Tesla Model 3 Highland – leaks show new features

Tesla Model 3 Highland – leaks show new features

We’re still waiting on the range-topping Performance version of the Tesla Model 3 Highland, but leaked videos suggest that it’s coming sooner rather than later. It appears that Tesla is putting more effort into its top-dog models, with accoutrements that include some exterior upgrades (not just a rear spoiler) and even bucket seats.

Now, we’re getting an idea as to why that is the case, and that is a potentially serious performance upgrade under the skin. As reported by InsideEVs, X user @eivissacopter posted some alleged leaked documents from South Korea’s ministry of environment, showing what appear to be preliminary specs for the updated sports sedan.

These include a new 4D2 rear motor that delivers 412 PS (303 kW), much higher than the outgoing 3D6 motor that produced 299 PS (220 kW). The 3D3 front motor, on the other hand, is unchanged and makes the same 215 PS (158 kW) as before, so the latest model should provide greater rear bias for improved handling.

Combined, the two motors provide a theoretical maximum output of 627 PS, compared to 514 PS on the outgoing model. We should point out, however, that the motors may make peak power at different speeds, so just adding the two figures together may not be accurate. This is complicated by Tesla refusing to advertise power and torque figures of its cars, only their zero-to-100 km/h times.

Still, the increased power should enable the new Performance to deliver a significantly quicker century sprint, almost certainly taking a chunk out of the old car’s 3.3 seconds and probably taking it below the coveted three-second mark. The weight has gone up quite a bit, however, from 1,844 kg to 2,180 kg.

Elsewhere, it appears that the Model 3 Performance will get the same 82 kWh battery as the Long Range model, and given the extra performance, expect the range to be significantly lower than the LR’s 629 km. For reference, the outgoing Performance model was capable of travelling up to 567 km on a single charge.

We already know the new Performance will gain unique front and rear bumpers (with a front splitter and additional air inlets, in a similar style to the Model S Plaid) compared to the regular Highland model, as well as the usual carbon fibre rear spoiler, larger wheels (in a new five-spoke turbine design) and larger brakes with red callipers.

Also spotted is a new rear badge that’s inspired by what is clearly Elon Musk’s favourite movie, Spaceballs. The black-and-white “hyperspace” design corresponds to the “Ludicrous Speed” scene in the film – one rung below “Plaid” – leading to speculation that the car will drop the Performance moniker and be called the Model 3 Ludicrous instead. As an aside, Ludicrous Mode was a feature found in older Tesla models that enabled quicker acceleration.

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