The Tesla Model 3 Performance is on offer in Australia as an alternative to the ICEV BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63 norm. The Model 3 Performance retains all that makes it a practical four-door sedan but adds to it a few choice upgrades which enhance the overall appeal.
Perhaps most importantly, the Model 3 Performance is not just about blistering acceleration pulls. It can still do those, with a 0-100km/h time of only 3.3 seconds. But the Model 3 Performance also has a lot going for it in terms of the chassis.
You get lowered suspension which, in addition to enhancing the car’s stance, helps the Performance in the bends. It also features Track Mode V2 — an enhanced OTA update that gives drivers even more control over the experience.
With the all-wheel-drive system, you have full control over the power delivery. Want smoky burnouts and mad drifts? Set the power to the rear wheels only. Prefer being able to modulate understeer with your right foot? Engage power to the front wheels only. Track Mode gives you the ability to time laps thanks to sat-nav assistance, while you’re also given the option of logging video and telemetry.
The only conspicuous omission from the Model 3 Performance is a Ludicrous mode — the mode that enables the Performance versions of the Model S and Model X to achieve their insane 0-100 times. However, as has been seen in the past, Tesla isn’t afraid to roll-out significant and performance-enhancing OTA updates. If we were betting people, we’d wager the Model 3 Performance is in line for such an update sooner or later. This could mean that there’s potential for an even faster 0-100km/h time somewhere down the line.
At $102,000 drive away, the Model 3 Performance breaks the six-figure barrier and starts to edge towards the larger Model S. But for the price, it offers performance-per-dollar value like nothing else. For instance, the Model 3 Performance undercuts the ICEV Mercedes-Benz C63 by a sum of almost $85,000.
Despite sharing the same type of battery, driving range is not as great as what you would find on the Long Range variant. With a real-world range of 450km, the Performance isn’t far off, likely a victim of higher consumption.
The Model 3 Performance then, is a rather compelling performance car for most. With a genuinely dynamic chassis, class-beating performance and some tasteful cosmetic additions, the Performance might be the Model 3 to have, provided you can splurge on the premium.