Tesla's Model 3 pricing shenanigans are getting ridiculous

Tesla Model 3 Standard Range dropped from online configurator

A call or visit to a Tesla store is also required if you want the Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive configuration.

Tesla is apparently moving to retire the $35,000 entry-level Model 3 before shipping the first units, though Autopilot comes standard and customers can now lease the vehicle. Any revenue lost from not offering its used cars for purchase is clearly expected to be generated through other profitable means. Conversely, buyers can also downgrade to the Standard Range vehicle whenever he or she desires and Tesla will refund the price difference. Other features like Tesla's onboard music streaming service, navigation with live traffic visualization and heated seats will also be disabled. Tesla said orders for the Standard Range Plus, with 240 miles, a premium stereo, power seats, and upgraded upholstery, outnumbered orders for the base auto by 6 to 1.

So how much does a Tesla Model 3 really cost?

Six times as many buyers are willing to upgrade their Model 3s than buy the base version, Tesla says.

The leasing option is available for all Model 3 variants with annual mileage caps of 10,000 to 15,000 miles. Because of this, Tesla made a decision to take the $35,000 model off the menu and offer it on the side for those who really wanted it. Simplicity appears to be the name of the game, all the while making things slightly more confusing for those who want to spend the bare minimum to get a Tesla. They'll have to call or visit a store instead, and the vehicle won't come with Autopilot.

Also, customers will now be able to lease a Model 3, though they won't be able to buy it when the lease is up - Tesla plans "to use those vehicles in the Tesla ride-hailing network", the post says. Tesla will begin delivering the Model 3 Standard this weekend, according to the post. According to Tesla's data, the Standard Plus outsold the $35,000 base auto by a ratio of 6:1.

The effective base price of a Model 3 ordered online is now $40,700. Buyers do have the option to unlock those features at a later date, though, essentially upgrading the vehicle from Standard Range to Standard Range Plus. Now, the Model 3 Standard Plus can only be had with Autopilot bundled, for the price of $39,500, saving you $1,000.

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