by Morton E. . Sep 22, 2023
Image Credit: @TslaChan/X
A European Type Certificate issued by the Dutch vehicle authority RDW for the new Tesla Model 3 Performance has teased an important detail about the upcoming car. If the VIN of the new vehicle is any indication, the new Model 3 Performance's drivetrain may feature a Plaid-inspired surprise.
Why it matters: When Tesla launched the Model 3 Highland, the Performance variant was strangely absent. This was the case in the company's online configurator for the vehicle. When the new Model 3 was certified by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the new Model 3 Performance was absent again.
Giga Shanghai is the only Tesla factory that is able to produce the Model 3 Highland today. With this in mind, it is not surprising that Tesla China is focusing on the base RWD and midrange Long Range Dual Motor AWD Model 3 as its first Highland variants. But while the Model 3 Performance "Highland" update has been elusive, a document from the RDW hinted that the vehicle is coming, and it will be very compelling.
NEWS: A new version of the Tesla Model 3 Performance has appeared in certification documents for Europe. https://t.co/2T3jYxZUWR— Sawyer Merritt (@SawyerMerritt) September 21, 2023
What's happening: According to documents from the RDW, which were shared on the TFF Forum, the new Model 3 Performance will have a "T" on its VIN's eighth digit. The eighth digit in the Model 3's VIN identifies the type of drive unit that's equipped in the vehicle.
According to Drive Tesla, the Plaid variants of the Model S and Model X in Europe also have a "T" on their VIN's eighth digit. This may not mean that Tesla is preparing a tri-motor Model 3 Performance, but it may suggest that the company will be using one of the Plaid Model S/X's motors in the Model 3 Performance. This means that even if the Model 3 Performance remains a dual motor vehicle, it might have some Plaid-inspired upgrades.
A Plaid motor for the Model 3 Performance "Highland" update could offer some improvements to the vehicle. If Tesla uses the front motor of the Model S/X in the new Model 3 Performance, it could help the vehicle get a better top end speed and acceleration. This would make the Model 3 Performance an even more perfect car.
What we have: The Model 3 Performance is a car that's meant to be driven hard. That's why we at Hansshow have developed a number of products that would be perfect for the top-tier Model 3. These include our Model 3/Y Carbon Fiber Round Steering Wheel, which features a flat bottom for comfort and control. We also offer a Model S/X inspired Model 3/Y Yoke Steering Wheel, which would definitely give your Model 3 Performance a "Plaid" feel.
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