For those eagerly waiting to place their orders for the dual-motor/all-wheel-drive or performance versions of the Tesla Model 3, the time has come. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter that orders for both variants will open this week.
It's unclear if the decision to open orders this week for both the AWD and performance models means Tesla is producing even more Model 3s per week. Previously, Musk said additional variants would not come online until the manufacturing plant was capable of building 5,000 cars per week. That's highly unlikely as the most recent figure was perhaps as high as 2,700 cars per week, and that may have been an exaggeration.
Tesla will enable orders end of next week for dual motor AWD & performance. Starting production of those in July. Air suspension prob next year.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2018
The news could simply be another creative financing maneuver by Musk and the company. While Tesla has declared it will not need to raise new funds this year, the electric-car maker faces a serious cash crunch as it burns through capital at lightning speed. Add in the fact that more manual labor is now helping to build the Model 3, and costs have likely surged. The CEO has also upped production targets to 6,000 cars per week after shutting down the manufacturing plant earlier this year.
The Tesla website says buyers placing their orders now will get their cars in 12-18 months.
According to Musk's tweet, production of dual-motor AWD and performance-variant Model 3 cars will begin in July. Previously, Musk tweeted that the dual-motor cars would "probably" come in July.
Air suspension, he said, will arrive sometime next year. The air suspension feature is a rather lengthy delay, though. Musk originally claimed air suspension would arrive three-to-six months after Tesla began Model 3 production. That has now passed.
The new features for the Model 3 should help pull in additional revenue per car. Green Car Reports reported on Monday that the Model 3 Long Range variants have sold for roughly $50,000-$55,000, with most buyers opting for AutoPilot, according to Tesla forums. Adding the dual-motor AWD and performance models will push prices higher, though Tesla hasn't announced pricing for these variants yet.
Meanwhile, reservations for the most affordable Model 3, the Short Range variant, will likely take a back seat.