Tesla designed the Model 3 sedan to be a budget offering, but this is still Tesla. So, the company is planning to launch a high-performance version of the electric vehicle for substantially more money. According to CEO Elon Musk, the speedier Model 3 will cost $78,000. That’s twice as much as the base version of the Model 3.
The newly announced variant of the Model 3 is not just the dual-motor variant we’ve heard about for months. Both the Model S and Model X have had performance versions, and now the Model 3 is the same. It has all the optional bells and whistles from the cheaper version of the car, plus the dual-motor design is more powerful than the non-performance variants.
Tesla attaches one motor to the front wheels and another to the back in its dual-motor designs. One of the motors is optimized for speed and the other for rage. The performance variants simply have more powerful motors and larger batteries. Musk says the performance Model 3 will manage 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, a full second faster than the “regular” dual-motor version (which starts at $40,000). The performance Model 3 also has a top speed of 155 mph. That’s the same as the performance Model S and faster than the 140 mph top speed of the standard dual-motor Model 3. It also comes with a larger battery with a range of 310 miles.
Musk compares the souped-up Model 3 to the BMW M3 in his tweets. He says the cost is about the same, although BMW lists some versions of its car about $10,000 less. Musk claims the performance Model 3 will be 15 percent faster than the M3, and with better handling. It doesn’t exist yet, so we can’t test those claims. In fact, that’s the ongoing issue with all versions of the Model 3. Production has been slow to get off the ground.
Cost of all options, wheels, paint, etc is included (apart from Autopilot). Cost is $78k. About same as BMW M3, but 15% quicker & with better handling. Will beat anything in its class on the track.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 20, 2018
It’s surprisingly hard to keep up with all the versions of the Model 3 when you consider you can’t buy any of them right now. The base version with a single motor is still the only one Tesla is producing, but the standard dual-motor should appear in the coming months. The company has had issues getting the standard Model 3 ramped up. The waiting list is currently between 12 and 18 months, and Tesla is aiming for 5,000 units per week by next month. The company has used several production shutdowns in recent months to rework its manufacturing process, which Musk says was too highly automated. There’s no firm launch date for the performance Model 3.