It appears the previous information was incorrect as we suspected. Tesla has responded to us to clarify.
Just yesterday, we apprised you of Tesla's changes to pricing, model offerings, and feature sets. Essentially, you can get a Model 3 cheaper than you could before the changes, while the Model S and Model X appear to be more expensive. In reality, however, the least expensive S and X vehicles were simply eliminated and the remaining trims come with more features for your money, like standard Ludicrous mode.
- Update: We reached out to Tesla for clarification since this information came from "sources familiar with the matter." Tesla says customers can't order a new Model 3 Performance from the online configurator for $49,990. If you select or request the 18-inch Aero wheels, the price will remain at $54,990. Also, the changes made Monday assure that every Model 3 Performance comes standard with the Performance Upgrades Package, and that can't be "unbundled" off-menu. So, you'll automatically get the performance features, including Track Mode. It's additionally important to note that the Model 3 Performance continues to have more torque and more power than the regular Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor due to its unique inverter that carries more current from the battery to the motors.
When the Tesla Model 3 Performance first came along, it was priced at $69,000. This surprised some people since that price wasn't far off from the automaker's flagship Model S.
Tesla quickly pulled some of the performance features off the car and offered it for $64,000, though you could pay the additional $5,000 to get those features back via the Performance Upgrades Package. This didn't last very long, as Tesla unsurprisingly turned the tables again. That $5,000 package became standard.
Fast forward to today, and Tesla's website shows the Model 3 Performance with a starting price of $54,990, some $14,000 cheaper than it once was. Again, the Performance Upgrades Package also sees changes. In fact, it's simply off the menu entirely, so details are unclear in terms of what features you can add and eliminate from the car if you special order.
Nonetheless, if you navigate through the custom order menu, you'll see that the Model 3 Performance comes standard with 20-inch Performance wheels. However, in smaller print, it says you can opt for 18-inch Aero wheels by request. We're not sure if any of the other "unbundled" upgrade features can be removed, but Electrek reported that making the change drops the price of the car to just $49,990.
We've reached out to Tesla for more details and we'll update this post once we have the official information.