Tesla introduces the 2.9s Ludicrous Model 3 Performance

Tesla introduces the 2.9s Ludicrous Model 3 Performance

Tesla (TSLA) launched its much-awaited Model 3 Performance on Tuesday 23rd April just before the company’s Q1 2024 earnings call.

Tesla Model 3 Performance (Ludicrous) is feature-packed and fine-tuned for quick acceleration and race track-level handling & performance.

Even with all the specs geared toward peak performance, the new Tesla Model 3 Performance still delivers an EPA-estimated range of 296 miles (476 km).

Tesla stock has gained traction since Tuesday’s launch of the Model 3 Performance along with the company’s earnings call. Tesla’s stock price jumped more than 12% on Wednesday to a close at $162.13 a share.

Despite all the new features, improved design and engineering, Tesla has set the price of the Model 3 Performance at $53,990. This variant is just $4,250 more expensive than the Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD in the United States.


Performance & Acceleration

The new Tesla Model 3 Performance (Highland Ludicrous) comes with a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 2.9s. This is quicker than a Porsche 911 — the different variants of which lurk around the 4-second mark. Launching a sub-3-second car for a price tag of $52K in the automotive market is a monumental achievement by Tesla.

The dual-motor drive unit of the Highland Model 3 Performance outputs 510 hp of peak power and produces 741 Nm of torque.

However, Tesla didn’t achieve a big milestone in increasing the top speed of the new Model 3 Performance. The top speed of the new generation is 163 mph (262 km/h) while the old Model 3 Performance was able to peak at 162 mph (~261 km/h).

The real fun will begin when the new Tesla Model 3 Performance owners are going to hit the drag racing strips with their cars. These ultra-performance Model 3 EVs will crush the competition with a jaw-dropping surprise.

Tesla Model 3 Performance

Above: The new Tesla Model 3 Performance at a race track. Credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

Low Energy Consumption with More Power Output

Tesla’s engineering efforts put into the new Model 3 Performance have resulted in some interesting and surprising specs of the vehicle.

Model 3 Highland Performance variant comes with Tesla’s 4th-gen drive units (motors) installed. According to the automaker, these new drive units deliver +22% continuous power, +32% peak power, and +16% torque compared to the previous generation Model 3 Performance while consuming a lower amount of energy overall.

Performance-Tuned Chassis

Tesla hasn’t just improved electrical systems and software for the new Performance Model 3 Ludicrous, the automaker has also made changes to the structure and hardware of the vehicle.

The chassis of the new Model 3 Performance is custom-built for the purpose the car is made for. In the previous generation Model 3 Performance, this was not the case, chassis components were common between the Long Range AWD and the top performance variant.

New Model 3 Performance Chassis

Above: Tesla Model 3 Performance (Ludicrous) purpose-tuned chassis for handling and performance. Credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

Bespoke chassis and suspension hardware is tuned to provide intuitive, razor-sharp response to driver inputs.

Same quiet & comfortable cabin plus bespoke chassis hardware for improved stiffness and higher performance baseline.

Tesla, Inc. (TSLA)

All-New Adaptive Suspension

The rumors of an air suspension coming to the updated Model 3 Performance have been proven wrong. Instead of an air suspension, Tesla has integrated an Adaptive Suspension system in the new Model 3 Performance.

Like the air suspension in the Model S and Model X, the adaptive suspension in Model 3 Performance is also controlled and tuned through Tesla’s proprietary software. This gives the automaker the ability to further fine-tune the adaptive suspension of the Performance variant of the new Model 3 Highland via over-the-air (OTA) software updates.

Above: Adaptive suspension of the new Tesla Model 3 Performance (Ludicrous). Credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

All-new adaptive damping powered by in-house software gives you enhanced body control, without sacrificing daily usability or comfort.

Tesla, Inc. (TSLA)

Track Model V3

Tesla developed in-house software to customize traction, handling, comfort, and other variables for its Performance variant vehicles. This is called Track Mode. The automaker has developed an entirely new version for the new Model 3 Performance i.e. Track Mode V3.

Tesla Track Mode gives the driver more control over how the vehicle responds in different situations for example at a racing circuit. Track Mode is also great for professional drivers who want a desired custom response from a Tesla performance vehicle.

Last year, Tesla released Track Package for the Model S Plaid which unlocked the car’s 200 mph top speed. It was a combination of performance equipment and new Track Mode software. The Plaid Track Pack was later reviewed by pro drivers on race tracks.

Tesla showed a glimpse of its new Track Mode V3 custom settings in the following screenshot. However, we will know the complete details and the true potential of the software when the refreshed 2nd-generation Tesla Model 3 Performance cars reach the hands of the end users.

Above: Partial screenshot of the Tesla Model 3 Performance Track Mode V3. Credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

The official screengrab of Track Mode V3 shows Tesla has built 3 presets into the software for different track situations. Race Preset, Drift Preset, and Sport. These modes are self-explanatory. Track Mode V3 looks promising yet exciting — stay tuned as we cover this feature in the future.

Track Mode V3 now integrates motor controls, suspension controls, powertrain cooling, & our Vehicle Dynamics Controller (VDC) under a single, unified system.

Track Mode V3 features all-new calibration for the powertrain and adaptive suspension to give you more authority behind the wheel.

Plus, you can customize handling balance, stability controls and regenerative braking to set the car up how you like it.

Tesla, Inc. (TSLA)


Featured image: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

Note: An earlier version of this article was published at Tesla Oracle. Author: Iqtidar Ali.