The facelifted Tesla Model 3, also known as “Highland,” doesn’t have a Performance trim yet. Still, there are several hints that point to the idea that Tesla is actively working on a replacement for the sporty electric saloon.

The latest of those hints comes in the form of a camouflaged, right-hand drive prototype wearing what looks like a more aggressive front bumper, compared to the rear-wheel drive and regular all-wheel drive versions of the upgraded Model 3. Being right-hand drive means markets like Australia and the United Kingdom will most likely get it, too.

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A Tesla Model 3 Performance is coming

Tesla doesn't offer a Performance trim for the updated Model 3 (Highland) EV, but that will soon change. According to a video posted on X, the American automaker is actively working on a sporty variant for the electric sedan that will likely feature a slightly more aggressive exterior design.

The test mule was spotted in San Francisco by X user @klwtts who posted a short video of the encounter on his account, along with a close-up shot of the front, where the bumper lip is quite evident.


Here’s a comparison between the regular Model 3 and what we believe is the sportier version of the saloon:

Tesla Model 3 Performance (Highland) spy photo (Source: @klwtts / X)

Tesla Model 3 Performance (Highland) spy photo (Source: @klwtts / X). Notice the more pronounced lip at the bottom of the bumper.

2024 Tesla Model 3 (Highland)

Tesla Model 3 (Highland) non-Performance

With all this being said, it’s unclear at this point what the trim's name will actually be. Most people go by the “Performance” label, but previous reports based on Tesla’s software code and parts catalogue discovered that the sporty version might go by the names “Sport” or “Ludicrous.” The latter is just one step below “Plaid” in terms of speed, according to Space Balls, the movie that inspired CEO Elon Musk to go with these tags.

Other findings allege that–whatever the name of the trim–the sporty Model 3 will come with upgraded brakes and suspension, new wheels, bolstered seats, and more powerful electric motors. How powerful? We don’t know.

Tesla doesn’t publish power figures for the Model 3 on its website, but a Chinese regulatory filing indicates that the base RWD version comes with a 260-bhp (194-kilowatt) electric motor on the rear axle, while the Long Range AWD variant comes with an additional 183 bhp (137-kW) motor in the front. That’s a combined output of 443 bhp.

The sporty Model 3 might come with more power, or it might just stick with the same output but add better handling and better braking for a more involved driving experience.