NEW Tesla Model 3 Performance – 1 Month Later: Supercar Slayer

9 min read

Hey friends, Andrew here – hope you’re well.

I am excited to share my experience with the EV after driving it for a month: from my likes, and dislikes, its everyday useability, the new redesign, and of course its supercar-slaying acceleration and mind-bending performance. It’s one of the fastest accelerating cars on the road, yet it also manages to be one of the most pleasant drives.

Before we get into it, it’s worth mentioning that this is not a loan or a press car – I had the opportunity to work with Tesla on this video, but I decided to buy this car on launch day and was apparently the very first one to take delivery according to them, so I was able to test all the features including track mode, and of course, you can expect a brutally honest review because as amazing as this car is, it’s not perfect.

So I’m going to do my best to give you a complete end-to-end honest review, covering as much as I possibly can. Let’s start right from the very beginning which was taking delivery of the car. 

Tesla Delivery Experience

The delivery experience has improved a lot. If you watched my previous video on the 2023 Tesla Model 3, you’ll know that leading up to taking delivery of that car, the experience was all over the place and quite confusing.

But Tesla has done a great job improving the experience like personal calls to check in with you, a new in-app predelivery checklist that makes sense and keeps you in the loop, plus an even fancier pick-up experience.

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In previous years the Tesla pick-up was located in a dingy warehouse filled with hundreds of Teslas and felt more like a hire car spot than taking delivery of a new car: this time picking up the Performance felt special.

A few people were ready to greet me at the entrance, the lobby had been revamped and the overall experience felt more special. The very first thing I did was of course check for defects but just like last year, the Shanghai factory does a great job with its builds: no panel gaps or broken buttons. But I will say: the black paint already had imperfections right at the showroom including swirlmarks so clearly they didn’t do a great job buffing it before bringing it to the showroom. 

So I opted for the full black variant, which surprisingly I haven’t seen many videos showing off the black color, likely because black isn’t as common because it’s harder to maintain but I think it looks so sleek and clean in person.

I may eventually end up wrapping the car in stealth PPF, and if I do I’ll make sure to show you guys the result in the long-term review and over on Instagram. 

Insane Acceleration & Performance 

Now, let’s talk about its biggest drawcard: the performance and its stupidly fast acceleration so strap in because there’s a lot to discover. 

Coming from daily driving a Tesla Model 3 Long Range with the upgraded Acceleration Boost – its 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds is quick enough to make passengers feel sick. 

But now stepping into the new Model 3 Performance with its blistering 0-60 time of 2.9 seconds…and the only way I can describe it is going from “oh wow that’s quick” to a gut-punching tunnel vision quick, capable of making some throw up. And I’m not exaggerating – it made my friend green in the face. 

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This is a car that’s faster to 60 miles than any Ferrari or Lamborghini made before 2010 and sounds like an absolute spaceship launching off. 

I should point out that the claimed 2.9-second acceleration includes rollout, which is a drag racing term that allows the car to get off the line, rather than a complete standing start.

Slamming the throttle of the light will blast past a handful of supercars double, even triple the Tesla’s price tag and it never gets old. It’s all thanks to its dual-motor powertrain that sends a combined 510 horsepower to all four wheels. The rear motor is entirely new. A heads up that, unlike the Fremont-mad variant, the Shanghai Model 3 Performance gets a slightly smaller LG battery which outputs 460 horsepower. 

But despite the peak power differences, they both max out at about 163 miles per hour and its 0-60 acceleration is pretty much the same. Top-end acceleration beyond 60 miles an hour is also significantly improved over the 2023 Performance and there’s more pep going from 60 to 80 on a highway for example. 

It’s freaking fast but that’s not surprising, no one can question Tesla’s straight-line speed. But what has surprised me when driving this car for a month is its dramatically improved handling and overall driving dynamics: it’s head and shoulders above my Model 3 Long Range and transforms the driving experience when on curvy roads. 

And that’s thanks to a few things: the bigger-than-ever performance brakes are extra bitey, the new staggered tires (which mean the two front tires are thinner and back tires are wider) not only look more aggressive but also improve handling and the new performance chassis with updated springs, dampers, and stabilizer bars do make a difference. 

On bendy back roads, there’s an amazing turn-in feel, it’s extremely planted so it inspires confidence, and the car will do what I ask it to around corners. Where my previous Model 3 had a lot of body roll, the chassis on the new Performance is a night and day difference and the steering is super direct and precise. 

And it gets even better with Track Mode. Thankfully it isn’t a Tesla press car so track mode isn’t blocked and with it turned on: it becomes a lot more playful with traction slightly reduced. The chassis becomes a lot more fun and rear-biased, it’s sort of like the car relaxes a little more, lets its hair down, and shows off its full character.

But it’s still no Porsche, and the entire driving experience feels somewhat digital and sort of distant is probably the way I’d put it.

There’s something I’d feel would improve the driving experience and this might be a hot take: but I think what I would love to see is digital shifting and simulated engine noise. Sort of like Hyundai’s Ioniq 5N, that car simulates the character of combustion engines brilliantly and makes the drive feel more dynamic. 

I’m keen to take the car on the track so I can fish out the entire potential of the car, and I’ll share my thoughts in the long-term review so be sure to be subscribed for that!  

To be fair, I haven’t taken the car on track yet but I plan to so I can fish out the entire potential of the car, I’ll share my thoughts in the long-term review so be sure to be subscribed for that.

New Design

Moving onto the new design elements: we’ve got things like a beautiful new-lipped carbon fiber spoiler which is far more nicely integrated than before, the updated diffuser, air vents, and front fascia that look great and help improve aerodynamics and let’s not forget the iconic ludicrous badge that now screams performance variant.

It all looks good, but it is a bit of a sleeper: the average person is not going to realize this is downright one of the fastest cars on the road. 

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The star of the redesign has to be the ventilated bucket seats and I think most of you are going to love them…but just be wary that I found it needs time to break in especially if you’re not used to or have never sat in sport bucket seats before. 

The previous Model 3 was comfortable but when taking on corners, I’d roll around like an egg in a shopping trolley. There was zero lateral support. 

Now, the bolsters are large and tight and I’m as steady as a rock when getting hit with all sorts of G’s around corners. 

Plus, they just look cool. They shout performance car and it makes a statement when a friend steps into the cabin. The ludicrous badging on the top of the seat feels solid and is a cool touch and shows off its rollercoaster capability before the car even takes off.

I also absolutely love the new 20” warp wheels unique to the Model 3 Performance. I’ve taken off the caps and I think the black-on-black with the red accent from the brake caliper looks incredible. Paired with the staggered Pirelli P04 performance tires, which are Tesla-specific, and you get a handsome yet aggressive-looking side view that also does a great job keeping road noise to a minimum. The new carbon fiber trims in the interior are a welcome addition too.

Overall this car will turn heads and I’ve already had a handful of people come up to me asking if it’s the new Performance or just to say that’s a cool-looking car. I still think this is a “gentle redesign”–  Tesla could do more to visually differentiate the Performance from the rest of the range because from some angles it still does look like a base Model 3. 

There is one thing I hate…and that’s the lack of stalks that I miss quite a lot coming from the 2023 Model 3. Tesla did so many great new things with the Highland refresh but damn, placing the turn signals onto the wheel as capacitive buttons are two steps back. 

I got used to the on-wheel turn signals fast enough, but when turning the wheel more than 90 degrees, pressing the turn signal is inconvenient and Tesla could’ve placed a turn signal on the right and left sides. Sometimes it doesn’t even actuate the turn signal when I press down. 

Overall, I miss the stalks, but maybe that’s just me and some of you will like it. 

Everyday Usability

So at this point, we know the car has supercar-slaying performance, it also looks the part but what makes the car uniquely special is it’s still able to be an incredibly comfortable family car for daily use.

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That’s thanks in big part to the new adaptive suspension and damping system that keeps it planted and responsive in sports mode but also quickly settles down in an ultra-comfortable cruiser. I’d say it’s as comfortable as the base Model 3, which is such a comfortable drive for the everyday commute. 

And that’s something that has impressed me so much: where else will you find a car that has supercar level performance, yet is as practical as a Toyota Corolla, has all the tech, will drive itself, and with a price tag under $55,000 US dollars? It’s mind-boggling insane value and has set a new benchmark in this category.

Cruise control and autopilot are always a pleasure to turn on during road trips, and it’s always done a great job taking the reigns so I can take a breather and mentally relax during longer trips. I should also point out the difference in cabin noise is drastically reduced in the 2024 Performance in comparison to my 2023 Long Range. It’s quite a stark contrast, where I used to be able to make out the hums of cars around me, it’s now a bubble of peace – thanks to the double-pane glass all around the car. 

Plus we get creature comforts like dual displays for passengers, a terrific 17-speaker sound system, minimal road noise, and interior mood lighting…again, to find all of this in a sub 3 second 0-60 car is unique, to say the least.

While we’re speaking about all the tech: something I haven’t heard mentioned often is the fact that the on-board USB-C chargers have been upgraded. The power output has been significantly bumped from 15W to 65W: that’s enough juice to charge two MacBook Pros at once! 

EV Range & Charging

Moving onto the EV range and charging, even though this is a performance car – getting a decent range is still a serious consideration. 

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So over the last month, I saw about 3.5 miles per kWh so that’d give me about 260-270 miles on a single charge. That’s of course with a lot of spirited driving and to give you an idea, every 0-60 acceleration took a full percentage off every time. 

If you drive the Tesla Model 3 Performance more efficiently, then 300+ miles is achievable if you’re taking it out on long road trips. 

Charging the 82kWh battery pack from a standard power outlet will take forever though: specifically about 42 hours. 

But as you know, one of the key benefits of owning a Tesla is access to its large Supercharger network. They charge Model 3’s at speeds of up to 250kW, which may not be the fastest in the industry but it does add over 140 miles of range in just 15 minutes.

So far driving Teslas, I’ve never run into range anxiety and the new V4 Superchargers should improve charging availability too. They’re currently being rolled out around the world I believe, with the potential for these chargers to reach a peak charge rate of 350kW and even download over-the-air software updates while you’re charging! 

I also think it’s great that Tesla is finally opening up the Supercharger network to all EVs to boost public charging access and ultimately should help with EV adoption.

Safety & Insurance 

And let’s not glance over safety: one of the most important aspects of owning a car.

Tesla’s and the Model 3 initially started on a rocky path – there were a lot of issues with reliability and build quality but since the early days, the Model 3 has become quite a reliable and safe car. 

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It was actually named the second-best car to own and the seventh-most reliable car in the 2024 Driver Power survey. Euro NCAP has always given the Model 3 a five-star safety rating in 2019 and that’s largely in part to the lack of an engine, a quality impact protection structure and there’s very low rollover risk thanks to the heavy batteries on the bottom of the car.

Plus the Model 3 is riddled with safety and drive assistance tech, it has eight exterior cameras for Sentry mode which records any intruders and there are seven airbags so on paper it is safe. 

I will say though, insuring this Model 3 Performance is a pain in the ass. If you own a Tesla you’ll know what I’m talking about – it’s far more expensive to insure and that’s thanks to the high cost to repair, the lack of aftermarket parts, and of course the insane amount of power they put out compared to similar classed cars so the insurance risk rating for a Tesla is high. Heck, there were insurance companies not yet providing insurance quotes because this car was so new.

1 Month Later 

So the new Tesla Model 3 Performance still has a lot more to be explored and over the coming months, I’ll share more on my Instagram and also in my long-term review so stay tuned for that.

What I can say for certain after a month with this car is it’s the best in its class, hands down.

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It has the performance numbers to keep up with supercars, yet has the daily comforts and safety of a family car and incredibly it’s half the price of a BMW M3 when you include all the tax incentives. 

It doesn’t have the character and connection of a Porsche 911 or BMW M3 and yes it does have some serious flaws like the lack of stalks, but this is as much car as anyone ever needs with an incredibly fair price tag.

Seriously: if you don’t want to be tempted into buying this car, I do not recommend test-driving this car.

It has been a dream driving this car over the last month, having that road superiority and zipping around cars, going on road trips and enjoying the interior cabin and I now don’t have to worry about servicing, oil changes, or combustion engine issues. 

I do have to say though that the base and Long Range variants still represent great value for money. My Long Range with acceleration boost gets close to the Performance for a lot less coin.

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