RHD Model 3 Performance on show for the first time in Australia [Updated]

The first batch of Tesla Model 3s are due to reach customers next month. Ahead of that milestone, the first right hand drive Model 3 Performance, some lucky Aussies had an opportunity to see it in person today.

The Model 3 was on show in Melbourne at Car Advice’s Open Garage EV Special event. The event was open to the public from 3:30-5PM today (28th July 2019).

Forget about blurry leaked photos and speculation online, the first RHD cars have arrived in Australia and are part of a media fleet to help promote the vehicle.

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It seems photos have made their way to Twitter (some now removed), so much for that embargo. As expected, the car looks amazing in red with a white interior. This is the most expensive variant.

If you’ve seen photos of the RHD Model 3 from the UK, then you won’t see much new here, other than the Australian number plates which we understand we only registered yesterday.

We also get to see the CCS Type 2 charging port that enables the Model 3 to charge at the upgraded Tesla Superchargers at a higher rate. These also open the door to Tesla owners using other CCS2 chargers like those from Chargefox.

As expected the Wall Charger comes with the Model 3. Based on tweets that have since been removed, it looks like the mobile charger actually comes with 10A and 15A connectors.

After having spent a couple of years looking at LHD interior shots, it is a little strange to see the interface flipped for our side of the world. The positioning of the the screen is the same regardless of the market, but the vehicle information is positioned closest to the driver for RHD vehicles.

Update 2
Some other important confirmations from today’s event – The Tesla Model 3 in Australia will come with LTE. That means 4G connectivity, particularly important in light of this morning’s announcement by Musk that YouTube and Netflix are coming soon. Early Model X and Model S editions only had the slower 3G connections, while more recent iterations got upgrade to 4G on Telstra. This is leveraged for maps and music and the extra speed makes a significant difference to the user experience.

It is important to remember that while the first Model 3s configured for Australia had unlimited connectivity, if you build one now, you’ll only get a year, then have to pay annually. The cost of this has not yet been confirmed but is expected to be around US$100 per year.

Speaking of music, we’re also able to confirm that Model 3 will have Spotify and TuneIn Radio.

The final confirmation we got today is the lack of a browser. You can see in the photo above the app draw features Calendar, Energy, Camera, Charging and Call (emergency with a weird icon). This has been a constant source of frustration of Australian Tesla owners, given it is available (when stopped) in a number of other countries.

Update to the Update
On the 28th of August, Tesla changed their mind and Australians are now receiving the browser in the latest software update.

Update 3
Ok one more, the car on display today did not have Full-Self-Driving enabled. Naturally this is to be expected, given Tesla don’t yet have regulatory approval for the smarter features (like navigate on autopilot) in Australia.

While the Model 3 Performance was definitely the star of the show, the event also featured the following EV/hybrid vehicles:

  • Porsche Panamera Turbo S e-hybrid
  • Jaguar I-Pace SE
  • Hyundai Kona electric
  • Nissan Leaf

The first of the RHD Model 3’s is a big deal as the vehicles on show at Tesla stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane have been the LHD models imported from America.

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwrighthttp://techau.com.au/author/jason/
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021


  1. I’m left eye but right hand dominant. My son is left eye and left hand dominant. Having driven a few Teslas in RHD I found it a bit of a pain as I had to get my left hand to do things it is not normally used too. … My son was “Suck it up Dad. Consider this some form of revenge”

  2. No display cars or test cars have Full Self Driving or Enhanced Autopilot enabled anywhere – it’s not a regulatory thing,

      • Actually, I’ve investigated further & it seems that in Australia it is indeed only running on Telstra’s old 3G network, even though the hardware is 4G capable – a bit annoying for S & X owners (explains the lag on map rendering) Supposedly, Tesla will have to renegotiate the contract or wait until Telstra shuts down the 3G network next year

  3. Really wish I could afford one. But at $97410.00 for the configuration I want I am going to have to stick with my ICE petrol guzzler.

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