Tesla is stirring the pot of innovation yet again, this time with its popular Model 3 Performance variant. Recent certification documents filed in Europe have revealed intriguing new details about an upgraded motor configuration for the Model 3 Performance. While Tesla has been tight-lipped about the specifics, the documentation and subsequent speculation suggest we could be looking at a significant performance boost.

Where is the Model 3 Performance?

Tesla has already started accepting orders for its refreshed Model 3, dubbed ‘Highland,’ in Europe, China, Japan, and Australia. Currently, only the Model 3 RWD and Long Range variants are up for grabs, leaving the Performance variant conspicuously absent. The absence is even more puzzling considering that the Model 3 Performance wasn’t among the models certified by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), a necessary step for car sales in China.

A Sneak Peek from Certification Documents

The Model 3 Performance has now shown up in European certification documents, indicating an imminent release. When a similar occurrence happened with the refreshed Model S and Model X earlier this year, the vehicles hit the market less than a month later. This suggests that we might see the refreshed Model 3 Performance on the roads as early as October.

Deciphering the ‘T’

The European Type Certificate, issued by the Dutch vehicle authority RDW, shows a small yet potentially significant detail: the letter ‘T’ appearing in the eighth position of the VIN. While initial speculation circled around the possibility of a tri-motor setup, the documents clarify that the Model 3 Performance will retain its dual-motor configuration. However, the new motor part numbers indicate a likely upgrade from the existing setup.

A Closer Look at the Upgraded Motors

According to documents shared on the German TFF Forum, the refreshed Model 3 Performance will feature 3D3/5D1 motors, unlike the current 3D3/3D7 combo found in the Long Range variant. Speculation is rife that this new 5D1 motor could have a carbon sleeve rotor, which would significantly boost the vehicle’s performance.

Steering Modifications

Another noteworthy detail from the certification documents is a change in the steering ratio. The lock-to-lock range is now slightly higher, making the steering less direct but more forgiving, a likely nod to improving the car’s handling characteristics.

The Performance Gap

MIIT certification for the Model 3 Highland variants revealed that they are less powerful and heavier than the outgoing Model 3. This new documentation implies that Tesla might be looking to increase the performance gap between the Performance and non-Performance trims, potentially giving the former an edge that could exceed 800 horsepower.

What Could This Mean for Tesla?

Tesla’s Model 3 Performance is already a favorite among electric vehicle enthusiasts, boasting a 0-60 mph time of just 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 162 mph at a price point of $53,240. If the speculated upgrades come to fruition, Tesla could push these boundaries even further, making it a formidable competitor against even traditional gas-powered supercars.

Patience for North America

It’s worth noting that North American Tesla fans might have to wait a bit longer. Tesla’s initial focus appears to be on the European, Chinese, Japanese, and Australian markets, with North American deliveries potentially postponed until 2024.

Gearing Up for the Unveil

As Tesla gears up to roll out its refreshed Model 3 Performance, the anticipation and excitement are palpable. The potential for a more powerful motor and other upgrades could set new standards in the electric vehicle market. While we await official confirmation from Tesla, one thing is clear: the Model 3 Performance is poised to break new automotive ground.