Upgraded Tesla Model 3 Performance prototype spotted with new front splitter

Credit: The Kilowatts/X

Perhaps the upgraded Tesla Model 3 Performance will indeed be a bit more special than the regular variants of the all-electric sedan. This was hinted at in a recent sighting of an upgraded Right Hand Drive (RHD) Tesla Model 3 prototype, which was equipped with what appears to be a front splitter. 

The upgraded Tesla Model 3 is currently only offered in two trims: the base Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) variant and the Long Range Dual Motor All Wheel Drive (AWD) version. The Model 3 Performance, a popular trim that has become a favorite among spirited drivers and track enthusiasts, has been strangely absent from the new Model 3’s order page. 

As observed by Tesla watchers, however, it appears that the electric vehicle maker has been busy testing the next-generation Model 3 Performance. This was hinted at by sightings of upgraded Model 3 units whose front and backs are still hidden behind covers. Considering that both the new Model 3 RWD and Model 3 AWD have already been unveiled, it seems reasonable to assume that the protective covers are intended to hide design elements of a Model 3 variant that’s yet to be unveiled. 

Tesla enthusiast group The Kilowatts spotted one such vehicle recently. As shared by the group on social media, it was able to spot a black upgraded Model 3 Performance prototype that happened to be an RHD variant. Similar to other suspected Model 3 Performance prototypes, the vehicle in the group’s sightings was covered in its front and rear. Its brake calipers were painted red as well. 

More importantly, the vehicle seems to be equipped with a front splitter that’s quite different from the bumper of the upgraded Model 3 RWD and AWD. The front splitter on the covered vehicle seemed fairly subtle, but it did give the prototype a very distinct look. 

While Tesla has not confirmed that an upgraded Model 3 Performance is coming, reports and leaks suggest that the vehicle would be quite interesting, with dedicated Sport bucket seats and what appears to be a Ludicrous badge at the rear. Comments from Tesla Australia chief engineer and Model 3 program veteran Daniel Ho also revealed that Tesla had to take a conservative approach with the top-tier Model 3 in the past. 

As noted by the Tesla engineer, the company “left a few things on the table” when it released the original Model 3 Performance, partly because the company was still in the middle of “production hell” at the time. With the upgraded Model 3 Performance, however, Tesla could truly realize the vehicle’s true potential. 

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Upgraded Tesla Model 3 Performance prototype spotted with new front splitter
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