Tesla is preparing to launch the most powerful Model 3 ever. News of this new Performance model, which will probably be called the Performance Plaid or, even more likely, the Performance Ludicrous, was leaked on 1 April, and as a result many people thought it was a joke. But now there's no doubt that the unveiling of the new model is imminent.

It seems that Tesla Malibu, the brand's official dealer based in the famous Californian city, organised a private event to preview the new model to a select group of customers, even before the company announced it. But the whole thing ended up on the internet (which was to be expected) and everyone now knows that Tesla has indeed developed the high-performance version of its famous saloon.

Meeting potential customers

The fact that this is a sports version based on the new Tesla Model 3 (the one that came out of Project Highland) is clear from a number of details. The flush black boot spoiler, for example, the sports trim, the specially designed wheels and a badge that says it all. The badge is the same as that found on the Model S and Model X Plaid, and its design is a reference to the film 'Spaceballs', which inspired Elon Musk to create the most powerful models in the range.

The presence of Tesla Chief Design Officer Franz von Holzhausen's Cybertruck in the car park in front of the shop (recognisable by the 'CYBRTRK' nameplate and matt black cladding) was a clear indication that an event of some significance was taking place in Malibu.

 

Perfect timing

The unveiling of the Tesla Model 3 Performance Ludicrous (for now, let's call it that) took place at the beginning of April, which is no coincidence. For the first time in many years, the American manufacturer reported poor quarterly sales figures and, after a very long period of growth, fell back below the 400,000 cars delivered mark (almost 100,000 fewer than at the end of 2023).

So shining a spotlight on certain market news items has the dual aim of diverting attention and giving dealers a little boost.

 

This is also happening in China. On X, user Chris Zheng has posted photos showing a series of Model 3 Highland cars still covered in tarpaulins and announcing that these are the new high-performance versions. Chris Zheng calls them simply the Model 3 Ludicrous, but apart from the name, he says with certainty that this is the new 'bullet' variant, as shown by the alloy wheels. He says there are also substantial changes inside the cabin. To see them, however, we'll have to wait a little longer.