2024 Tesla Model 3 Performance: 0-60 in 2.9s for $47K After Credit

Did Tesla just drop a bombshell of a bargain for enthusiasts?

byJosé Rodríguez Jr|
Tesla News photo


Tesla's entry-level EV is getting another update, and this time it's all about the performance of the lowly Model 3. While the sedan still hasn't received the Plaid treatment, the newly released "Highland" variant has now produced the new Tesla Model 3 Performance, which is faster and better equipped for carving backroads thanks to a few powertrain and suspension improvements.

Tesla calls the 2024 Model 3 Performance the "most powerful Model 3 ever," and preliminary testing from Top Gear seems to back that up. The trim is based on the Model 3 Long Range, meaning it adopts the same dual-motor setup, albeit with reduced range due to its emphasis on, well, performance. It's propelled by Tesla's latest generation drive unit, dubbed the Performance 4DU, which makes a total of 510 horsepower and 547 lb-ft of torque. According to Tesla, that's an increase of 22% in continuous power, 32% more peak power, and 16% more torque over the old Model 3 Performance. Nearly a full third of added power is nothing to scoff at.


That power is reportedly now better harnessed thanks to an improved suspension, which features adaptive dampers that manage the EV's significant mass more adeptly. The dampers are a Model 3 first, but this is still a relatively heavy sedan, weighing in at 4,054 pounds. The adaptive suspension works "in real time," per Tesla, stiffening and softening all four corners on the fly to optimize handling.

Even though the EV is all-wheel drive, Tesla says the Model 3 Performance is rear-biased, sending more traction to its wider Pirelli P Zero rear tires during spirited driving. The adaptive suspension will receive over-the-air updates in the future, so performance could theoretically improve even further.

Speaking of software updates, the Model 3 Performance comes with Track Mode V3, which integrates motor and suspension controls, among other features, in a unified system. It's now sporting a new interface that Tesla says will allow drivers to easily tailor their settings for a "more consistent and predictable driving experience" on the track.

Tesla makes a big deal about the Tesla Model 3 Performance's 0-60 time, which has dipped under the three-second threshold. Whereas the previous Model 3 Performance could sprint from 0-60 in 3.3 seconds, the new Performance model allegedly goes 0-60 in 2.9 seconds. Of course, Tesla's claimed acceleration figures for the new EV are under ideal conditions that don't account for rollout time, meaning they are technically accurate but not easy to replicate. Top speed is 163 mph.

The Model 3 Performance's suspension improvements combine with a few aerodynamic tweaks introduced by new front and rear end fascias to make the EV look as fast as it drives. A new carbon fiber spoiler and rear diffuser work together to channel air more optimally. The result is a claimed 5% reduction in drag, 36% reduction in lift, and 55% increase in front-to-rear lift balance compared to the outgoing model.

The carbon fiber accents are not solely reserved for the exterior, however, as the interior features carbon fiber trim on the dash, pointing to the new Model 3 Performance's aspirations as a sports sedan. The EV gets new heated and ventilated sports seats, and major functions are all controlled via the Model 3's 15.4-inch center screen. A secondary 8-inch screen allows rear passengers to access the infotainment.

While the Performance builds on the Model 3 Long Range, maximum range on a full charge tops out at an EPA-estimated 296 miles. That's 45 miles below the Long Range model, but that is to be expected in an EV that sacrifices distance for driving thrills. Deliveries for the new Model 3 Performance will start in the summer, and prices will begin at $54,630 including destination. The EV will be eligible for up to $7,500 in EV tax credits, effectively lowering the price to $47,130 in the U.S. Not a bad deal when you consider the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N demands about $20K more for its own flavor of all-electric excitement.


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