Sunday, December 3, 2023
News Tesla's Model 3 "Highland" Performance : Potential Motor Innovations Ahead

Tesla’s Model 3 “Highland” Performance : Potential Motor Innovations Ahead

Tesla’s upcoming Model 3 Performance “Highland” Performance hints at a distinctive electric motor setup, as revealed by a European Type Certificate.


  • European RDW certificate suggests a unique electric motor configuration for the Model 3 Performance “Highland” Performance update.

  • The current Model 3 Performance, priced at $53,240, boasts a 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds and 162 mph top speed.

  • Speculations arise after the “Highland” refresh omits the popular Performance trim, hinting at significant updates.


Tesla is gearing up for potential enhancements to its Model 3 Performance, with the upcoming “Highland” update sparking interest among electric vehicle enthusiasts. Indications from a European Type Certificate, issued by the RDW, point towards a novel electric motor arrangement for the sedan.

Tesla Model 3 Refresh | Photo: Tesla

Currently, the Model 3 Performance stands out as a favorite in Tesla’s roster. Its size, smaller than the Model S Plaid, combined with its agility, makes it a joy for drivers, especially when navigating tight bends. Priced at $53,240 in the U.S. before incentives, its value proposition is clear. With the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds and reach speeds of up to 162 mph, its performance metrics are compelling.

However, the recent “Highland” refresh raised eyebrows. Observers noted that the updated electric vehicle was available in only two versions: the single-motor RWD and the Long Range Dual Motor AWD. Notably absent was the much-loved Model 3 Performance. This omission, given the car’s popularity, fueled speculations about Tesla’s plans.

2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance First Review

Further intrigue came from a post on the TFF Forum. It referenced the European Type Certificate from RDW, dated July 2023, which mentioned a new Model 3 Performance. The vehicle’s VIN contained the letter “T” in its eighth position. This detail is significant, as this digit in a VIN often indicates the motor type. The “T” designation has been seen in European Model S and Model X Plaid VINs, both of which sport a tri-motor AWD configuration. Although it’s improbable for the Model 3 to adopt a tri-motor setup, it might incorporate a motor from the Plaid models.

Tesla Model 3 Refresh | Photo: Tesla

While the Model 3 Performance already offers a stellar driving experience, Tesla might be aiming even higher with the “Highland” update. Enhancements to its acceleration and top speed could further solidify its dominance in the electric vehicle market, setting a challenging benchmark for competitors.

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