Tesla Model 3 Performance bows with adaptive suspension, track mode


A new Tesla Model 3 Performance based on the refreshed Model 3—codenamed “Highland” by the automaker—is now available to order in the U.S.

Appearing on Tesla’s website Tuesday, the new Model 3 Performance has a dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain rated at 510 hp and 546 lb-ft of torque. Tesla quotes 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds, a 163 mph top speed, and 296 miles of range.

Tesla also claims more consistent performance from its fourth-generation drive units, with a 22% increase in continuous power output, a 32% increase in peak power output, and a 16% increase in peak torque compared to the previous Model 3 Performance, along with lower energy consumption.

Tesla Model 3 Performance

Chassis upgrades include adaptive dampers and an improved Track Mode that ties together the functioning of motor, suspension, and powertrain cooling controls with the car’s vehicle dynamics controller. Tesla also equips Performance models with 20-inch forged and staggered wheels with Pirelli P Zero 4 tires.

The Model 3 Performance gets the same revised styling previously seen with the Highland update, which have been available in the U.S. since January. As with those other models, Tesla claims aerodynamic benefits, with a 5% reduction in drag, a 36% reduction in lift, and a 55% improvement in front/rear lift balance compared to the previous Model 3 Performance.

The main interior change is a new set of front sport seats. The Model 3 cabin overall received a substantial revamp with the Highland refresh, adding features like cooled front seats, dual wireless device charging, and an 8.0-inch screen for rear-seat passengers in addition to the main 15.4-inch touchscreen.

Tesla Model 3 Performance

Tesla Model 3 Performance

Pricing starts at $52,990 before destination, putting the Performance at the top of the Model 3 lineup, above the Long Range All-Wheel Drive ($47,740) and Rear-Wheel Drive ($38,990). The Performance appears eligible for the federal EV tax credit, which could mean it’s a better deal than the Long Range, though. Tesla has been applying these credits at the time of purchase.

Tesla pricing is always volatile, however. A round of price cuts just earlier this week mean the Model Y now undercuts the Model 3. Currently the bestselling vehicle on the planet, the crossover hasn’t gotten the same updates as the sedan, though.

When it launched, the Model 3 Performance was somewhat of an outlier. But new competition has cropped up in the form of the BMW i4 and Polestar 2, so just as with the standard Model 3, an update of the Model 3 Performance was needed.

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