Tesla launches Model 3 lease, makes $35K edition 'off-menu'

3 car is displayed during a media preview at the Auto China 2018 motor show in Beijing

Further changes include the fitment of the Autopilot package as standard equipment, though the changes see the price of the Model 3 Standard Plus rise by US$2000 to US$39,500 ($55,365.18) - previously the Autopilot option came at a $3000 premium.

Apparently addressing controversy over Autopilot price cuts, Tesla has chose to simply bundle the feature as a standard safety feature across its entire lineup.

"We think including Autopilot is very important because our data strongly indicates that the chance of an accident is much lower when Autopilot is enabled", the company says.

It's also worth noting that Tesla has scrapped building a separate version of the base trim Model 3.

Tesla is also rolling out the ability to lease a Model 3 "for a small down payment and competitive monthly payments".

However, unlike other leasing programs, Model 3 customers will not be able to buy their vehicle following the conclusion of the leasing term, as Tesla plans to use these vehicles in its upcoming ride-hailing network in conjunction with full autonomy. Most auto leases give you the option to buy the vehicle outright at the end of the lease period, but not Tesla.

Tesla said customers who choose leasing over owning will not have the option to purchase their auto at the end of the lease, because "with full autonomy coming in the future via an over-the-air software update", Tesla plans to use those vehicles in the Tesla ride-hailing network.

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Interested customers can apply to lease a Tesla now at tesla.com/3.

As for the $35,000 Model 3.

According to Tesla the demand for the Standard Plus blew them away, selling at six times the rate of Standard.

Tesla's long-range, rear-wheel drive Tesla Model 3 will also be unavailable to order online.

This means that the car's hardware is exactly the same Standard Plus, but it's missing features like "onboard music streaming service, navigation with live traffic visualization, and heated seats".

Tesla is restructuring how it sells the Model 3 since the Standard Plus trim option has been selling on average six times more than the base model auto.

Anyone who buys this vehicle now has the option of paying an additional cost once they get their auto to have these features unlocked.

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