Home » The New Tesla Model 3 Performance Is A Bit Faster With Less Range, Somehow

The New Tesla Model 3 Performance Is A Bit Faster With Less Range, Somehow

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The launch of the refreshed Tesla Model 3 had one thing missing—an update for the Performance model. Today, the new fast one has finally been announced. It comes with a spec sheet that should please whatever the EV equivalent of a revhead is, but there is a curious devil in the details.

The new Model 3 Performance gets 510 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque. That’s all thanks to the new drive unit. Tesla claims it’s up 22% on continuous power versus the previous model, while achieving 32% greater peak power and 16% higher peak torque. Top speed is 163 mph, up 1 mph.

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What does that extra grunt get you? Where the previous model achieved zero to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, the new model will do it in just 2.9. It’s funny to think that you can blow off a Ferrari Enzo at the lights while sitting in an affordable family sedan.

Even better, we’re told the new drive unit has lower total energy consumption than the outgoing model. At the same time, the old Model 3 Performance was reported to have 315 miles of range. Visiting Tesla’s website today, the new model is listed with an estimated 296 miles of range.

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That difference may be down to other factors, however. Changes to wheels and tires can negatively affect range, even if the drive unit itself is more efficient.

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Fundamentally, it still looks like a Model 3. Tesla doesn’t do the best job of differentiating the fast models from the regular fare. Aero limitations on EVs make it harder, in fairness.

On that note, Tesla is fitting the new Model 3 Performance with forged 20″ in a staggered setup. The wheels come wrapped in Pirelli P Zero 4 tires. The aim was to give the model better traction out of corners while reducing the need for traction control to cut in. Given the prodigious instant-on torque available, it makes sense to have a set of grippy tires that won’t slip at a mere provocation.

The updated model also gets Version 3 of Track Mode for racier shenanigans. Tesla states it provides a more “predictable, stable, and consistent experience” on track. The drive mode sets up everything from the cooling system to the suspension and drive motors to get the most out of the platform for intense track use.

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Aerodynamic tweaks have seen the model slash drag by 5%, along with a 36% reduction in lift and a 55% improvement in “lift balance” from front to rear. It suggests the Model 3 Performance doesn’t really have any downforce to speak of, and that Tesla is merely trying to stop it from getting light on its feet at speed. Other changes include new adaptive dampers and sports seats that should improve comfort, handling, and the driver experience in the cabin.

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New seats are intended to better support the occupants during aggressive driving.

The new Performance model does sound like an improvement over the old one. There remains a question around the range numbers, however. With less drag, a more efficient drivetrain, and wheels that supposedly cut rolling resistance, it should go further. Tesla even says the new wheel package should increase range. And yet, at 296 miles, the new Model 3 Performance comes up short compared to previous examples.

If you missed your chance to buy a Model 3 Performance before Tesla dropped the last-gen model, now you’re in luck. The new model is expected to begin deliveries from May to June this year.

Image credits: Tesla

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MrAcoustics
MrAcoustics
1 month ago

Pretty sure this qualifies for the $7500 credit which brings it below $50K. Pretty staggering performance/$ proposition. The lack of turn signal stalk, volume knob and basic HVAC and physical controls is a non starter for me though. Add those and even I might be temped to give my shekles to Tesla.

Toddyus
Toddyus
1 month ago
Reply to  MrAcoustics

I bought a 2023 Model 3 Performance. The only thing staving off any regret is that I have stalks and a volume dial on the steering wheel. Thought I would miss all the other physical controls, but honestly has been an issue.

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
1 month ago

Very interesting that Polestar hasn’t updated their P2 Performance model to compete with this, they share a lot of upgrades on suspension and brakes, now they both have staggered wheels, etc. I bet the Polestar drives better but still…

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
1 month ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

There are rumors the Polestar 2 will get new equipment next year. The base Polestar already has the new motors/battery

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
1 month ago

These would be so tempting if they weren’t be sold by the My Pillow Guy of the car industry.

Scottingham
Scottingham
1 month ago
Reply to  Vanillasludge

That burn is new to me. Very apt. 10/10

Amschroeder5
Amschroeder5
1 month ago

40% increased rolling resistance, plus 20% from more aggro tires, maybe a 5% to wash on the wheels… that can easily add up to the 5% drop overall from 2023 to 2024.

SegaF355Fan
SegaF355Fan
1 month ago
Reply to  Amschroeder5

I don’t know if it’s the case here, but weren’t there also “shenanigans” going on with the numbers that Tesla was giving for the range? I thought I read something to that effect earlier.

Gninoked
Gninoked
1 month ago
Reply to  SegaF355Fan

The EPA used to give more freedom to manufacturers in reporting their efficiency numbers. That doesn’t mean they were wrong, cheating etc. – there were owners able to hit the EPA numbers, but there was certainly more variability in owners experience.

The 2024 test protocol has changed and substantially all cars will have lower test numbers… however the public number may stay the same or even increase if they were under-reporting in the past to manage expectations of owners (Taycan etc.) and choose to do so less/not at all now or they make other changes, efficiency, increased kWh etc. Manufacturers are still free to under-report if they like.

Tesla has never underreported, and their numbers have decreased as a result of the new testing. They clawed back some of this in the 2024 Model 3 with increased efficiency of the tires, aero, motors, etc. Net efficiency on the Perf of course is slightly lower as pointed out in this article. Y’s will be updated later this year/early next to claw some EPA rated range back (they already have the new more efficient motor, but are otherwise the same car from an efficiency standpoint as 2023, but the net is less rated range on the new testing.) S/X will be as they are likely for a while. CT used the new procedure as it was a ’24 model.

Theoretically the EPA procedure should result in more correlation between owners experience and the test numbers… but there’s a ton of factors and EVs are more sensitive to environmental factors (and don’t have waste heat to use for other purposes) so… your mileage may vary!

Amschroeder5
Amschroeder5
1 month ago
Reply to  SegaF355Fan

That was already taken into account by the time of the article, before that the old range was something like 330 miles. But the rear tires are supposedly wider on the performance, which by itself is a signficant delta

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

This thing’s got some Teslicles.

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
1 month ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

I think you mean tesla coils.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 month ago

I’d rather wait, let someone elsewhere take the depreciation to the face, then pounce on an Ioniq 5 N or the new Macan EV for $40,000 in two years.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago

I’d wait for any pure BEV you’re looking at buying to have NACS (if you’re in the US at least). Everything but NACS is going the way of the Dodo in the US, unless someone else comes up with a more compact and more reliable charging standard that can charge as well as NACS.

Having a BEV without NACS that you plan on using public chargers with long term will be like having an ICE car that runs on lamp oil, good luck finding a place to fill it up that isn’t home or some really obscure place that is outside of the range of your vehicle.

Kurt Hahn
Kurt Hahn
1 month ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Easy fix….get an adapter.

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago
Reply to  Kurt Hahn

It’s not that simple, there’s an electric handshake that goes on between the charger and the BEV, and said handshake is reliant on manufacture support on both sides.

It’s isn’t like any electric appliance where you just plug into a wall outlet and instantly get power.

For example currently There is no NACS to Chademo adapter, and it is very unlikely that there will be, so Leaf owners will be SOL very soon.

Personally I hate the electronic handshake BS, but I understand why it is there.

My only BEV luckily charges of a 110V extention cord, all you need is the proper gauge cord and a wall outlet that can handle the draw.

Kurt Hahn
Kurt Hahn
1 month ago
Reply to  MrLM002

I understand, but in reality this likely won’t be a problem with cars that have switched to NCAS. Their software will have the necessary protocol(s) to charge there, and most likely, older vehicles from these makes, that were built with a different socket, will get the newer software as well. From there I see no reason why an adapter shouldn’t work just as well, after all you just need to connect the wires correctly. Yes it will be a little clunky and maybe look weird (while charging), but as long as it works that’s ok.
Correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t the Nissan Leaf the only car in N. America that has a CHADEMO socket?

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago
Reply to  Kurt Hahn

I’ve never known a modern software that doesn’t require constant manufacturer support, and manufacturers are moving further and further towards only supporting current products.

As stated previously hardware is not a concern, software is.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
1 month ago
Reply to  Kurt Hahn

“Correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t the Nissan Leaf the only car in N. America that has a CHADEMO socket?”

You are wrong! The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV also has a CHAdeMO port.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
1 month ago
Reply to  Kurt Hahn

Tesla switched to the CCS communication protocol several years ago and all of their recent charger installations support that.

Toecutter
Toecutter
1 month ago
Reply to  MrLM002

My only BEV luckily charges of a 110V extention cord, all you need is the proper gauge cord and a wall outlet that can handle the draw.

My trike can use any 120V or 240V outlet. Since the pack is only 1.7 kWh, it charges very rapidly. 150-200 miles range at 30-35 mph.

The electric Triumph GT6 also uses any 120V or 240V outlet, but is neither NACS or ChaDeMo compatible. The 20.8 kWh pack can take as little as 4 hours to charge from 240.

IMO, nothing beats compatibility with a standard 120V or 240V outlet when it comes to charging availability. You could even charge the thing using gasoline off of a portable generator if you absolutely must. It’s a travesty that not all OM EVs can use basic outlets in a pinch. Granted, if you have a Silverado EV or some other monstrosity, a 110V outlet will take almost a week to recharge your pack…

Last edited 1 month ago by Toecutter
MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Couldn’t agree more!

Cryptoenologist
Cryptoenologist
1 month ago
Reply to  Toecutter

I have an EVSE in my trunk that fits in a case 24” in diameter and 3” thick. It has a NEMA 14-50 plug on it and can take up to 32A, and I’ve got adapters that fit in the case for several other common 240, 208, and 120 volt receptacles.

121gwats
121gwats
1 month ago

NACS or nothing. CCS is useless, full stop. I’ve road tripped in x-country with CCS and NACS, and its not even close. With the phaseout, maintenance for CCS is only bound to be worse in the coming years.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

Taycan depreciation is really, REALLY tempting.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

I think the E Tron GT depreciation is even more tempting because it’s literally a reskinned Taycan and they’re dropping even harder.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

haven’t driven one, but those also look incredible

Alexk98
Alexk98
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

No kidding, comparing used Panamera to used Taycan, you can get a ’20 Taycan 4S for the same or less money and 20k fewer miles than a ’20 Panamera 4 (non-S). That said, 18-19 Panameras are dipping into the high 30s, which is absurdly compelling in its own right compared to how far back you have to go to get a 911 for the same money these days.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 month ago
Reply to  Alexk98

I thought they were compelling at 50-60. They’re ridiculously compelling in the high 30s, although I’d spend the extra money to get a certified one because Porsche’s program is so good.

Alexk98
Alexk98
1 month ago

And the few thousand extra you’d spend on a CPO one is likely worth less than the cost of a couple repairs you could have to eat without the extended warranty and more thorough inspection. Sure running costs would be higher than my CX-30 or your Kona N, but Porsche design holds up really well compared to BMW/Merc/Audi, and it’s nearly impossible to beat the overall experience for the money.

BOSdriver
BOSdriver
1 month ago

Agreed. The evidence is already there with the EV6 GT available for around $40k to low $40k which is amazing, with minimal mileage. The I5N is the better car for sure, and worth another year, unsure if it will match the depreciation level of the GT so far.

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