Updated Tesla Model 3

Updated Tesla Model 3

A Performance version of the updated Tesla Model 3 electric car has appeared in government documents after it was absent from the model line-up unveiled three weeks ago.

A Performance version of the 2024 Tesla Model 3 electric car is on the way, newly-unearthed government documents have revealed – and unverified reports of more power may come to fruition.

A Dutch government vehicle certification document for the updated Model 3 uncovered on the TFF Forum – and spotted by Drive Tesla Canada – has listed a new dual-motor Performance variant not confirmed to date by Tesla.

It is distinguished by a ‘T’ as the eighth digit in its vehicle identification number (VIN) – compared to ‘K’ for the dual-motor Long Range model, and ‘J’ or ‘S’ for the single-motor Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD).

The discovery has fuelled speculation in recent weeks the Performance – which was conspicuously absent from the updated Model 3 line-up unveiled on September 1 – is due later than the rest of the line-up as it is in line for a power boost.

The model designations for the updated Tesla Model 3 RWD and Long Range in the Dutch document are the same as the current model, and Tesla in Europe has confirmed their electric motors are unchanged.

However the updated Model 3 Performance’s ‘T’ designation is new – today’s model is marked with an ‘L’ – suggesting changes to its electric motors.

The document does confirm the Performance will continue with two motors, rather than adopt a tri-motor set-up akin to the Model S Plaid sold overseas.

Unverified online reports suggest it may adopt a new rear electric motor – known internally as the ‘5D1’ – but these are yet to be verified.

Tesla has not commented on the return of the Model 3 Performance, or the latest filing.

The outgoing Tesla Model 3 Performance is powered by dual electric motors developing 393kW combined – according to Australian government documents – good for a claimed 0-100km/h acceleration time of 3.3 seconds (with ‘one-foot roll-out’ subtracted).

It can achieve a claimed top speed of 267km/h, and used 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero performance tyres.

As reported earlier this month, the Performance variant was absent from the initial 2024 Tesla Model 3 range, and customers with a Performance on order in Australia were offered a refund, or encouraged to switch their order to another model when the updated line-up was unveiled.

Given its sports focus, the updated model is not expected to receive the same specially-developed tyres – with internal cushioning designed to improve comfort over bumps, but not rated to travel as quickly – as regular versions of the updated Model 3, which cut their top speed by 24km/h to 32km/h, to 201km/h.

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