Updated Tesla Model 3 Performance May Get A Big Power Bump: Leaked Docs


Tesla’s second best-selling car globally, the Model 3 electric sedan, got some much-needed cosmetic and mechanical upgrades back in August. It became more chiseled, got some aerodynamic oomph, and received a bunch of new features. Now the fun one, the Model 3 Performance, seems right around the corner with unique upgrades of its own.

Unsurprisingly, X (the social media channel formerly known as Twitter) users haven’t been able to hold their curiosity. One X user posted screenshots of a leaked document from the South Korean Ministry of Environment. The document, which InsideEVs cannot independently verify at this time, revealed the addition of a new 412 hp rear motor.

If this addition is indeed true, it could give the electric sedan a substantially big power boost. Some have also speculated the car could be renamed the Model 3 Ludicrous, but that also remains to be seen. 

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The Tesla Model 3 got a big upgrade last year.

Tesla revamped its second-best-selling electric car last year. It gets slimmer headlamps, better sound insulation, improved efficiency, and a bunch of new features. But Tesla launched it in only RWD and Long Range AWD variants. The Model 3 Performance was missing. That is about to change. 

The previous Model 3 Performance had a combined power output of about 505 hp. The leaked documents suggest that the new rear motor, labeled 4D2 (different from the Model S Plaid 5D2 rear motor), has been rated for 406 hp. Meanwhile, the front motor retains its 211 hp rating.


Enthusiasts quickly reacted by adding these numbers to conclude that the Model 3 Performance’s combined output would be 618 hp, a 113 hp boost over the prior model.

While the power boost could certainly be substantial, the combined power output isn’t just the sum of individual motor outputs. The motors could have a different transmission ratio, and the power distribution managed by the EV’s computers could be optimized differently. So take that exact power figure with a grain of salt for now.

tesla translate chart

A translated chart showing the Model 3 Performance’s updated specs.

The leaked document also indicates that the rear motor would reach peak power at a higher speed, 68 mph versus 47 mph previously, so expect more punch at the top end. Typically, electric cars have neck-snapping acceleration off the line. As you gain speed, the torque curve flattens, depending on the model.

Also impressive is the possibility of the weight being identical to the earlier Model 3 Performance. The EV tips the scale at 4089 pounds, the same as before. It could also get the same 82 kilowatt-hours of battery capacity, with a speculated range of around 267 miles. That’s apparently based on a stricter testing cycle—the EPA range will likely vary.

We might have the official details as early as tomorrow afternoon. Tesla’s Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen and Vice President of Vehicle Engineering Lars Moravy will stream a live chat on the new Model 3 tomorrow at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT). Tesla’s livestream will also coincide with another big reveal tomorrow—the Rivian R2.


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