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Tesla is about to introduce a Model 3 Plus in China – but if you’re hoping for a new Performance or Plaid edition, don’t get excited just yet.

Tesla Model 3 Plus dual-motor, image from Chinese government regulatory filings.

Photos of a new Tesla Model 3 ‘Plus’ edition have leaked in China, ahead of first showroom arrivals due imminently.

But for buyers hoping it is the return of the Performance model, or an even-faster Plaid flagship – dampen your excitement.

It is the first time the Model 3 Long Range has been sold in China since 2021, as the outgoing model line-up has consisted of standard-range rear-wheel-drive and long-range, all-wheel-drive Performance models for some time.

Tesla Model 3 Plus dual-motor, image from Chinese government regulatory filings.

The return of the Tesla Model 3 Performance hangs under a cloud, and is yet to be confirmed.

Unverified reports out of China claim a new Performance could go into production by the end of this year, and may bring mechanical upgrades and more power over the old model.

Updated Tesla Model 3, official photos.

Chinese government documents suggest regular versions of the updated Model 3 are less powerful than its predecessors, developing 194kW in Rear-Wheel Drive form (vs 208kW quoted previously), and 331kW for the Long Range (vs 366kW previously).

However according to Tesla’s performance claims, it is no slower – recording unchanged 0-100km/h acceleration times of 6.1 seconds for the RWD, and 4.4 seconds for the Long Range.

It is unclear if performance improvements have been made elsewhere, if Tesla is being less conservative with its new acceleration figures, or if the new power figures submitted to the Chinese government are inaccurate.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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