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When car enthusiasts think of affordable performance, they probably think of raucous muscle cars before they picture an electric vehicle (EV). However, at the intersection of affordability and outright speed is the Tesla Model 3 Performance, the cheapest car fans will find with a 0 to 60 mph time of around three seconds. So, is the fastest car in the world at its price point a worthy name in the kingdom of speed? 

The Tesla Model 3 Performance is one of the fastest cars in the world for the price

You read that right; Tesla’s smallest vehicle has a lightning-quick Performance trim with snappy dual-motor acceleration. That’s not surprising, given other launch-happy offerings from the EV automaker’s library, like the Model S Plaid. Still, the range-topping Model 3 is one of the fastest cars in the world at its price point.

A black 2023 Tesla Model 3, one of the fastest cars in the world for the price, shows off its front-end.
Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

Specifically, Tesla says the 470-horsepower, dual-motor Performance trim will hit 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds. While that might not seem blisteringly fast by today’s electric hypercar standards, the Model 3 is a four-door EV sedan with seating for five and comparable cargo volume to a Volkswagen Golf.

That 3.1-second sprint makes the Model 3 the world’s fastest road-going car in its price range. Moreover, while Car and Driver’s 2018 test of a previous Performance trim yielded a 3.5-second time, a 2019 evaluation revealed a 3.1-second dash to 60 mph and an 11.6-second quarter mile. Even by the 3.5-second metric, the baby Tesla is in a league of its own. 

How much is a Tesla Model 3 Performance package?

Tesla says its 2023 Model 3 Performance starts at $53,990. That’s a significant decrease from the 2022 model, which started at around $64,440 per Car and Driver. 

A blue Tesla Model 3 Performance blasts down a back road.
Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

As a result, the Model 3’s top trim is the cheapest sprinter in the automaker’s catalog. For instance, the Model Y Performance starts at $58,990. Moreover, the Model S Plaid, the fastest vehicle in the marque’s lineup, has a $109,990 window sticker.

What other world-class fast cars can the Tesla Model 3 Performance outrun?

If drivers can manage to launch the baby Tesla as fast as the automaker claims, the Performance trim will outrun some seriously fast cars. For instance, a 3.1-second dash to 60 mph will outrun a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, a 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, and an Aston Martin DB11 in a short sprint.   

Is a Model 3 Performance faster than a Model S?

Even with the top-tier Model 3’s speed credentials, its no match for the 2023 Model S. Specifically, the base Model S hit 60 mph in 2.4 seconds, just 0.1 seconds off the pace of a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon on drag radials and high-octane fuel. 

What do you think of the baby Tesla’s unhinged version? Tell us in the comments below!


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