The story of the rear-wheel drive Tesla Model Y Standard Range model is a bizarre one. This car’s on-again-off-again relationship with Elon Musk has meant that it has been quietly introduced and even more quietly killed off twice in the last 14 months. It has, when available, been among the least expensive way to get into a compact electric SUV on the market. It was recently given an even lower price, starting under $40,000. Then removed from the company’s order books.
The so-called Y SR was initially available to order when the compact crossover Tesla launched last January, but was quickly killed off and shuffled under the rug in July. The car’s EPA rated range of 230 miles was ‘unacceptably low’ in the eyes of weirdo billionaire Musk, who definitely knows what the right choice is for the everyperson. It was then re-introduced on January 7th with an updated 244 mile EPA rating, though it isn’t clear what changed to allow the car a longer range. Just last week Thursday, the car’s base price was lowered from $41,990 to $39,990. By Sunday, the Y SR had disappeared from the Tesla website.
This has been done before, like when the company removed the long-awaited $35,000 Model 3.
By removing the sub-40k Model Y, the lowest price advertised for the Y is now the long-range dual-motor model, which starts at $48,990. That’s a hell of a jump in price with one swift removal of the RWD model. But apparently if you’re in the know, Tesla will still sell you one of the cheap rear drivers.
Responding to a tweet on Monday afternoon, the CEO of the company confirmed that there is a secret Tesla menu where you can order the Y SR model, despite it not being orderable from the company website. If you don’t want to pony up an extra nine grand for the big battery and four driven wheels, you’ll have to call Tesla to place your order, or visit one of its showrooms.
This isn’t a damn Skittles Frappuccino off the Starbuck secret menu, or a Animal Style sauce at In-n-Out, it’s a forty thousand dollar vehicle. A massive investment in the future of your driving should not be treated with such flippancy from Tesla. It’s absurd.
This would, of course, be the perfect opportunity to ask Tesla’s public relations team for clarity on this subject. You know, if the company actually had a public relations team. But because the company’s public relations have devolved to encompass only the CEO’s twitter feed, we’re forced to believe that Musk’s word is bond. From the iPhone fingers of billionaire idiots comes only the truth, I guess.
For the record, Elon, I’d be a buyer of a $30,000 Model 3 with 100 miles of range. Make it happen.