Tesla's Model 3 just got a bit more affordable

Tesla Model 3

Dual ECUs control the steering

Tesla unveiled a new, cheaper version of its Model 3 sedan - but it still isn't priced like the affordable, mass-market auto that the company originally promised.

DON'T MISS: Is the Tesla Model 3 the top-selling auto from an American brand? With the federal tax credit that price drops down to $37,500.

Musk late Thursday announced Tesla's lowest-cost version yet of its newest auto, with the CEO writing in a tweet that the mid-range Model 3 "costs $35k after federal & state tax rebates in California", but pegging its ultimate ownership cost at an even lower price point given the money saved not buying gas.

According to the website, the rear-wheel-drive model has a "mid range" battery, a range of 260 miles, 50 miles less than the long-range battery that the more expensive Model 3 is equipped with. The vehicle's top speed is also significantly lower, at 125 mph and 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds, compared to the long-range model's 145 mph and 0-60 mph in roughly five seconds.

Tesla is introducing a lower-priced version of its Model 3 sedan. A cheaper rear-wheel version will no longer be available. Offering cheaper versions of the vehicle raised a "big and unanswered question" of Tesla maintaining profit targets for the auto, he said.

The new version has a delivery period of six to 10 weeks, according to the website, which would customers eligible for the current $7,500 USA tax credit if they take delivery by the end of the year. Those include a $7,500 federal subsidy for electric vehicles delivered on or before December 31, which gets cut in half on January 1.

The world still awaits the $35,000 sedan promised by Tesla founder Elon Musk back in March 2016. Within days, the company had more than a quarter million reservations.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has, at least a couple of times, suggested that selling the Model 3 Standard Range at its originally announced $35k wouldn't be profitable.

Tesla says the "standard battery" version will not be available for another 4 to 6 months. In May he hinted a late summer or fall arrival and said that shipping the most affordable Model 3 right away would "cause Tesla to lose money and die".

Latest News