Tesla has officially discontinued its cheapest Model S variant, the 75 with rear-wheel drive. The Model S lineup now consists of just three models, all of them featuring dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrains: the 75D, 100D, and P100D.
Tesla hasn’t changed the pricing of the three trim levels, but the change means that the least expensive Model S now starts at $74,500 before delivery fees.
This isn’t the first time Tesla has reduced its number of trim levels. There was originally to have been a 40 kWh version of Model S, but that variant was dropped before production even began. The company discontinued the 85 kWh Model X and the 90 kWh Model S in early 2016. Earlier this year, it dropped the 60 kWh Model S (which actually had a 75 kWh battery pack with the range limited by software).
What’s the reason behind the latest move? Electrek and others have speculated that it has to do with better differentiating the base Model S from the new Model 3, which is the “entry-level” Tesla, and now the only one offered with a single-motor powertrain.
The variants that get the axe have usually been the lowest-priced ones. It appears that Model S (and X) buyers have no problem paying more for a premium product, so Tesla plans to keep these two positioned as luxury models, leaving the mass market to Model 3 in accordance with the company’s master plan.