The Tesla Model 3 Long Range RWD (Rear-Wheel Drive) might soon be re-introduced, according to the latest media reports.
The LR RWD version of the Tesla Model 3 originally was the first Model 3 introduced in 2017, but later discontinued (in 2019) as the company focused on AWD (All-Wheel Drive) and Performance versions. This particular version was one of the most interesting due to its high-value proposition (range and performance versus price).
According to FleetEurope (via Drive Tesla Canada), Tesla is preparing to once again offer the Model 3 LR RWD in Europe, but interestingly - only for fleet customers. The report is backed by a Linkedin post by Karen Bowen (Senior Key Account Manager at Tesla):
"Introducing the new Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive for our B2B customers in the UK
To accelerate the electrification of Europe's B2B fleet, we are introducing a new Model 3 variant that caters to the needs of our commercial customers. Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive combines a segment-leading range of 394 miles (WLTP) with highest charging convenience, at an entry-level price point from £46,990."
It would mean that the new-old version will fit in between the entry-level Model 3 RWD (the "Standard" one, with LFP batteries), and the Long Range AWD version, both in terms of range and price:
- Model 3 RWD - 305 miles (491 km) WLTP
- Model 3 LR RWD (fleets only) - 394 miles (634 km) WLTP
- Model 3 LR AWD - 374 miles (602 km) WLTP
- Model 3 Performance - 340 miles (547 km) WLTP
The price of £46,990 ($58,354) mentioned for the United Kingdom is 9.3 percent higher than in the case of the entry-level version (£42,990 or $53,387).
A simple price calculation for the US dollar does not work between Europe and the United States because of taxes (specifically VAT), but we could add 9.3 percent on top of the price of the Model 3 RWD to get an estimated level of $47,000, if the Model 3 LR RWD would be re-introduced also in North America.
However, we don't know if that's the case, because the European Model 3 is imported from China and Tesla might want to address the specific needs of the European market (entry-level company car with the highest possible range). On top of that, in North America, Tesla is expected to re-introduce the Long Range AWD version.
Anyway, if a company does not want the additional performance associated with the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive system, then a less expensive LR RWD for fleets would be the way to go (at some point it will return to the general market as a used car). We guess that Tesla simply has to offer this version to be competitive for fleets, while in the case of retail customers, the company potentially prefers higher-margin versions.