Watch MKBHD’s New Tesla Model 3 Performance First Look Video

By 3 Min Read

Tesla released the new Model 3 Performance on Tuesday, with 510 hp, a 2.9-second 0-60 time and a compelling $54,630 price tag. Yet unlike the Model 3 Long Range, the Performance qualifies for the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit, making it available for a net cost of $47,130. We’re withholding judgment until we get our hands on one, but based on MKBHD’s first look the new Model 3 Performance looks like a screaming deal.

The old one was already a great EV. If you like Tesla’s one-screen-to-rule-them-all cabin design, it was hard to find any other major flaw. Model 3s have proven to be very reliable, and the facelifted model is more comfortable and nicer inside. Still, some consumers aren’t quite sold on the new version, where Tesla has also cut out things like turn signal stalks.  

As MKBHD shows, the Model 3 Performance is a similar story. It’s markedly better in some ways—more power, more adjustable track mode, adaptive dampers—but takes bizarre steps backward, like swapping the already-annoying turn signal buttons for cheaper and more infuriating touch sensors. The good does seem to outweigh the bad, though, as Tesla has finally put a proper pair of performance seats in the Model 3. The seats were a weak point of the last one, as the flatter design of an everyday seat can’t quite hold you in when the going gets twisty.

Adaptive dampers and configurable understeer/oversteer behavior provide some promising customization. On the one hand, Tesla’s best software features are better than anyone else’s. On the other, Tesla has a mixed record of making cars that work for driving enthusiasts from the factory. I loved the Model S Plaid’s insane power, for instance, but the underbaked brakes, steering and suspension made it frightening to drive fast. But if Tesla can make the Model 3 Performance great to drive, it might just be the best performance value on the market. I plan to test one as soon as possible to find out.

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