Speculative Look At Which Tesla Model 3 Options Might Initially Be Offered

Tesla Model 3


Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Teslarati’s Electric Jen gives us some welcome speculation on Tesla Model 3 initial options and configurations.

Not long ago, a Model S vs. Model 3 specification sheet surfaced, which Tesla later officially released. It was supposedly created to train employees the proper way to compare and contrast the two vehicles. However, it was seen by most as a way for the electric automaker to “anti-sell” the Model 3, or rather to push Model S sales.

The sheet claims that the Model S has over 1,500 configurations, compared to the Model 3’s less than 100. Jen, along with many others, was curious as to how this could be true. She worked some math and below is a breakdown of what she came up with (check out her full recap at Teslarati here):

Model S

  • 5 configurations: 75, 75D, 90D, 100D and P100D
  • 7 exterior colors
  • 6 interior choices
  • 2 roofs
  • 4 types of wheels
  • 3 Autopilot choices (no software, enhanced Autopilot, Full Self-Driving)
  • 7 additional unique options

She calculates this to be over 160,000 possibilities, which is obviously nowhere near 1500+. Jen speculated that perhaps Tesla’s definition of “customizations” is the reason for such a discrepancy. However, when removing the vehicle configuration itself as “not a customization,” the number is still over 30,000.

In the end, Jen figures that if she calls configurations, colors, roofs, wheels, and interiors the main customization choices, and calls the rest of Tesla’s choices simply “yes or no” options, the number works out to a reasonable 1,500+ figure.

Model 3

Tesla Model 3 expected to arrive in the second half of 2017, in volume for Q4

With the same math and configuration/option scheme, Jen pushes through her speculations for the Model 3.

  • 2 configurations
  • 4 exterior colors
  • 2 roofs
  • 2 types of wheels
  • 3 interior choices

What will these be according to Electric Jen?

Colors: Black, White, Silver/Gray, Blue
Configurations: 60, 75 (initially)
Roofs: Solid or optional glass
Wheels: 18″ or 19″ silver
Interiors: black, tan, white

What about a Red Model 3?

Of course, Jen had to make the math work, and a fifth color throws everything off. She said that maybe only the top-of-the-line Tesla Model 3 P75D will come in red, and it won’t come out as part of the initial production run.

Whether or not any of this pans out is a waiting game, and Jen admits that. But it’s fun to entertain a little guessing. Let us know your configuration and option choices in the comment section. Let’s see who comes closest to the real deal.

Source: Teslarati

Category: Tesla

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36 responses to "Speculative Look At Which Tesla Model 3 Options Might Initially Be Offered"
  1. Mil says:

    The sub 100 configuration options will only be at the start of production. Once production is underway, there will be more options e.g. RWD vs AWD. They need limited configuration options to start with so they can ramp up production as quickly as possible and can even build an inventory of cars (which is possible when there are limited configuration options).

  2. Four Electrics says:

    Tesla will not offer multiple battery options at launch. If they didn’t do it for the X, why would they do it for the 3?

    1. ffbj says:


    2. Mark.ca says:

      Why not? They will have the 75 and if you want the 60 just block 15 out.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        They have done this in the past and they can make money later offering an upgrade to owners.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Why not? Because it costs Tesla significantly more money to put a 75 kWh battery pack into a car than a 55-60 kWh battery pack.

        Yes, they did that with the 2nd version of the Model S60 (and the X60). But that was a marketing ploy, selling what were actually S75’s at a discount, hoping people would pay to electronically upgrade them later.

        Model S buyers, by in large, have been shown to be relatively insensitive to paying a few thousand dollars more for the car, so that made sense for the MS market segment. Contrariwise, Model 3 buyers are going to be, on average, much more price sensitive. So just because that made economic sense for the MS doesn’t mean it makes sense for Tesla to do that for the M3.

      3. FISHEV says:

        Except the batteries are 55 kWh and 70kWh. Tesla has already stated the Model 3 battery will be less than 60 kWh.

        The Model 3, due to 20% less weight, will get 4 miles kWh so the 55 kWh will be the base 230 mile range and the 70 kWh a more useful 280 mile range.

        Teslas are all glass roofed now so no options on the roof, just glass and no sunroof which lets the red paint back in the equation.

        Just one type of wheel allows for the AWD as Musk stated that should be available to order in 2018 after the first batch of employee vehicles are produced (25,000?) in 2017.

  3. Doggydogworld says:

    Pretty sure Model 3 will launch with choice of AP/EAP/self-drive. It’s free money for Tesla. I expect battery to be 55/70.

    A premium sound system option is likely. Maybe a cold weather package.

    I doubt they consider interior or exterior color to be a “configuration”. Leather vs. cloth might be.

    1. anon says:

      60 and 74 (yes 74) was leaked.

      1. Vexar says:

        a 60 kWh battery for the Model III means it will have superior range to the GM Bolt if you go by drag coefficient differences. I had heard 55 kWh to get to the 215+ miles of range.

        1. theflew says:

          It’s not that easy. The Bolt is pretty efficient because it uses a permanent magnet motor versus Tesla’s induction motor. Also the Bolt is light given it’s battery is almost a 3rd of it’s weight. It almost weighs 1000 pounds less than the Model 60S. Do you think the Model 3 will weigh 1000 pounds less? And the Bolt’s tires are not as sticky as the 18″+ inch tires on the Model 3. Finally the EPA test average about 55MPH which means the 3’s aero benefits really won’t come into play. With the same size packs the Bolt could still win in daily driving. Sure if you want to drive at 75+MPH then the Model 3 might be the better choice for effciency.

          1. Stimpy says:

            None of the things you mentioned matter nearly as much as air resistance, which is by far the biggest impediment even as low as 20 mph. Aerodynamic drag is based on speed squared.


            1. theflew says:

              Apparently you glanced at the link you posted but didn’t read down the page.

              Gillespie in Fundamentals of Vehicle Dynamics, which boils down to “…aerodynamic resistance only becomes equal to the rolling resistance only at speeds of 50-60 mph” (p 110).

              So like I said given the average speed of the EPA test you might not see a big difference.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                Stimpy is correct. Your paraphrase of Gillespie is quite likely a misinterpretation on your part. At a speed of 55 MPH, the average car spends fully half of its energy fighting wind resistance. And, for example, the difference in energy efficiency between permanent magnet motors and inductive motors in modern EVs is trivial, certainly not the important distinction you claim.

                According to what I’ve read elsewhere, the rule of thumb is that drag doesn’t affect energy efficiency much below about 35 MPH. But it increases as the square of the speed, so at speeds over 35 MPH, the amount of drag increases quickly.

                Given the M3’s significantly lower drag vs. the Bolt EV, I think it’s a safe bet that a 60 kWh M3 will have better EPA rated range than the Bolt EV.

                1. Four Electrics says:

                  And yet, according to CleanTechica, the Bolt and Model S have the same frontal area and the S has the lower CD. And get the 60 S only gets 210 miles vs 240 for the Bolt, despite the CD advantage. Very odd.

          2. Toni says:

            As already said, weight does not matter much! If they really get the Cd down to 0.21 it will kill the Bolt!

      2. Toni says:

        How can it be 74? My OCD will hate Elon forever 😀

  4. Mikael says:

    Whatever can be changed by software (battery limit, autopilot) is not really a different configuration.
    So I’d say 5 colors, 2 roofs, 2 wheels, 2 interiors, 1 package. That’s 80.

  5. Malevolence says:

    If we’re just making stuff up, I think there will only be one battery option initially, and I’m going with 64kWh.

    Egos are on the line here. Seeing how Tesla operates, it HAS to be slightly bigger than the Bolt in both kWh and range (because I don’t think the 3 will be more efficient having maybe slightly better CdA, similar drive-line efficiency, etc., maybe a little more weight due to power seats, sound deadening, softer plastics and other premium features, and probably slightly worse rolling resistance for better handling tires carrying more weight – so call it a very slight disadvantage for the Model 3). In other words, 60 won’t cut it.

    There also has to be a little buffer to make sure it beats out the new Leaf’s range yet to be announced (though I suspect the Bolt will actually stay the leader in that race, so that may be moot). At the same time, it can’t be better than the bottom of the line Model S75 that they are trying hard to sell, so that leaves a very narrow range. The 3 will get more range per kWh than the S, so the battery will be notably smaller. Threading the needle between the bolt’s 238 and the S75’s 249 miles of EPA range doesn’t leave much wiggle room.

    For marketing purposes, it’s good to differentiate their high end models that come in increments of 5 and their low end models. So why not use even increments or increments of 4 instead. As such, the near future upgrade might be a 72 or 76 version.

    I doubt Tesla will move away from the 96 cell series string for this model, so they can stick to a common voltage. The chemistry doesn’t appear to be enough different between the cells to change the voltage. My understanding is that the 2170 cells are 5.75Ah per cell. So, using a 33 cell parallel (while we’re making stuff up, let’s go with a honeycomb pattern of 6/5/6/5/6/5) would be 5.75Ah x 33 = 189.75Ah per module. Tesla appears to generally derate their cells by 2.5%, so that means a usable 185Ah even per module. Tesla also appears to use 3.6V as nominal voltage, so that means 666Wh per module. Times 96 modules in series give you 63,938Wh or call it an even 64kWh (or just use a derating of 2.46XXX% instead of 2.5% to get nice even numbers).

    It’s totally made up, but it sounds good, right?

    1. theflew says:

      Most people think the Bolt’s pack is around 65kWh given it will allow you to use ~60kWh. And given how GM has babied their packs in the past there is no way they’re using 100% of the pack.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Nah, the smaller battery pack is gonna be 58.39 kWh. That just feels right to me, so it must be correct. 😉

  6. Stimpy says:

    I don’t think the Model 3 has to “beat” the Bolt, Leaf 2, etc because those cars don’t have a well-placed Supercharger network to back them up. So even if the 3 comes in at marginally less range per charge, Tesla will simply point to the Supercharger networkl, and rightfully so.

    I have lived the CCS network for 2 years and it’s is by far the weakest point of any EV other than Tesla.

    1. Mister G says:

      Good point,I think you are right.

    2. theflew says:

      Depends on how you use your car. For most of the Bolt owners I’ve read about they either don’t charge nightly or use the level one charges. Apparently only Tesla owners drive coast to coast every weekend.

    3. Asak says:

      It will be a pretty big marketing win for GM if the Bolt has longer range. Yes with the Supercharger network the Model 3 may still be more versatile at long distance driving. To be completely honest, that advantage is both important, and also quite unimportant, depending on the use case for the car. Many cars never leave their home town for their entire lifespan.

      That being said, aren’t we getting pretty close to the official availability date? It seems like we should be seeing EPA numbers pretty soon?

  7. Nix says:

    Personally, I’m of the opinion that paint color isn’t part of the list of configurations Tesla was talking about.

    I think the reduction in choices will be through bundling options into packages, instead of offering everything a la carte

    1. Unplugged says:

      I agree on the paint color. It makes little difference to the complexity if there are four colors or eight colors. This is especially true for orders rather than in-stock offerings.

  8. scott franco says:

    Black, 75kWh, glass roof please. Hold the fries and onions.

  9. jim stack says:

    What about the Vegan interior option like the S has. I don’t want dead animal skins please. Fred Flintstone is long gone.

    1. Josh Bryant says:

      The White leather Tesla offers is vegan. Also cloth offering.

      I would guess it would be those two and a black leather as only interior choices.

  10. FISHEV says:

    The Model 3 costs are the same for some options such as Autopilot and Autonomous. Likely the same for battery as a $’s per kWh are the same across the model line. AWD is likely the same also.

    Model 3 delivered $36,200
    AWD $5,000
    Autopilot $5,000
    Autonomous $3,000
    70 kWh battery $13,000
    Paint $1,200
    SubZero $750

    Model 3 $64,150 delivered.

  11. Asak says:

    If the base model “delivered” is actually $36,200 that seems to me like that would be stretching the definition of the car costing “$35,000”. The delivery charge is going to have to be a lot smaller than that, or part of the MSRP for the car to be considered to actually have hit its price target.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Asak said:

      “The delivery charge is going to have to be a lot smaller than that, or part of the MSRP for the car to be considered to actually have hit its price target.”

      Sorry to disappoint you, but Tesla already said that delivery charges will be separate from the selling price. That’s typical for the industry; dealer prep charges are added to the invoice price at legacy dealerships.

      State and local taxes, registration fees, etc. aren’t included in any car’s MSRP, either.

      1. Asak says:

        The delivery charge isn’t usually over $1000 though. It’s more like $500 or so. Taxes, etc obviously aren’t included but those aren’t delivery fees.

        1. Chris_DS says:

          GM charges $875 for delivery charges for the Bolt… I still don’t get what you are trying to get at. Pawning off an industry-wide padding at an individual manufacturer is as pointless as your thought process.

  12. Jason says:

    Pass, I’ll just wait for official Tesla details. Elon already indicated AWD will not be available straight away, so if they are talking 100 variants at release, then Ok. But if they are talking 100 variants all told, then that is not very many, is it?

    I understand it is the mass market vehicle, but let’s face it, options are where these companies make their money and win their loyalty.

    And why shouldn’t the Model 3 have more range than the Model S? Plenty of brands have small, low cost models that get better range then their V8, luxury counterparts. You are buying a Model S because it is more luxury and bigger than the Model 3. It will be interesting to see if Tesla has a true low cost Model 3 and then offer upgrades to the interior for a more luxurious model, or if the base model basically has the same luxury interior across the range. Hard to imagine that being the case, but they are a weird company who likes to work outside the norm.