Tesla is showing the world its all-new Model 3 this Thursday—a sub $35,000 all-electric sedan the company hopes will bring electric vehicles to the mainstream. The introduction of such an affordable vehicle with mass appeal might also see Tesla shift the position of its existing lineup. Basically, if you’re going to buy a Model S, now may be the time.
This post originally ran Tuesday and is being republished ahead of the Model 3's launch tonight.
Electrek got the confirmation for a “price change” at least for the Model S sedan in “early April” directly following the introduction of the new Model 3 on March 31st. Here’s the full statement from Tesla to Electrek:
“We don’t comment on rumor or speculation about future releases. Tesla is constantly innovating and adding new features to our vehicles to perpetually improve Tesla vehicles for our existing and future customers. We price our vehicles consistently throughout the world which requires us to adjust pricing to foreign currency exchange rates. We have let customers know that some price changes will take effect in early April. We always encourage those interested in purchasing Model S to place their order so they can start enjoying the many benefits of Model S today.”
There is no confirmed price increase, and it’s also not clear that the price change is the result of the new entry-level sedan this month or for other reasoning. Yet the timing does seem convenient.
There have been persistent rumors that Tesla was planning on dropping the smallest battery pack versions of the Model S sedan and the Model X crossover due to slow sales and the possible introduction of a new, top of the range large battery pack. Evidently only 7.7 percent of of Model X reservation holders chose the 70kWh pack.
Tesla has confirmed to Jalopnik that the 70kWh battery pack is still available to Model S and Model X customers.
Additionally, a recent hack of Tesla’s firmware revealing the model name “P100D” suggests the company may be working on a new top-of-the-range battery pack for both the Model S and Model X, which would be the highest performance option available, and of course the highest asking price.
It has also been rumored that the Model S is due for upgraded equipment and possibly even a styling refresh, which could be reason enough for a bump in the price tag.
The entry level Model S with the 70kWh battery pack currently starts at $70,000, which is still quite far off of the pre-incentive $35,000 for the upcoming Model 3.
Will Tesla shift its existing lineup to more premium prices to make room for the new car? I guess we’ll found out in April. But if you’ve already started looking into buying a Model S, even Tesla says now’s the time.
Update: This article has been updated to confirm that the 70kWh battery pack is still available for the Model X, despite reported claims otherwise.