Electric Cars

Elon Musk reveals Tesla Model 3 dual motor, AWD, performance version specs

Musk promises a performance model with BMW M3-rivaling specs -- including 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds and 310-mile range -- along with easier servicing.

Tesla

True to form, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter on Saturday night, revealing preliminary specs and pricing for the company's hotly awaited Model 3 dual-motor all-wheel drive and performance versions.

While horsepower and torque have not yet been revealed, Musk says the new standard dual-motor all-wheel drive Model 3 will hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and run to 140 mph. The second motor, which brings with it AWD, will cost an extra $5,000. 

The dual-motor all-electric compact sedan will have a total driving range of 310 miles, the same as the current long-range, big-battery Model 3 equipped with a single motor. According to Tesla, today's mono-motor, rear-wheel drive model hits 60 mph in as little as 5.1 seconds.

Of special note to driving enthusiasts -- a second, higher-power dual-motor, AWD performance model will also be available, featuring a brisk 3.5-second 0-60 mph time, a 155-mph top speed and the same 310 miles of range. Those numbers suggest that the high-end Model 3 will deliver performance very similar to that of today's larger Model S hatchback.

Dual-motor Model 3 sedans will employ an AC induction front motor (like the Model S and Model X), and a switched reluctance, partial permanent magnet rear motor with silicon carbide inverters. "Performance drive units are lot sorted for highest sigma output & get double the burn-in," Musk said in another tweet. One of the motors is optimized for performance, while the other is for range.

Additional model features will include 20-inch performance wheels, a black-and-white interior and carbon fiber spoiler.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to talk about a new performance trim of this car, the Model 3.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

What does performance cost? $78,000 including "cost of all options, wheels, paint, etc. (apart from Autopilot)," says Musk. The CEO continued, "About same as BMW M3, but 15-percent quicker & with better handling. Will beat anything in its class on the track," he claims. (BMW's 3.0-liter turbocharged sport sedan features 425 horsepower, a 3.9-second 0-60 mph time and starts at $66,500.)

One interesting feature Musk played up on Twitter is that dual-motor Model 3 sedans will be able to drive on a single motor when needed:

Deliveries for the dual-motor Model 3 are expected to begin in July.

Interestingly, Musk did not provide any further details about when deliveries for the long-promised base Model 3 would begin. Tesla has been promising an entry-level $35,000 trim with a smaller battery to compete against cars like the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Nissan Leaf since the very beginning, but to this point, the average price on a Model 3 has been far costlier. Since it entered production, the lowest-price Model 3 available for delivery has been well over $40,000 sans options.

The Tesla Model 3 features an elegantly stripped-down, minimalist cabin.

Tesla

Musk covered a lot of ground during his late-night tweetstorm, and it wasn't just related to Model 3 specs. According to the CEO, Tesla owners will soon be able to request service through their phones "with a few taps," bringing a Tesla Ranger service person to you. "No need to bring the car in yourself & zero paperwork," he said.

It's not immediately clear if this new feature will come as part of a larger commitment to improved vehicle servicing. Many owners have reported in online forums and on social media that their vehicles have been plagued by poor build quality, as well as unusually long waits for parts and services for all Tesla lines, including the Model 3.

Even as Musk announces these new Model 3 features and specs, Tesla continues to struggle to ramp up Model 3 to previously promised production levels. The Silicon Valley automaker failed to make good on a pledge to assembled 2,500 Model 3 sedans per week by the end of March, but thus far in May, it has been making progress, building around 3,000 units per week. Furthermore, internal memos hint at a healthy increase to 6,000 units a week by June's end.

In the near term, however, Model 3 production at the automaker's Fremont, California factory is also reportedly slated to go idle from May 26 to May 31, according to Reuters. The planned six-day stoppage will help address manufacturing bottlenecks for the vehicle's production.

Musk recently announced that Tesla will be staging hackathons in an effort to solve Model 3 production issues.

As Tesla's production woes have continued, its stock price has taken a tumble as fears of a cash crunch loom. Over the last 10 days, the stock has fallen from a near-term high of $306.85 on May 9 to $276.82, a drop of 9.8 percent. The stock is down 28.1 percent from its all-time high on Sept. 28, 2017.