Tesla preparing to begin manufacturing Model 3 AWD SR+ at Fremont and Model 3 with LFP battery in China: Rumour

Tesla Model 3 Design Studio

Over the years Tesla has offered the popular Model 3 sedan in four rear-wheel drive variants, the Mid Range (MR), Long Range (LR), Standard Range (SR), and Standard Range Plus (SR+).

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The LR RWD was discontinued in June 2019, only to be brought back from the dead after Tesla reintroduced it in China earlier this year.

Based on the latest rumour, it looks like Tesla is once again going shift to AWD and discontinue the current SR+.

According to @TroyTeslike, a source familiar with the automaker’s plans revealed to him the SR+ will soon only be offered in an all-wheel drive (AWD) format, with more energy-dense cells and more range.

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In talking with Drive Tesla, @TroyTeslike said the AWD SR+ would first be introduced in North America. The current RWD SR+ would also be discontinued due to not enough cells to go between both vehicles.

The source, who has provided reliable information in the past, said the new SR+ would be priced higher than the current SR+, without providing exact details.

Along with the news of the AWD SR+, the source also said Tesla would announce a Model 3 SR+ with the rumoured LFP battery at the same time. Tesla was approved to manufacture the Model 3 with these new batteries earlier this summer. The price of the LFP Model 3 is expected to be less than the current SR+ Model 3 in China.

Update: September 30 – Reuters is now also reporting Tesla will introduce the Model 3 with LFP batteries, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The expected timing of this announcement also lines up with the possible introduction of the long-awaited RWD version of the Model Y. In July, CEO Elon Musk said both the dual motor LR RWD and a new single motor LR version of the electric SUV would be coming out “in a few months”.

Other changes coming rumoured to be coming to the Model 3 include a power trunk, new headlights, chrome delete, heat pump, and several more improvements.

Do you think Tesla will shelve the RWD Model 3 SR+ in favour of an AWD variant? Let us know in the comments below.

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Founder and Editor-in-chief of Drive Tesla Canada | Darryn@DriveTeslaCanada.ca Have a Tesla tip? Email tips@driveteslacanada.ca, or DM us on Twitter @DriveTeslaca