Things are about to get weird again at Tesla headquarters.
Tesla has mastered the art of quietly dropping or changing its product lineup with no formal announcements. It's done this before when it killed off its car buyback program and has even raised prices for Autopilot with no information aside for a newly inflated price on its online brochure. Now, the electric automaker has gone ahead and dumped the entry level Model X, the 60D, from its lineup. The 60D had a starting price of $74,000, costly, but within reach of Model S buyers who were on the fence and needed a nudge.
The 60D may as well have been a pay as you go Model X because once owners got tired of its 200-mile range, they could pay to unlock additional mileage with a $9,500 upgrade. Now, the starting price for the cheapest Model X, the 75D, is $85,500, about $10,000 more than the 60D. Interestingly enough, Tesla still sells the lesser 60D option for the Model S and will likely continue to do so at least until the Model 3 is out. In all likelihood, this move was made in order to keep the Model X as a higher trim option in addition to the fact that Tesla was having a hard time moving the 60D. Still, we think the electric automaker may be up to something. CEO Elon Musk recently announced that Tesla would be releasing an unexpected new product on October 17.
So far we haven't a clue what it could be, but if Musk's Twitter premonitions are indicative of anything, it could be a new compact SUV. Previously, Musk has claimed that a Tesla reveal would follow the unveiling of the Model 3. This EV would be called the Model Y and feature what appears to be Tesla's SUV signature: Falcon Wing doors. Given the market for the SUV segment, a small utility vehicle could drum up some much-needed profits and would explain why Tesla killed off the entry-level Model X. Prospective customers who were deterred by the Model X 60D's death would only need to wait a week to learn of the new model. We'll have to wait until the announcement to know for sure, but at least these rumors can stir the pot.