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Electrek is reporting that Tesla is in trial production for a rear-wheel drive Model Y. It could have a starting price of around $45,000.


Tesla has started trial production of the Model Y Long Range Rear-Wheel-Drive ahead of an imminent launch, according to sources familiar with the matter.

When Tesla launched the Model Y in March 2019, the company listed four different versions of the electric SUV: Standard Range, Long Range, Dual Motor AWD (with a Long Range battery), and Performance (also with a Long Range battery).

However, earlier this month, CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla was canceling the Standard Range version of the Model Y and instead, it will only add a Long Range Rear-Wheel-Drive version to the lineup.

Musk said that the new version of the electric SUV would be coming in the next few months.

Now Electrek has learned Tesla has started a trial production run of the Model Y Long Range Rear-Wheel-Drive, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Production trial is one of the last steps toward bringing a new version of a vehicle to market.

Tesla put a few Model Y LR RWD vehicles through a trial run on its GA4 assembly line before temporarily shutting it down for upgrades.

The automaker has yet to open orders for the new version of the vehicle.

Tesla didn’t confirm the price yet, but Musk hinted at $45,000 when first announcing the new version and earlier this week, we reported that Tesla surprisingly lists Model Y Long Range RWD for $48,000 on its loan calculator.

However, the automaker removed the listing after we reported on the update.
 

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Just my $.02:

Model 3:

  • Standard range, RWD (250 miles) $37,990.
  • Long range AWD (322 miles) is $46,990.
Model Y
  • Long range AWD (316 miles) is $49,990
If there were a standard range, RWD Model Y, based on the Model 3, $9,000 less, it would be at $40,990. The only difference is the battery, perhaps an additional $3,000.

On the MachE, the difference in price of the Premium LR AWD and RWD is $2,700.

I predict the LR RWD Model Y will be at $43,990.

Of course based on the MachE, there might be only a $3,000 savings, which would bring the price down to $46,990.
 

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Tesla is reportedly close to making a more affordable Model Y

Tesla might be close to making the Model Y decidedly more affordable. Electrek sources claim the automaker has begun trial production of a rear-wheel drive Long Range version of the electric crossover that would lower the price compared to the all-wheel drive models you have to buy now. Chief executive Elon Musk had hinted at an RWD model coming in the next few months, but there wasn’t an indication of progress until now.

We’ve asked Tesla for comment.

Musk axed the Standard Range RWD version of the Model Y earlier in July after claiming its range would be too low. This could be the lowest-priced variant you can buy, then.

It’s not certain how much this model could cost. Musk alluded to a $45,000 price when he revealed the new version, but the company’s loan calculator recently suggested it could cost $48,000. There’s also Tesla’s relatively frequent price changes to consider.

If the company does roll out the new version soon, though, it could significantly lift the company’s fortunes. The Model 3 remains Tesla’s main attraction in no small part due to its more accessible pricing. An RWD model could put the Model Y within reach of entry-luxury buyers who can’t justify the current versions but still want an EV more spacious than the Model 3.

see: Tesla is reportedly close to making a more affordable Model Y
 
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