According to recently leaked Dutch government documents, a Performance version of the 2024 Tesla Model 3 electric car is in the works in Europe. The vehicle is part of Tesla’s Project Highland update.

The Dutch documents reveal a new dual-motor Performance option, indicated by a ‘T’ in the vehicle identification number (VIN). By contrast, the dual-motor Long Range (LR) variant has a “K” in its VIN, and the single-motor Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) variant has a “J” or an “S.”

Auto experts believe that the Performance version is being released later than the rest of the line-up due to power enhancements. Tesla publicly released the updated Model 3 on September 1. However, it only released LR and RWD variants at the time.

Despite the unchanged electric motors in the current LR and RWD variants, a new “T” designation for the Performance variant hints at modifications to its motors, according to Drive.

The initial assumption regarding the letter “T” is that it now signifies a tri-motor configuration. This would align with the Plaid variants of the Model S and Model X in Europe, as they are tri-motor vehicles with “T” in their VINs.

However, the certification document explicitly states that the 2024 Model 3 Performance remains a dual motor vehicle.

According to Drive Tesla Canada, the most plausible explanation is that Tesla retained the 2023 Model 3 Performance’s dual motor setup. However, it upgraded one of the motors, most probably the front motor, to be identical to the one used in the Model S Plaid and Model X Plaid.

This upgrade would enhance the Model 3 Performance’s top speed and acceleration. It would address the vehicle’s underperformance in races longer than a quarter-mile against gasoline-powered supercars.

Tesla has not publicly commented on the development of the Model 3 Performance or the latest findings.

The outgoing Model 3 Performance delivers 393 kW combined power. It claims a 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) acceleration time of 3.3 seconds. It has a top speed of 267 km/h (166 mph) and comes with 20-inch alloy wheels fitted with Pirelli P Zero performance tires.

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