'Model 3 Performance': Way Ahead of Its Time

By Michael Teich

Tesla's Model 3 Performance vehicle is bad news for the company's haters, said Wall Street Journal auto columnist Dan Neil.

"Tesla runs their company in a different way, and it drives people crazy. But you can't argue with the results," Neil told Cheddar in an interview Friday.

Earlier this year, CEO Elon Musk announced the high-performance Model 3 Performance vehicle on Twitter. According to Musk, the dual-motor, all-wheel drive car "will beat anything in its class on the track." Neil was the first person to test drive it, and he was thoroughly impressed.

"This thing is magnificent, a little rainbow-farting space ship," he said in his review. "They have a schedule of innovation ahead of them."

Sans additions, the base price of the Tesla Model 3 Performance is $64,000, but it may sell for $78,000 with certain upgrades. The car is advertised with a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of 3.5 seconds.

Whether reviews of the souped-up version will make up for recent struggles at Tesla remains to be seen. Many Wall Street analysts have grown skeptical of the company's capacity to meet expectations for even the regular version of the Model 3, which is supposed to cost as little as $35,000, though that configuration isn't available yet. And CEO Elon Musk's latest blunders on Twitter aren't helping. Even if Tesla overcomes the hurdles of production, investment bank Needham says consumers are losing patience: the analyst estimates that about one in every four Model 3 orders is canceled, about twice the rate of late year's reports.

For the full segment, click here.

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