A prototype of the yet-to-be-released updated Tesla Model 3 Performance was spotted on the streets of San Francisco.
A video of the vehicle was posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, with the caption, “SPOTTED: Right-handed drive Model 3 Performance refresh prototype testing with camouflage in San Francisco just now!!”
SPOTTED: Right-hand drive Model 3 Performance refresh prototype testing with camouflage in San Francisco just now!!
— The Kilowatts
(@klwtts) January 21, 2024
Last year, Tesla hinted at making a “Plaid” Model 3. Plaid versions of Tesla vehicles are high-performance vehicles with quick acceleration and high max speeds. In the owner’s manual and parts catalog for the Model 3 Highland that was released last year in Europe and Asia, there’s an image with a Plaid badge on the back of a car.
Plaid is the high-performance version of the Model S and Model X, but no one expected to see a Plaid version of the Model 3 because Tesla CEO Elon Musk had always said the company would never make one.
It’s also possible that this new version won’t be Plaid and will just be an updated version of the Performance.
The fact that the front and back of the car in the video were covered left some speculating about how the design might differ from previous models and the updated designs that have already been revealed.
One noticeable change is the splitter at the front of the car, which has sparked debate on the reason for the change.
One person who saw the video believes it could be for cooling down the brakes.
Another X user believes the new splitter design could serve multiple purposes, posting, “Would say improved air curtain for the wider track; brake ventilation could also branch off from this. Optimization of the drag coefficient through more air under the body and at the same time more downforce.”
Whatever new designs are revealed in the refreshed version, and whatever reasons those changes were made, people are stoked for the new Model 3 Performance.
One commenter posted, “Cannot wait for the release. I’m so excited.”
Another person commented, “Wow, spotted a sneaky Model 3 in disguise! Can’t wait for the big reveal!”
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