Ahead of Tesla Model 3 Reveal Event, Tesla Model X 70D Disappears From Online Configuration Tool: Now It’s Back Again

Ever since its first Model S rolled off the production line in 2012, Tesla Motors has earned itself a reputation for constantly evolving its vehicle lineup, adding new features as and when they’re ready for market rather than waiting for arbitrary model-year crossovers. At the same time, it has also quietly removed vehicle model variants from sale which are either being superseded or being retired due to a lack of customer interest.

The Model X 70D disappeared for a while -- but it's back.

The Model X 70D disappeared for a while — but it’s back.

The first to go was the Tesla Model S 40, a car which Tesla pulled from production after a few months due to a lack of customer demand. As time has passed, other Model S variants have fallen by the wayside, including the Tesla Model S 60 (replaced by the Tesla Model S 70D) and the Tesla Model S 85 (replaced by the Tesla Model S 90D). While the former was not replaced by any direct model, the latter two are examples of one model being removed from Tesla’s portfolio as a newer, higher-specification model comes to take its place.

So when we heard the news at the weekend that the Tesla’s entry-level Model X 70D had seemingly vanished from Tesla’s website this weekend, we, like other outlets, assumed it was either because of a lack of demand or ahead of the announcement of a higher-specification Model X variant. Given, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest Tesla is readying itself to announce a brand-new 100 kilowatt-hour battery pack for the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X at its Model 3 reveal event on Thursday — including the discovery of a reference to a “P100D” model in the latest Tesla software update and some hints that there’s about to be a model upgrade/price increase for S and X customers — the disappearance of the Model X 70D wasn’t exactly surprising.

Tesla has removed the 5-seat online configuration for Model X.

Tesla has removed the 5-seat online configuration for Model X.

But just as quickly as it disappeared over the weekend, the Tesla Model X 70D is now back on Tesla’s online configurator again.

Just like a sudden and unexpected change to Tesla’s warranty policy a few months’ ago (which was quickly corrected after it was noticed by several Tesla fans), the deletion of the Model X 70D from the online configuration tool happened in error.

“It was a brief website error which was quickly corrected,” a Tesla spokesperson told Transport Evolved when pushed for comment.

While the Tesla Model X 70D is now indeed listed again on Tesla’s website, we note however that Tesla has dropped the five-seat Model X configuration from its online listings. When the Model X debuted, it was originally offered with a choice of five, six or seven seats, but we note that to date, we believe Tesla has not manufactured or sold a five-seat Model X, focusing instead on clearing the backlog of high-end Tesla Model S P90D orders with six and seven-seat configurations.

It’s not clear if Tesla will build five-seat Model X cars for those who have already order their Model X cars with five seats, or if customers will be offered an upgrade — but we’re guessing the deletion is again caused by a lack of demand and financial common sense. If Tesla hasn’t received many five-seat Model X orders, then producing the required variant interior parts to accommodate a five-seat layout is likely a loss-leader from a cost benefit analysis standpoint.

Tesla says the deletion of the Model X 70D online was an error.

Tesla says the deletion of the Model X 70D online was an error.

As for the temporary deletion of the TEsla Model X 70D? While Tesla says it was done in error, we’re leaning towards the likelihood that it was the result of a pre-emptive change due to happen at some point in the not-too-distant-future. In other words, we think the Tesla Model X 70D is likely going to be replaced by a longer-range model in the next few months.

Given Tesla has yet to even produce any Tesla Model X 70D models, it may also result in those who ordered a Model X 70D being asked to upgrade to a 90 D, while Tesla’s higher-end Model X P90D gets replaced by a Model X P100D. We should reiterate here that this is pure conjecture: we’ve no concrete evidence to confirm this belief.

What we can say however, is that we hope any future changes to Tesla’s entry-level Model X are not accompanied by an increase in price. At $80,000, the entry-level Tesla Model X 70D is already prohibitively expensive for most. Pushing the price higher would simply push the Model X further away from the average car buyer in terms of affordability.

For an automaker keen to make electric cars affordable for all, that’s a decision Tesla will need to look at very carefully.


Want to keep up with the latest news in evolving transport? Don’t forget to follow Transport Evolved on Twitter, like us on Facebook and G+, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

You can also support us directly as a monthly supporting member by visiting Patreon.com.

Related News