Tesla to Release Performance Version of Model 3 in 2018

Following in the Model S' footsteps, we'll get a go-fast version of Tesla's cheaper car.

Tesla finally revealed the Model 3 to the world on Friday with its delivery event. The first 30 owners received their cars, all of which are long range single motor variants of Tesla’s first mass-produced electric car. Despite a very tailored production plan, CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter today and verified that a performance version of their car is to be released next year.

The Model 3 is the car which is supposed to revolutionize the way the world views EVs. A simple commuter car with tons of space, 310 miles of range, and is as quick as a Focus ST when sprinting to 60 miles per hour from a dig. In order to fast track production to reach 5,000 units per week by December, Musk revealed a very specific plan during the event of how Tesla plans to manufacture Model 3, specifically by prioritizing which models are manufactured first. If you reserve a Model 3, you’ll have three options to choose from for your car:

  • Normal range (220 miles), single motor (Second-highest priority build time)
  • Long range (310 miles), single motor (Highest priority build time)
  • Normal or Long range, dual motor (Lowest priority build time)

Choosing the long range, single motor option will net you a car faster than if you were to purchase a car with a normal range battery. And at the bottom of the list, scheduled for 2018, is a dual motor variant which the reservation app claims is slated for late next year. Likely what will will see is an event or announcement around the middle of next year which reveals a the dual motor car, as well as performance variant (with ludicrous mode, as indicated by a prior Tweet) available with only the long range battery.

We’re speculating this knowing that historically Tesla has only made ludicrous mode available to its dual-motor cars. It would make sense that Tesla reveals both the dual motor and performance variants at the same time to gain the the attention of the masses. 

No pricing has been made available as of yet, but since a fully loaded Model 3 long-range can rob the wallet north of $58,000, we will likely see an increase of $5,000 for a second motor (like the Model S) and possibly an upcharge for a larger capacity battery pack. I would safely expect the performance version of the Model 3 to cost around $70,000 with a handful of options, though this is just a broad estimation using what we know about the Model S. This number does creep into entry-level Model S territory, a reason that Tesla could be widening the price gap between the Model 3 and Model S.

Since we don’t know much more at this time, all we can do is speculate what is to come. I’m sure Musk will leak some additional details to us as they become available.