Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced a new Performance version of the Model 3, along with an AWD option, both of which significantly improve the base model's speed and range. AWD refers to Tesla's dual motor drivetrain, which sees one motor at the front and one at the rear. One is optimised for power while the other for range, but if one were to break, the other could still comfortably drive the car.
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Announcing the new models on Twitter, Musk says the dual-motor version of the Model 3 (it comes with a single motor as standard), brings the the 0-60mph time down to 3.5 seconds from 5.1 seconds, gives it a top speed of 155mph, up from 140mph. The dual motor Performance model also increases the range on a single charge to 310 miles, around 95 miles more than the base model.
Tesla dual motor, all-wheel drive performance Model 3:— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 20 May 2018
3.5 sec 0-60mph
155 mph Top Speed
310 mile Range
The cost of the Performance version? Elon Musk says the upgrades, exclusive wheels and a black and white interior are all included in the $78,000 asking price. You will still have the option of adding Autopilot, but this will cost extra. Musk compares that price with that of the BMW M3, but says his Model 3 is 15 per cent faster, has better handling and will be able to beat any in its class around a track. A bold claim indeed.
The AWD dual motor will be available as a $5,000 optional extra on standard Model 3 vehicles, which again will increase the range to 310 miles. The top speed will stay the same at 140mph, but you will be able to get there a little quicker: 4.5 seconds instead of 5.1. The black and white interior from the Performance model will also be available as an optional extra on standard versions with a single motor, too.
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Exact details regarding when the Performance and AWD models will be available are unclear at the moment, but it's believed deliveries could begin as soon as July.