PALO ALTO (CBS SF) — Elon Musk seems to be apologizing in advance for the low-frills Model 3.

Starting at $35,000 before the tax credit, customers were eager to get into a Tesla for half the price of a Model S.

But with production scheduled to begin in just a few months, Musk took to Twitter on Friday and seemed to be encouraging customers to opt-in for the more expensive Model S — or lower their expectations.

“Am I noticing that many people thing Model 3 is the “next version” of Tesla like iPhone 2 vs 3. This is not true,” he Tweeted. “Model 3 is just a smaller, more affordable version of Model S w less range & power & fewer features. Model S has more advanced technology.”

As if to down-sell Model 3, he went on to tweet, “Model 3 is like a BMW 3 series or Audi A4. Model S is like BMW 5 and 6 series, but much faster, more storage space + Autopilot.”

Tesla Model S. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Musk says Model S will always be the fastest Tesla until the release of Generation Roadster in a few years. He even listed its pluses, like the 7-seater option, more cargo space, higher range, and 2 screens instead of one. He likened the Model S to the true Version 4.

“Let me put it this way: it is the car I will keep driving even after Model 3 arrives.”

Tesla has a backlog of 400,000 reservations for the Model 3. Here is the “first drive of a release candidate version” Musk shared.



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