First new Tesla Model 3 Performance electric cars built – report

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The updated Tesla Model 3 Performance electric car has taken a big step closer to showrooms after the first examples reportedly rolled off the production line.

Regular Model 3 Long Range pictured.

The first examples of the facelifted Tesla Model 3 Performance electric car – due by mid-year with more power – have been produced, according to a new report.

Teslascope – an X (formerly Twitter) account with a strong track record for sharing advance information from sources inside Tesla – claims “initial production” of the updated Model 3 Performance began in the US in “early December”.

Mass production is reportedly due to commence before the end of March.

It is in line with previous information by Tesla executives published by Drive, confirming a release in the first half of 2024 – expected to bring more power, and more comprehensive upgrades compared to regular models than the original Model 3 Performance.

Outgoing Model 3 Performance.

The global release of the updated Performance appears to be timed to coincide with the introduction of the entire facelifted Model 3 range in the US.

Cheaper rear-wheel-drive and Long Range all-wheel-drive models are already on sale in Australia, Europe and China – built in Tesla’s Shanghai factory – but they have not been launched in North America, for which market vehicles are built in the company’s Fremont, California plant.

According to Teslascope, it is “the goal” for mass production of the updated Model 3 Performance to begin in Shanghai and Fremont at the same time.

Computer illustration of the Model 3 Performance’s new sports seats.

As previously reported by Drive, company insiders say the 2024 Model 3 Performance will exploit untapped performance potential in the original model dating back to 2019.

Government certification documents show it will retain dual electric motors and all-wheel drive – rather than adopt the Model S Plaid’s tri-motor configuration – but power is expected to increase for improved performance.

The outgoing Model 3 Performance produced 393kW from its dual motors, good for a claimed 0–100km/h sprint time of 3.3 seconds.

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As before, the Performance will be differentiated from less powerful models through larger 20-inch alloy wheels (in a new design, pictured in the second image in the gallery above), performance brakes, lowered suspension, and a carbon-fibre boot-lid spoiler lip.

For the first time it is expected to feature unique sports bucket seats (pictured in the middle of this story). The previous model shared its front seats with more affordable models in the line-up.

More details – including prices and Australian arrival timing – are due closer to the 2024 Tesla Model 3 Performance’s unveiling in the coming months, which some US reports claim could occur as soon as two or three weeks from now.

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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