Currently, only the Model RWD and Model 3 Long Range are available to order, while Model 3 Performance is still missing from Tesla's website. It wasn't even among the models certified by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), a mandatory step before any new or updated car model can be sold in China.
Still, the sportiest Model 3 Highland variant cannot be too far, as it has already appeared in certification documents filed in Europe. When the same happened with the refreshed Model S and Model X in February, deliveries began less than a month later. This indicates that the refreshed Model 3 Performance might enter the market sometime in October.
The documents reveal that Tesla got the European Type Certificate issued by the Dutch vehicle authority RDW over the summer, with the latest modifications approved on September 4, 2023. The refreshed Model 3 Performance is now identified by the letter "T" in the eighth position of the VIN, previously reserved for the Plaid variants of the Model S and Model X. Despite speculations, this doesn't mean the M3P now has a tri-motor configuration. The certification makes it clear it's still a dual-motor EV.
Based on documents shared on the German TTF Forum, the revamped Model 3 Performance has received a new motor part number, suggesting it comes with an upgraded configuration. Instead of the 3D3/3D7 combo of the Long Range variant, the Model 3 Performance will come with 3D3/5D1 motors. Although we don't know what the new 5D1 motor brings, people speculate that this will have a carbon sleeve rotor for increased performance.
Information from the MIIT certification in China revealed that the Model 3 Highland variants are less powerful than the outgoing Model 3. The same document reveals that the refreshed Model 3 is also heavier, hinting at a performance penalty. The fact that Model 3 Performance appears to be upgraded shows that Tesla might increase the performance gap between the M3P and the non-Performance trims.
Another exciting information from the European certification documents shows that Tesla modified the steering ratio. Specifically, the lock-to-lock range is now 2.13 rotations instead of 2.03. This will make the refreshed Model 3 Performance's steering less direct and more forgiving with unwanted steering wheel movements.