A while ago, Elon Musk promised a performance version of the Model 3 that would come in the middle of 2019, or in Musk time, 2025. Nevertheless, they seem to be jumping the gun a little.
Electrek dug up a thread on the Tesla Motors Club forums in which a user spotted a Tesla Model 3 testing at Thunderhill Raceway in Glenn County, California last week, hinting that Tesla may indeed be working on the performance version we’ve been hearing so much about. TMC user sreams stuck his phone under one front wheel and captured what definitely looks like a CV joint, indicative of driven front wheels. Other commenters on the TMC thread noted that the photo also hints at the Model 3 having air suspension instead of the base car’s firm springs.
The poster also noted that the car was wearing approximately 20-inch Pilot Sports, and oversized break rotors underneath, meaning the Performance version will likely also be focused more on handling improvements than straight-line speed, though that will naturally be improved too. Many reviews have lauded the Model 3 for its reportedly fast, sharp steering and the inherently good roadholding afforded by the battery, and the performance version should be a proper little hot hatch if it ever comes out.
It’ll probably cost a pretty penny more than the base Model 3 too, and if Tesla requires it to be loaded with the available options first, the price could get dangerously close to a base-spec Model S. At that price point, I’d probably take the Model 3.