Here’s the 2024 Tesla Model 3 Performance before you’re meant to see it – again


The facelifted, power-boosted Tesla Model 3 Performance – or Ludicrous, as reports persist it may be badged – has been spotted yet again without disguise.


Photo credit: @BooDev on X, formerly Twitter.

More undisguised images of the 2024 Tesla Model 3 Performance electric car – or ‘Ludicrous’ as it’s also known – have surfaced online ahead of an official unveiling, which is believed to be imminent.

It appears Tesla has given up trying to disguise the new flagship Model 3, as a fleet of unmasked examples have been spotted at and around a Tesla showroom in California – with a red example caught during a photo shoot in February.

While it was previously believed the new car would retain the Performance badge, reports increasingly suggest the Ludicrous name will be used instead – a reference to 1987 movie Spaceballs, of which Elon Musk is a fan.

Red car photo credit @BooDev on X, black car photo credit @swlights on Instagram.

The images, which were posted on social media this morning, show red, blue, black and grey examples spotted on roads in Malibu, west of Los Angeles, but wearing Texas manufacturer licence plates.

It is believed one or more of the cars formed part of a media preview offered to select US journalists.

No new design details have been given away in the latest images – given the Performance/Ludicrous has already been seen without camouflage – however it re-affirms that differences between regular and Performance Model 3s will be greater in number than before.

The flagship edition now receives unique front and rear bumpers, and a front splitter in addition to the carbon-fibre lip spoiler, red brake calipers, and 20-inch wheels previously offered, the lattermost in a new ‘Warp’ design with aero inserts.

Black car photo credit @swlights on Instagram, blue car photo credit u/samsamdar on Reddit.

Visible on the boot lid is the new Ludicrous badge, which depicts the pattern seen in the 1987 movie Spaceballs – of which Elon Musk is known to be a fan – when the spaceship in the film approaches “Ludicrous Speed”, said to be faster than light.

Overseas reports suggest the updated Model 3 Performance/Ludicrous may produce up to a theoretical 461kW – combining the power output of its 158kW front with its new, and more powerful, 303kW rear motor (though each is believed to produce peak power at a different rpm).

Reports accompanying the latest images claim the new Performance will complete the 0-60mph (97km/h) sprint in 2.9 seconds – down from 3.2sec – which is estimated to convert to a 0-100km/h time of 3.0 seconds (down from 3.3sec).

Grey car photo credit @BLKMDL3 on X, red car photo credit @brandontsla on X.

The outgoing Performance had a theoretical power output of between 357kW and 393kW, depending on the government certification documents referenced. Tesla rarely quotes power outputs for its cars.

Prior leaks have shown adaptive suspension is planned – a first for the Model 3 – as well as new front sports seats with tighter bolsters than regular models, and Ludicrous badging.

The 2024 Tesla Model 3 Performance (or Ludicrous) is expected to be unveiled in the coming days.

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Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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