Last week, Elon Musk tweeted that the Tesla Model 3 would not have a heads up display, something a lot of reservation holders were hoping for. In fact, Musk the Magnificent seemed to be going out of his way to suggest the Model 3 will be much more like basic transportation than the Model S. He was at pains to point out that the Model S has more seats, a higher level of technology, and the cachet of being the world’s most popular premium electric car.
Some thought Musk was deliberately trying to lower people’s expectations about the Tesla Model 3. Today, the company blog has a new posting that continues that theme. Here it is in full:
Model S or Model 3
The Tesla Team April 6, 2017
We’ve been getting ready for Model 3 by advancing manufacturing, expanding our charging network, improving service, opening more retail stores and much more.
With a new model coming this year, we know our customers will have questions about which car is right for them. One question we’ve been asked is, “Should I trade in my Model S for a Model 3?” While Model 3 will be our newest car, it isn’t “Version 3” or the next generation Tesla. Our higher priced premium models still include the most advanced technology and the best driving experience we have to offer.
Model S is the leader in its class in every category, which is why 94 percent of our owners say they will buy Model S again. It has a 5-star safety rating and will continue to be our flagship Model with more range, more acceleration, more power, more passenger and cargo room, more displays (two) and more customization choices. With Ludicrous+, Model S has a zero-to-60 time of 2.28 seconds as measured by Motor Trend, making it the fastest accelerating production car in the world. Model S will also continue to be the longest-range vehicle we offer, capable of a landmark 335 miles on a single charge, meaning you can travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco nonstop.
Model 3 is smaller, simpler, and will come with far fewer options than Model S, but it makes driving feel effortless and offers a good range of at least 215 miles for our starting model.
At the foundation of every Tesla is safety – keeping our customers safe is part of every decision we make. In addition, every Tesla vehicle (Model 3 too) comes standard with full self-driving hardware which, through over-the-air software upgrades, will enable a Tesla to be substantially safer than a human driver. As we continue to test and validate new features, customers can expect an increasing number of updates to be rolled out to their cars this year. And while innovation at Tesla will never stop, the very best vehicles we make are already available for purchase and on the road today.
What Tesla is hoping to accomplish with this statement is a matter of some conjecture. It does seem as though the company is trying hard to draw a bright line between the Model S and the Model 3. Is it worried that some Model S customers will hold off making a buying decision to wait for the Model 3? Is it trying to reduce some of the hype surrounding the Model 3? After all, more than 400,000 people have plunked down $1,000 to reserve one. Some of them may think they will be getting a slightly smaller Model S for a lot less money.
Only a fool would try to guess what is going on in Musk’s brain. Let us know what you think about this latest statement about the Tesla Model 3 and Model S in the comments section.