Tesla launches new Model 3 Performance variant to rev up demand

Tesla has officially revealed a new Performance variant of the recently refreshed Model 3 sedan as the company looks to fight off receding demand.

The new version of the Model 3, which starts at $52,990, has a new active damping system and adaptive suspension for better handling and comfort, 296 miles of battery range and can travel from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds with 510 horsepower on offer.

Compared to the previous Model 3 Performance, the new version has 32% more peak power and 16% more peak torque, and 5% less drag. It does all this while consuming less energy than its predecessor, according to Tesla. That's thanks in part to a new-generation drive unit and a rear diffuser and spoiler. The front and rear ends of the car have also benefited from a slight face-lift, separating it from the other versions of the newly tweaked Model 3 revealed last year.

The Model 3 Performance still carries with it the wholesale changes made with that recent refresh. That means there’s an ambient light bar wrapping around the cabin interior, better sound dampening and upgraded materials throughout, a stalk-less steering wheel and a new touchscreen display.

Tesla is launching the new Model 3 Performance at a time when the company is coming off one of its worst quarters for deliveries in recent memory, having dropped 20% compared to the fourth quarter of 2023. The impact of that disappointing first quarter is set to be revealed Tuesday when the company publishes its financial results after the market closes.

The company is also just one week removed from announcing sweeping layoffs of more than 10% of its global workforce, with the cuts affecting seemingly all corners of the company.

Orders placed Tuesday, at least at the time of publication, show an estimated delivery window of May/June 2024 in North America.