Tesla's $35,000 Model 3 still months away from sale

Tesla’s long-promised $35,000 car is still a long way off.

After tweeting about the upcoming availability of a high performance all-wheel-drive version of the Model 3 sedan that maxes out at $83,000, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated on Sunday that building the entry-level car too soon could cause Tesla to “die,” because it would be unprofitable.

Instead, he said it won’t be able to add it to the lineup until three to six months after production ramps up to 5,000 cars per week and is running smoothly at that level.

During the automaker’s recent earnings call, Musk revealed that he expects Tesla to reach that mark by the end of June. Assuming the assembly line is working consistently by then, that means reservation holders won’t be able to order a $35,000 Model 3 that can go 220 miles between charges until sometime between September and December, at the earliest.

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 (Tesla)

Musk added that deliveries of Model 3s with a 310 mile range and all-wheel-drive are set to begin in July. This dual motor option will add $5,000 to the $44,000 base price of cars with the long range battery pack, which are the only ones offered today.

The performance version will have that range and the ability to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds on the way to a 155 mph top speed. Musk said it will handle better than a BMW M3 and “beat anything else in its class on the track.”