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2024 Tesla Model 3 Performance caught testing in San Francisco

Model 3 Ludicrous with performance red calipers (image: Kilowatts/TikTok)
Model 3 Ludicrous with performance red calipers (image: Kilowatts/TikTok)
An alleged Tesla Model 3 Performance mule has been caught testing on the street of San Francisco near the Highland factory. The Performance trim may not be called Tesla Model 3 Ludicrous and could be released abroad first.

After months of speculation that Tesa may launch a new Model 3 Ludicrous trim and after the old Performance model disappeared from its main markets, now the souped-up version of the Model 3 Highland facelift may have been caught testing in the wild. The purported 2024 Model 3 Performance refresh has been filmed on the streets of San Francisco near Fremont where Tesla is also producing the Highland meant for the US market.

While the car is obviously a test mule with camouflaged front and rear, a different front bumper lip as well as performance brake calipers can be clearly seen and compared with the base Model 3 Highland refresh design. Those red calipers are eerily reminiscent of another mule's testing session a few months back which was thought to be the Highland, just with Sport Wheel and Winter Tire Package for the Model 3, only missing the black hubcaps with the Tesla logo.

The most interesting part, however, is that the purported 2024 Model 3 Performance that was spotted on the streets of Freemont was seemingly a right-hand drive vehicle. About two months ago, an Australian publication posted some remarks of a local Tesla rep who teased that Australia will be the launch pad of a new Model 3 Performance trim in the first half of 2024. At the time, they said that the most powerful Model 3 version will be "pretty special," and will feature a "few things we left on the table" during Elon Musk's 2017 "production hell" when Tesla unleashed the Performance version that it was selling until it released the Highland.

The "special" 2024 Model 3 Performance could sport a 0-60 mph acceleration in under 3 seconds and come with the respective brakes and tires upgrade as well. Hence, the RHD Model 3 and its red brake calipers spotted here might be a telltale sign that Tesla is already testing the new Performance trim, which reportedly it also considered calling Ludicrous or Plaid, but in the end stuck with the known Performance naming scheme.

Back before Tesla announced the US version of the Model 3 Highland, it camouflaged it as coming straight from the Shanghai Gigafactory, until one VIN number revealed that the units are actually made in Fremont. A RHD vehicle destined for the Australian or the UK markets is harder to hide in the mule game, so Tesla may not even be trying all that hard to cover up what is being tested. 

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The Kilowatts (TikTok)

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 01 > 2024 Tesla Model 3 Performance caught testing in San Francisco
Daniel Zlatev, 2024-01-23 (Update: 2024-01-31)