Tesla is gearing up to supercharge the Model 3. On Friday, CEO Elon Musk shared new details of the upcoming performance version of the $35,000 electric vehicle, aimed at offering high power at a lower price point. The company is aiming to boost manufacturing fast — and this philosophy of speed has worked its way into the new version’s design.
In response to a question from Tesla aficionado Ryan McCaffrey, Musk wrote on Twitter that the new vehicle would not come with aluminum pedals like the Model S and Model X, in a bid to avoid adding complexity to the product line. This is key if Tesla wants to maintain its trajectory and move past the 500 cars per day Model 3 production rate, reporter earlier this week, to the projected rate of 5,000 cars per week by the end of the month. Bloomberg reported on Friday that Tesla has made big progress in moving past the so-called “production hell,” and 95 percent of the assembly line now automated.
Tesla’s new performance edition, unveiled last month, is set to be an incredible vehicle. At the price of $78,000, the car will offer a top speed of 155 mph compared to the 310-mile standard Model 3 speed of 140 mph, plus a reduced 0-60 mph acceleration time of 3.5 seconds rather than 5.1 seconds. The car will also feature red calipers, sports brakes and a carbon fiber spoiler.
Beyond the performance edition, Tesla is also offering an all-wheel-drive optional upgrade for standard Model 3 cars. This ships as a $5,000 add-on, and offers the same 310-mile range and 140 mph top speed as the long range edition Model 3, but with a slightly faster acceleration time of 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Both cars offer redundancy in the motors, using an AC induction front motor optimized for power that complements the partial permanent, switched reluctance magnet rear motor optimized for range. If one breaks, the other can take over fully.
The cars are shipping ahead of planned further updates to the Model 3, which only entered production in July 2017. These include a white interior, new all-weather floor mats, Autopilot improvements, and upgrades to the Supercharger network that enables fast charging.
The performance edition is already showing its speed.