2018 Tesla Model 3 Will Debut With Just Two Options | Edmunds

2018 Tesla Model 3 Will Debut With Just Two Options

When the 2018 Tesla Model 3 sedan debuts next month, buyers will only be able to personalize their cars with two options: the choice of body color and wheel size.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk made the announcement at the company's annual shareholder meeting in Mountain View, California, on Tuesday. At the same time, he told investors that this only applies to the model's initial production run and that later buyers of the Model 3 will have more choices available to them.

Previously, Tesla had announced that the Model 3, with prices starting around $35,000, will eventually have about about 100 possible option configurations. That compares to about 1,500 combinations on its larger and more expensive stablemate, the Tesla Model S.

Since the Model 3 will initially be equipped with rear-wheel drive only, one of those future options, Musk said, will be dual-motor all-wheel drive, arriving early next year. And if Tesla follows the pattern set with the Model S and the Model X SUV, other choices could include larger batteries for more range, premium interior packages and upgraded infotainment systems.

One advanced feature that will be standard on the Model 3, as it is on all Tesla vehicles, is Autopilot, the company's semi-autonomous driver assist system, which allows the vehicle to steer itself, change lanes, avoid obstacles and park without driver intervention. However, even though the Model 3 will be equipped with Autopilot hardware, unlocking some of its capabilities will likely require an extra-cost software upgrade.

It's estimated that more than 400,000 buyers have placed $1,000 deposits on the Model 3. Although Musk didn't address that number, he did tell shareholders that the backlog of orders is equal to about 18 months' worth of production.

He also noted that beginning next month, the Model 3 configurator will go live online. At that time, buyers will not only be able to go to the site to choose their 3's body color and wheel size but will also be able to see some of the planned future options and a timeline for their rollout.

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