Tesla reopens orders for Model 3 Long Range in the US, but with some important differences

Tesla is once again taking orders for the Model 3 Long Range AWD, more than eight months after the automaker shut down orders for the variant in both Canada and the US. However the electric sedan is only available in the US for now, and it appears to be not exactly the same car that it was when it was last available.

Since August 2022 the Model 3 Long Range has appeared on the Design Studio with a greyed-out button that said it would be available again in 2023. With the prospect of the Project Highland on the horizon, we thought the Long Range would reappear when the refresh design was ready to be revealed. That doesn’t appear to be the case as Tesla has updated the Design Studio to reenable orders for the variant, but only in the US, and based on the images used in the Design Studio, it is still the same car, at least on the outside.

As before, the Long Range variant is a dual motor All-Wheel Drive (AWD) configuration, but that’s about where the similarities between this version and the previous version end. The last time it was available to order it was priced at $57,990, but with the numerous significant price drops since then it now starts at $47,240.

There are also some significant differences in the estimated driving range. Previously the Long Range variant equipped with 19″ wheels had an EPA estimated rage of 334 miles (537km), but now that has dropped to “310+ mi” (498km). There is a similar drop for the 18″ wheels, with a range of “325+ mi” (523km) now compared to 358 miles (576km) previously. This is roughly the same range as the Performance variant with 20″ wheels, which comes in at 315 miles (506km).

This drop in range could be attributed to a different battery chemistry. Since the car is only eligible for $3,750 of the available $7,500 US tax credit, possibly indicating it could now be equipped with a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack manufactured in China. This pack is also available on the Model 3 RWD variant, which is also only eligible for half of the tax credit. However these battery packs usually result in slower acceleration and a heavier car, but the 0-60mph time has remained the same according at 4.2 seconds, and the weight is roughly the same at 4,034lbs compared to 4,065lbs previously. The top speed is unchanged at 145mph (233km/h) as well, indicating it is likely not LFP but simply a smaller pack.

Tesla hasn’t officially commented on the reintroduction of the Model 3 Long Range, but we hopefully won’t have to wait very long to find out more. The Design Studio estimates the first deliveries will take place next month in June 2023.

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