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Tesla pulls the plug on its cheapest Model S and Model X models

By Andy Enright, 11 Jan 2019 News

Tesla pulls the plug on its cheapest Model S and Model X models

It just got a whole lot dearer to land an entry-level S or X

LIKE most things from Elon Musk, the news came out of the blue via a tweet.

“Starting on Monday, Tesla will no longer be taking orders for the 75 kWh version of the Model S & X. If you’d like that version, please order by Sunday night at Tesla.com,” Musk said.

In lieu of any more official correspondence from Tesla, that’s all the detail we have.

Read next: Opinion: Elon Musk might really be from the future

In real terms, it means that unless Australian customers lob in an order on Saturday, the price for an entry level Model S, which now becomes the P100, jumped by $27,450 to $139,500, and the first rung on the Model X ladder rocketed by $23,900 to $142,900.

In the case of the Model S, that $27,450 buys you 66 additional kilowatts, which is pretty reasonable bang for your buck. Mercedes will charge you $35k to step up 65kW from an E300 coupe to an E400 version.

Read next: Tesla Model S review

Of course, Tesla has history with culling the stragglers. Back in 2017, Tesla discontinued the previous base rear-wheel-drive 75 trim levels, and before that it axed the 60kWh entry-level cars.

It would appear that the company is buying headroom in the market for more profitable versions of its Model 3.

Australia is a priority-level market for the right-hand-drive version of the entry-level Tesla Model 3, which starts production in mid-2019.

When fully fleshed out, the range in the US will sell for between $US35,000 and $US78,000 ($A47,598-$106,075), and while no Australian pricing has yet been announced, Musk stated in 2017 that Tesla will charge “$US price in $AUD plus import duties and sales tax”.

Therefore the more expensive dual motor models in the Model 3 range would have overlapped Models S 75D anyway.