Tesla is dropping the low end of its luxury Model S product lineup, months before the planned introduction of the less expensive Model 3.
The electric-powered Model S sedan ranges in price from $64,000 to $128,000. The higher the price, the more powerful the battery pack. The soon-to-be discontinued 60 and 60D versions have a stated range of 210-218 miles before a recharge is necessary.
Tesla said it's dropping them "to simplify the order process." Plus, the company said, they're not selling well. Customers will be able to order them only until April 16.
There are other reasons Tesla might want to stop selling the 60 and 60D: They could compete with the Model 3, a mass-market car with a base price expected below $40,000. Some analysts think full-option versions will top $50,000, and that most early adopters will want their cars loaded.
"In that environment, it wouldn't make sense to have another, more upscale Tesla model priced just $10,000 above the Model 3's average transaction price," said Karl Brauer at Kelley Blue Book.
The next higher Model S is the 70 and 70D ("D" standing for all-wheel drive. Those cost $70,000 to $75,000 with a range of around 250 miles.
The top of the line P100D, including Ludicrous mode with a 2.5-second zero to 60 mph time, runs $128,000 with a range topping 300 miles.
The range of the Model 3, expected to be available in limited numbers later this year, will be similar to the 60 and 60D.