Facelifted Tesla Model 3 Performance to feature new electric motor

Max McDee, 23 September 2023

In the electrifying world of Tesla, silence never seems to linger too long. Just a few weeks after unveiling the updated Model 3, the innovative automaker is reportedly back with a surprise up its sleeve - the facelifted Model 3 Performance, slated to boast a new electric motor, the 5D1.

For those not in the Tesla know, the Performance model is the range-topping variant of the Model 3. The company, however, played coy, revealing no details about this powerhouse during the initial refreshed Model 3 announcement. The rumors began in earnest when documents surfaced on the Tesla Fahrer Und Freunde forum, indicating that this new model is set to receive a fresh motor, identified by the "T" designation in the VIN.

Diving deeper into the electric motor jargon, while the Long Range model operates on the 3D3/3D7 electric motor combo, the forthcoming Performance model will be equipped with a 3D3/5D1 configuration. Now, Tesla remains tight-lipped about the specifics of this new setup, but the rumor mill is churning with whispers of the 5D1 motor employing a carbon sleeve rotor to withstand the amplified performance - just like in the Model S Plaid.

Let's talk numbers for a moment. The previous Model 3 Performance boasts an impressive output of 513 horsepower. Recently surfaced specifications of Chinese Model 3+ reveal dual-motor setup pumping out 443 hp (331 kW) which actually is less than 498 hp (366 kW) of the new Model 3 LR destined for Europe. The inclusion of the 5D1 motor suggests we might be seeing a more powerful Model 3 this time around, in line with its larger Plaid siblings.

The Chinese Model 3+ The Chinese Model 3+

And what’s performance without talking weight? Reportedly, the Model 3 Highland is about 63.5 kilograms (140 pounds) lighter than its predecessor. It’s elementary physics, folks – less weight generally means better performance and improved range. Speaking of which, WLTP estimates indicate that the new Standard Range RWD model can stretch an extra 2 miles on a single charge. Meanwhile, the Long Range AWD model sees a substantial boost, jumping from 389 miles to 421 miles.

For those stateside, the wait might feel a tad lengthy. The availability of the updated Model 3 in the United States remains in the realm of speculation, as Tesla is currently accepting orders for the Highland variant in other global markets like Australia and Europe. North American enthusiasts will still find the outgoing model on Tesla sites, but a switch to the new model is anticipated soon. Reports are hinting at the Model 3 Highland gracing American soil in early 2024, likely once the existing inventory is exhausted.

Refreshed Model 3 interior Refreshed Model 3 interior

It appears there might be a surplus of new pre-facelift Model 3s that Tesla is eager to bid adieu to. A casual perusal of Tesla Inventory reveals several factory-fresh examples up for grabs, signaling the possibility of generous discounts in the offing.

The question everyone is asking is - are we going to see a Tesla Model 3 Plaid? Unlikely but boy, don't we all wish. What we will see is a more powerful Model 3 Performance, capable of comfortably taking on the likes of BMW M3. And that on its own is enough to keep us awake at night.


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Reader comments

The horn is back, but that was sadly the only thing they addressed with this update.

still no push horn, still no traditional indicator,still no physical gear.they are missing the basics of ergonomics.thank you.


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