Tesla is reportedly bringing back the Model 3 Long Range (LR) Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD), but this time only for fleet customers. The Model 3 LR RWD used to be part of Tesla’s lineup until it was discontinued in 2019.
The LR RWD variant of the Model 3 was the first model released in mid-2017. However, as production of the electric sedan ramped Tesla removed the LR RWD variant from their online design studio in early 2019, opting to instead go with LR Dual Motor Configurations. The LR RWD variant also made a reappearance in China in 2020, but it too has since been removed from the Design Studio.
What made the LR RWD popular was that its combination of efficiency and value. It provided an EPA range of 523km (325 miles), and its acceleration from 0-60 mph was only slightly behind the AWD version, clocking in at 4.9 seconds.
Now it looks like it is going to be making a comeback once again. According to a report by FleetEurope, the LR RWD variant will only be available to fleet customers in Europe, where company cars are more popular than in North America. It will come with a WLTP estimated range of 634km (394mi), an increase over the 602km (374 miles) over the AWD variant.
With the single motor configuration, it will also be cheaper at €47,990 (~$70,400 CAD/$53,200 USD), compared to AWD priced at €50,990 (~$74,900 CAD/$56,600 USD).
That price will include remote fleet management through the mobile app, and all of Tesla’s standard safety features like Autopilot, Automatic Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Avoidance. Fleet customers can reportedly already order the vehicle through Tesla’s Fleet website and the Tesla For Business portal. It is unclear where this variant will be built, but it is likely that it will come from Giga Shanghai.
While we have been unable to confirm this story with our sources at the time of publication, Tesla’s Senior Operations Coordinator Mats Andriessen, who is based in the Netherlands, liked the article on Linkedin, giving it a tacit confirmation.
UPDATE 3:08pm PT: The LR RWD has been confirmed by Karen Bowen, Senior Key Account Manager at Tesla, on Linkedin.
The addition to Tesla’s lineup for fleet customers could give them a big boost in European sales, a region where company cars are much more popular than in North America. It could also help them leapfrog Polestar, which according to a recent study by LeasePlan, a fleet management service company, has the most popular EV for fleets in Germany.