According to the website, the rear-wheel-drive model has a “midrange” battery, a range of 260 miles, 50 miles less than the long-range battery that the more expensive Model 3 is equipped with.
The new version has a delivery period of six to 10 weeks, according to the website, which would make customers eligible for the current $7,500 U.S. tax credit if they take delivery by the end of the year. The tax credit for Tesla cars will drop by half on Jan. 1, then by half again in mid-2019.
Although Tesla has promised a base-level version of the Model 3 priced at $35,000, so far the company has produced only higher-cost versions starting at about $49,000. Tesla has said it will not manufacture the base-level version of the Model 3 this year.
Adding the mid-priced version of the Model 3 appears to be a strategic way to lure possible buyers who had been waiting for the lower-priced car. It is not clear how many of the more than 400,000 reservations for the Model 3 are for the base models.