2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance: Gunning to Depose the Deutsch

Elon Musk shelled out the electric sports sedan's specs via twitter Saturday evening.

Tesla

Overnight, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk unsheathed specs of his company's all-wheel-drive and high-performance permutations of the electric Model 3 sedan via a barrage of tweets.

This will end an otherwise solely rear-wheel-drive production run of the Model 3, as delivery of all-wheel-drive Model 3s will begin in July, according to Musk. All-wheel-drive vehicles will utilize two motors, with the current Model 3's partial permanent magnet motor driving the rear axle, and an added AC induction motor driving the front wheels, like those used in the Model S. According to Musk, each motor has been designed with opposing strengths in mind, with one for efficient operation, and the other for performance.

Though he did not specify which motor performs which function, rearward weight transfer under acceleration would demand increased power at the rear axle. Musk also states that the car would continue to drive, even if one engine should burn out.

The performance variant of the Model 3 will be an all-wheel-drive model, with hand-picked motors. These motors will be given extra "burn-in" time, a break-in process that tightens up clearances between the motor's commutator and brushes to reduce arcing, which has positive effects on a motor's efficiency and total power output. With its cream-of-the-crop motors and all-wheel-drive, Musk states the quick Model 3 will manage zero-to-60 in 3.5 seconds, and push a top speed of 155 mph. Assuming one does not drive as such, they will squeeze a 310 mile total range from the car.

Performance Model 3s will run on 20-inch wheels, and feature a carbon fiber spoiler. At launch, only black and white interiors will be available, according to Musk's claims of limited parts availability, but more options will be available in time.

All-wheel-drive will be a $5,000 option for Model 3 buyers. It is not yet known if it will be available separately from the car's $9,000 long-range battery package, which extends range from 220 to 310 miles. If so, $40,000 will be the bar of entry for all-wheel-drive Model 3s. Performance Model 3s will come in at $78,000, according to Musk, with all options accounted for except Autopilot.

Musk promises that the Model 3 Performance will beat competing sports sedans on the track, specifically citing the $66,500 BMW M3. Demanding $11,500 more than the M3, the Model 3 Performance had better, or face another wave of anti-Tesla sentiment, deserved or not.

Tesla Motors has not yet replied to The Drive's request to elaborate on the Model 3's specifications.