TESLA MODEL 3 PERFORMANCE Basic Price: $ 101 100. Drives & Performance: Performance Lithium-ion Plug-in Battery Pack, AWD, Range 560 km (NEDC), 0-100 kmh 3.4 seconds. Vital statistics: 4694mm long, 1443mm high, 2875mm wheelbase, luggage capacity 423 liters, 20-inch alloy wheels. We like: Fun handling to go with the epic acceleration, good value for a high-performance sedan. We don't like: Shapeless seats, weak door handles, why isn't it a liftback?
We had a first taste of Tesla Model 3 recently and really enjoyed it. But it was literally just a drive around the block. Now we have taken the flagship Performance version and thrown 500km of hard drive on the Kiwi roads on it. How is it shaped?
Just a smaller Model S then?
Not at all. Model 3 is on a mission much more important than the big brother.
READ MORE: * Drive to the Tesla Model 3 dairy * Order books open to NZ specification Tesla Model 3 * Where are the cameras in your car and what are they looking for? * Model updates are just a game for Tesla * Tesla has the supercharged SUV concept with Model X  Well, two missions. The first is to take Tesla more towards mainstream status, because it is more affordable. Production figures, sales volume … it's a business story and therefore boring, so we put it aside.
The other related mission is to conquer the hearts of people who love to drive. Model S and Model X are impressive in their technology extremely fast in a straight line, but anodyne when you're past the news with ramp acceleration.
Model 3 has a stated goal of retaining everything that Tesla is currently loved for, but provides enthusiastic credentials. It is supposed to be more European than American in taste. More car than mobile device.
Especially our test vehicle Model 3 Performance. This $ 101,100 sedan features dual-engine AWD setup, 20-inch wheels, large brakes and 10mm lower suspension.
Model 3 is also the base for the upcoming Model Y compact SUV. But that's another story.