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Tesla has been hyping its $35,000 Model 3 for years, but just weeks after making it available the automaker has removed the car from its online configurator.
The Standard Model 3 can still be ordered by phone or by visiting a Tesla store, a sort off-menu item for the company. Tesla is now pushing the Standard Plus as the best option for buyers.
The changes were announced late Thursday.
“Given the popularity of the Standard Plus relative to the Standard, we have made the decision to simplify our production operations to better optimize cost, minimize complexity and streamline operations,” Tesla said in the blog post. “As a result, Model 3 Standard will now be a software-limited version of the Standard Plus, and we are taking it off the online ordering menu, which just means that to get it, customers will need to call us or visit any one of the several hundred Tesla stores. Deliveries of Model 3 Standard will begin this weekend.”
The $35,000 Model 3 will be software-limited to 220-miles of range but can be ‘unlocked’ to 240-miles over-the-air, Tesla said.
Also, several features will be disabled via software, including the onboard music streaming service, navigation with live traffic visualization, and heated seats. Customers will have the option to upgrade to a Standard Plus at any time.
Tesla said customers will also need to call or visit a Tesla store to ge at Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive. “We’re making these changes to ensure that our online order process is focused exclusively on the three Model 3 variants customers want most,” Tesla said.