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Tesla Explains What Went Into Making The New Model 3 Performance So Good

Key Takeaways

  • The team behind the Tesla Model 3 Performance details the engineering work that went into Tesla’s compact sports sedan.
  • Subtle exterior updates improve aerodynamic performance and efficiency.
  • The Model 3 Performance has been updated with upgraded brakes, forged wheels, specially developed tires, and new performance seats.

The new Tesla Model 3 Performance is a big step up from the outgoing model. With 510 horsepower and a 0-60 mph sprint time of 2.9 seconds, the unassuming electric sedan has the performance to rival a supercar. But how did the automaker achieve this? In a new video posted to Tesla’s YouTube channel, members of the development team unpack what goes into making the Model 3 Performance so good. From a distance, the M3P looks like a regular Model 3. However, Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen says they are very different.

The front fascia has been redesigned for the Performance model, with larger air ducts and a more prominent front splitter that improves downforce and high-speed stability. At the rear, the M3P wears a subtle carbon fiber spoiler and a new diffuser. These minor differences work together to make a huge difference. Overall, Tesla claims a 36% reduction in lift, a 5% reduction in drag, and a 55% improvement in front-to-rear lift balance.

2025 Tesla Model 3 Performance

MSRP

$54,990

Horsepower

510 hp

Torque

547 lb-ft

0-60 MPH

2.9 Seconds

Top Speed

163 mph

Here’s How Tesla Improved The Handling

But before we get into the mechanical revisions, what changes have been made inside? The Tesla Model 3 Performance interior receives new sports seats that visually appear to be the same as those fitted to the Model S Plaid. With more bolstering, the automaker claims they are more supportive, which is excellent for high-speed driving. Carbon fiber trim completes the sporting appearance while heating, ventilation, and 12-way power adjustment keep the front occupants comfortable.

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The M3P also boasts new forged wheels that keep the overall weight down. “They also have a little bit more stiffness, which allows for a tighter turning feel,” said Lars Moravy, Vice President of Vehicle Engineering at Tesla. “We have a new steering knuckle for the performance car that has a slightly shorter steering arm, which decreases the overall steering ratio, making it a little bit quicker.” Adaptive damping has been equipped for the first time on the Model 3.

Tesla Co-Developed New Tires With Pirelli

Other clever touches include integrated aero caps for the wheels, which not only improve airflow but also consider range and efficiency. With the increased performance comes a need for more serious stopping power. Tesla has responded with new brakes, which perform better under hard driving. The tires haven’t been ignored, either, and were co-developed with Pirelli “to be quieter, more efficient, have higher grip, and better performance laterally,” said Moravy.

Related

Affordable Performance EV Shootout: 2025 Tesla Model 3 Performance Vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N and Tesla Model 3 Performance are democratizing power and proving EVs can be fun to drive.

Tesla also introduced a new drive unit for the Model 3 Performance, a new inverter, and precision gun gears, among other changes. As mentioned, the M3P produces 510 hp and 547 lb-ft of torque. The top speed is 163 mph, slightly higher than the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N’s top whack of 161 mph – not bad for a sedan that costs $54,990. If you want to take advantage of the $7,500 tax credit incentive, you won’t be able to specify any options, as the sedan already sits on the cusp of the $55,000 price limit. But even with all the options specified, it’s still only as expensive as the Ioniq 5 N.

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