Tesla Model 3 Performance lands at A$80k, avoiding Luxury Car Tax, ridiculous value for the performance and technology

    Coming to Australian roads in July, the new Tesla Model 3 Performance was officially announced yesterday and is now available to order. The new car features many new upgrades over the first Model 3 Performance offered in Australia in late 2019.

    The Model 3 Performance, All-Wheel Drive features a 528km range (WLPT), a top speed of 262 km/h and faster 0-100 km/h time of just 3.1 seconds, down 0.2s from the original 3.3 (after a software update).

    There’s a lot to like about the refreshed Model 3 Performance and with the wait for the Performance-spec over, it joins the refreshed Model 3 (rear-wheel drive) [review here] and long range (all-wheel drive).

    We’ll get into the features in a minute, but the price is absolutely ridiculous value for the performance, technology in this vehicle.


    When the Model 3 first launched in Australia in 2019, you could by the standard range or performance models (long range came later) and if you went for the faster option, needed to part ways with the best part of A$100,000 to have it in your driveway.

    Fast forward to 5 years to 2024 and the new refreshed Model 3 Performance is a much, much better car at a much lower driveaway price of $87,219 (VIC). So how do they achieve this price ?

    Tesla’s improvements to cost of goods sold through engineering improvements like the Gigapress, along with scales of economies for battery production (partners included), mean the car has a base price of just A$80,900.

    This figure means the car lands below the Luxury car tax threshold which in 2023-2024 is A$89,332 for fuel efficient vehicles. Back in 2019, the LCT cap was $75,526 which meant the cost to purchase was increased by many thousands of dollars. Thankfully with a higher threshold and lower vehicle price, the LCT cost is now $0.

    There is enough room to add the A$1,500 white interior upgrade and the Enhanced Autopilot software upgrade, and still be under the LCT threshold.

    If you’re someone who believes Tesla will solve autonomy and want FSD, the lower initial price allows you to add the A$10,100 Full Self Driving software upgrade and be out the door for A$98,829 (VIC), noting that you will pay A$1,040 in LCT.

    By comparison, the BYD Seal Performance is now a distant 0.7 seconds slower, with a 3.8 seconds 0-100km/h time (note this does come at a cheaper A$70,209 driveaway price).


    The new Tesla Model 3 Performance features all of the long list of upgrades seen on the refreshed Model 3, but plenty of unique differences to achieve a different level of performance and very visibly stand out from the pack.

    Upgraded bucket seats
    These seats still feature the heated/cooling now offered in the Model 3, but are now bolstered to hold you in as you hook through the turns at speed.

    Front and rear exterior styling
    The front and rear bars were reworked with the refresh, but the performance model takes those changes and makes them even more agreesive. In in the non-performance models, they removed the lower fog lights, so the lower section is one streamlined bar, while the performance adds back some design elements to break up the flat structure.

    On the rear, the lower diffuser is even more agressive, controlling the airflow as it exists the vehicle, along with a revised rear spoiler, important when you’re tavelling at higher speeds (i.e. on the track).

    New 20″ Warp Wheels
    There is currently just one option for wheels on the refreshed Model 3 Performance. While Tesla has always offered aero caps for their wheels, this new Warp Wheel comes with aero pieces that can be removed and while you sacrifice efficiency, you improve the syling.

    Adaptive Suspension
    Engineered for performance, the M3P now features all-new adaptive damping, controlled by in-house software which is designed for enhanced body control, and Tesla says they can do this without sacrificing daily usability or comfort.

    Track Model V3
    Track Mode is one of those features that is great if you ever track your car. For those buying at the top end of the Model 3 lineup, that definitely shows a focus on performance and the chance those buyers will head to the track is defintiely greater (I’m a good example of this).

    I appreaciate track Mode V2 that we have in our cars today, but there’s a new Track Mode V3 on the way that features new calibration for the powertrain and adaptive suspension to give you more authority behind the wheel. You will be able to customise the handling balance, stability controls and regenerative braking to set the car up how you like it.

    Track Mode can also record vehicle telemetry to the USB drive in the car and be overlayed on footage. At this stage it is not clear if Track Mode V3 will arrive to legacy M3P vehicles.

    Performance Brakes
    When pushing the car at the track, being able to slow the car is critical. Tesla says there’s now an enhanced pedal feel and improved heat management ensure consistent braking at all speeds and across a wider temperature range.

    Carbon Fiber Dash
    In theory the dash trim in the refreshed Model 3 is replacable, but as yet Tesla has only offered what comes pre-installed. The Performance Model 3 gets its own carbon-fibre look with a refined weave pattern.

    For more information, or to place your order, head to

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    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. Yes, I want one!
      Yet, I still absolutely adore my 2019 M3P, (which has EAP and lifetime connectivity).
      TBH I can’t really justify the update, so will sit on the fence for now.
      I’d better NOT have a test drive, as no doubt that would push me off the fence.

      I love the way Tesla have continued to drop prices, making EVs more affordable for all. ICE manufacturers basically never do that!

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