Tesla to drop Model S 75 RWD, widening gap with Model 3

Whenever Tesla makes some change to its lineup, usually by adding versions to its top end, it reconfigures the bottom end to simplify sales and streamline manufacturing. With the introduction of a whole new model, Tesla is making changes again. Deliveries of the Tesla Model 3 begin this month, and Electrek reports that Tesla will discontinue its least-expensive version of the Model S by the end of 2017.

The rear-wheel-drive Model S 75 starts at $69,500. Getting rid of that leaves the all-wheel-drive 75D as the cheapest Model S, at $74,500. This increases the price gap between the Model 3 (starting at $35,000) and the Model S. This would also leave the S as an AWD-only lineup, leaving the 3 as the only new Tesla available with RWD.

Further distinguishing the two models is the fact that the Model S is much more customizable. Earlier, we saw a Tesla document that compares the two vehicles, showing that the Model S offers more than 1,500 configurations and a number of premium features, while the Model 3 offers fewer than 100 possible configurations. The sheet also points out that although Model S customers who buy their car with a referral get free Supercharging for the life of the ownership, Model 3 customers are relegated to pay-per-use charging on Tesla's network.

With a big difference in performance and features, and now the wider price gap between the two sedans, Tesla is keeping the pools of prospective buyers as far from each other as possible.

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