "performance" is going to have a 0-60 time in the 5-second range.

What's also unclear is whether or not the second motor will reduce overall range, even if it's by just a few miles. And speaking of range, the smaller, less expensive Model 3 battery is still unavailable for ordering. I guess we'll find out more next week. Or maybe we won't -- Tesla's Model 3 goals have been awfully fluid thus far.

Tesla's Model 3 simplifies the EV

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Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.

Updated May 11, 2018 1:17 p.m. PT

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Written by  Andrew Krok
CNET staff -- not advertisers, partners or business interests -- determine how we review the products and services we cover. If you buy through our links, we may get paid. Reviews ethics statement
andrewkrok.jpg
Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
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