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Visual differences in LR AWD vs Performance?

sdoja3

Member
Oct 19, 2021
27
7
Chicago
Before you drag me as a first time poster etc., please hear me out first...

I'm in the market to purchase a used LR AWD and/or Performance model. However after months of research and monitoring the market, I've come across some potential "issues" that I am seeking your experienced opinions on. Is there a sure fire way to distinguish between a Model 3 LR AWD and a Performance model?

The reason I ask is this:
In my research and preparation before my purchase, I spoke with my insurance agent whom happens to be a friend. I threw some VIN numbers at him from carvana of potential vehicles in my wheel house, both of which were LR AWD and P. Some of the quotes came back on the high end for the LR AWD, basically in-line with the Performance quotes. Upon seeing this, I asked him whats the deal? He went on to say confidentially that per their system upon entering a Tesla VIN for a quote, they cant distinguish between the Performance and LR AWD vehicles. Ok, so I dove deeper.

After reading countless posts on this forum, I've heard a lot about the rear spoiler being bigger on the peformance model. Also the dual motor badge on the rear will have a line underneath on the performance model. However with everyone starting to customize their own vehicles after purchase (ie removing and adding badges, etc.) I'm finding it hard to confirm which vehicles are in-fact standard LR AWD and Performance models.

Case in point, checkout this so called LR AWD on carvana. Is the spoiler on this aftermarket, or was it sometimes standard for the 2018 model? No line under the "DM" badge, but its still throwing me for a loop.
LR AWD

In conclusion, if anyone has a way to 100% visually distinguish between these models I would greatly appreciate the insight.
Thank you.
 

MorrisonHiker

Well-Known Member
Mar 8, 2015
10,333
10,152
Colorado
There's no real way to confirm from the outside whether the car is Performance or Long Range since spoilers, badges, brake calipers, etc. can all be customized. Only the Performance comes with a spoiler by default but it can be added to any car. Also, Tesla has only made one OEM spoiler for the Model 3 so if you've seen different sized spoilers, they weren't OEM.

Picture 4 on that listing confirms it is a Long Range.
2001264373-manual-02.jpg
 
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GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,575
1,438
Quebec City, Canada
The ad must show the settings page in the UI that displays the model, options and mileage. You will see there if it's a performance, from the red underline under dual motor. Looking at the exterior of the car will never be definitive.
 

sdoja3

Member
Oct 19, 2021
27
7
Chicago
Thank you, gentlemen.
On that note, understanding that the true model has to be confirmed via the UI, do you think that some of these large scale online dealers that are cycling through volumes of cars potentially have Performance models actually listed as LR AWD vehicles?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,452
13,328
Riverside Co. CA
Thank you, gentlemen.
On that note, understanding that the true model has to be confirmed via the UI, do you think that some of these large scale online dealers that are cycling through volumes of cars potentially have Performance models actually listed as LR AWD vehicles?

Possibly, but unlikely because they would have (hopefully) purchased the car and checked that screen mentioned above, which is the ONLY way to know for sure. Let me repeat that because even though its been said this is extremely important"

There is NO visual way on the outside of the car to verify whether a car is a long range or performance model. NONE, ZIP, Zero. The badge on the back of the car didnt even come installed in 2018, and you had to pick it up later.

The spoiler comes with the performance package, but not all performance cars have it. In 2018 it was part of the package but didnt exist. It was almost a year before the spoiler was available, and you could either go get it installed or have them give it to you to sell if you didnt want it installed.

Spoilers can be purchased, brakes painted red or replaced, pedal covers exist to change the pedal look etc. Additionally, in 2018, the vin DID NOT denote the difference between the Long range and the performance model. In 2019 ish, that changed, but in 2018 the vins are indistinguishable.

There are performance models without the performance package, that include none of that stuff (spoiler, pedals, etc et) and are true performance models.

So, do not go by ANY external visible item to determine if a tesla model 3 is a performance or not. Dont even go by the vin, if you are looking at 2018s (better to not go by the vin at all, actually).


ScottNY,
If it was a performance model would it infact say “Performance” in that photo?

No, on a performance model the "DUAL MOTOR" in that screenshot has a red underline under it. We currently do not know of any way of faking that. Of course, someone could photoshop a picture or something, but in person, if the car has a red underline under the words DUAL MOTOR, on the cars screen, it is a performance. Other than that, no way to definitively tell.
 
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sdoja3

Member
Oct 19, 2021
27
7
Chicago
Possibly, but unlikely because they would have (hopefully) purchased the car and checked that screen mentioned above, which is the ONLY way to know for sure. Let me repeat that because even though its been said this is extremely important"

There is NO visual way on the outside of the car to verify whether a car is a long range or performance model. NONE, ZIP, Zero. The badge on the back of the car didnt even come installed in 2018, and you had to pick it up later.

The spoiler comes with the performance package, but not all performance cars have it. In 2018 it was part of the package but didnt exist. It was almost a year before the spoiler was available, and you could either go get it installed or have them give it to you to sell if you didnt want it installed.

Spoilers can be purchased, brakes painted red or replaced, pedal covers exist to change the pedal look etc. Additionally, in 2018, the vin DID NOT denote the difference between the Long range and the performance model. In 2019 ish, that changed, but in 2018 the vins are indistinguishable.

There are performance models without the performance package, that include none of that stuff (spoiler, pedals, etc et) and are true performance models.

So, do not go by ANY external visible item to determine if a tesla model 3 is a performance or not. Dont even go by the vin, if you are looking at 2018s (better to not go by the vin at all, actually).




No, on a performance model the "DUAL MOTOR" in that screenshot has a red underline under it. We currently do not know of any way of faking that. Of course, someone could photoshop a picture or something, but in person, if the car has a red underline under the words DUAL MOTOR, on the cars screen, it is a performance. Other than that, no way to definitively tell.
Much appreciated, JJ.
Thank you.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,452
13,328
Riverside Co. CA
Much appreciated, JJ.
Thank you.

Sure, Np!

FWIW, my model 3 is a 2018 Model 3 Performance, so I have personal experience with the stuff I mentioned above. The "dual motor" decklid badge with the red underline sits on a shelf in my house. My vin doesnt denote the difference between LR AWD and performance, my spoiler didnt come installed etc. This was "how it was" for 2018 model 3 performance sold with the performance package after late september of 2018.

The performance package is an "included addon" now but it wasnt in early 2018, it cost additional money, and many didnt buy it. As I said, there are also "stealth performance" vehicles which tesla even sold that way, that have no visual differentiation.
 

sdoja3

Member
Oct 19, 2021
27
7
Chicago
Sure, Np!

FWIW, my model 3 is a 2018 Model 3 Performance, so I have personal experience with the stuff I mentioned above. The "dual motor" decklid badge with the red underline sits on a shelf in my house. My vin doesnt denote the difference between LR AWD and performance, my spoiler didnt come installed etc. This was "how it was" for 2018 model 3 performance sold with the performance package after late september of 2018.

The performance package is an "included addon" now but it wasnt in early 2018, it cost additional money, and many didnt buy it. As I said, there are also "stealth performance" vehicles which tesla even sold that way, that have no visual differentiation.
Understood.
However does that spoiler on the LR AWD referenced above throw you for a loop at all? Was that an option back then, or potentially added on after the fact?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,452
13,328
Riverside Co. CA
Understood.
However does that spoiler on the LR AWD referenced above throw you for a loop at all? Was that an option back then, or potentially added on after the fact?

I didnt see a picture with a spoiler, but as I mentioned, not only are there plenty of aftermarket spoilers that people can buy and install, the OEM spoiler on many model 3s didnt even come with the vehicle when it was launched, so plenty of people picked them up when they finally were available 6-9 months later, and then sold them.

It would not be that unusual to find an OEM spoiler on a LR AWD model 3, or even an SR+. In a tale as old as people purchasing cars, lots of people buy the "lower end model" then try to make it look like the more expensive model. With a tesla, you can do this fairly easily.
 

Jeremy3292

Gas Is Slow
Jul 7, 2021
680
629
South Carolina
I agree with the posters above. That is not a performance M3; it is a LR. Spoiler and pedals are aftermarket additions.

Also unless you a need a car today or next week, you might as well just buy a brand new M3 LR for $49,990 from Tesla rn instead of the used one you are referencing for $48,990. Current M3 LR delivery times are December, but it also said November when I ordered in August and I took delivery 3 weeks later
 
Last edited:

sdoja3

Member
Oct 19, 2021
27
7
Chicago
I agree with the posters above. That is not a performance M3; it is a LR. Spoiler and pedals are aftermarket additions.

Also unless you a need a car today or next week, you might as well just buy a brand new M3 LR for $49,990 from Tesla rn instead of the used one you are referencing for $48,990. Current M3 LR delivery times are December, but it also said November when I ordered in August and I took delivery 3 weeks later
Jeremy,
Appreciate your confirmation. Thanks for the spoiler and pedals insight as well.

I looked into the new M3 LR option, however I never landed at the $49k mark to be candid. After adding the exterior color gray and including the upgraded rims, it always seemed to make the price relatively higher than the $48,990 used.
 

Jeremy3292

Gas Is Slow
Jul 7, 2021
680
629
South Carolina
Jeremy,
Appreciate your confirmation. Thanks for the spoiler and pedals insight as well.

I looked into the new M3 LR option, however I never landed at the $49k mark to be candid. After adding the exterior color gray and including the upgraded rims, it always seemed to make the price relatively higher than the $48,990 used.
There were some major upgrades made to the 2021 M3 in case you were unaware. I would read some of the plentiful articles and threads on here about it. I see you also live in a cold climate. One of the changes was the addition of a heat pump which is more efficient and provides better heating.

I personally do not like the 19" rims as they are very easily ruined (dented) on a pothole with the tiny sidewalls. I have the 18" wheels with the aero caps removed and they are really nice. They also don't cost $1,500 extra. Again, many articles and threads on this topic where people have to buy new rims bc they hit a pothole..

I am not trying to change your mind if you are set on certain things, but there could be some facts and info you were not aware of.
 
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TexasTezla

Member
Feb 28, 2020
342
269
Texas
There were some major upgrades made to the 2021 M3 in case you were unaware. I would read some of the plentiful articles and threads on here about it. I see you also live in a cold climate. One of the changes was the addition of a heat pump which is more efficient and provides better heating.

I personally do not like the 19" rims as they are very easily ruined (dented) on a pothole with the tiny sidewalls. I have the 18" wheels with the aero caps removed and they are really nice. They also don't cost $1,500 extra. Again, many articles and threads on this topic where people have to buy new rims bc they hit a pothole..

I am not trying to change your mind if you are set on certain things, but there could be some facts and info you were not aware of.
Major upgrades? As far as I know the heat pump was the only major difference? What else were major upgrades?
 

Jeremy3292

Gas Is Slow
Jul 7, 2021
680
629
South Carolina
Major upgrades? As far as I know the heat pump was the only major difference? What else were major upgrades?
There were numerous changes...off the top of my head:
  1. Heat pump
  2. Powered trunk
  3. Double paned front windows
  4. Heated steering wheel on LR and P trims
  5. Larger 82 kWh battery on LR and P trims (previous 78 kWh)
  6. New 2170L battery cells instead of 2170C cells on LR and P trims
  7. New headlights
  8. New trunk gasket for better water runoff
  9. USB-C instead of USB-A ports
  10. New accent leather stitching on center console
  11. Black exterior trim instead of chrome
  12. USB drive included in glove box
  13. New aero covers
  14. Completely redesigned center console and charging pad
  15. Metal scrolling wheels
  16. Magnetic sun visor clips
  17. New door insert trim
I'm sure there are others I'm missing also.
 

focher

Active Member
Oct 15, 2013
1,197
2,037
Bay Area
There is one other way to distinguish a P. It has Track Mode in the car settings.

Just to be clear as someone referred to it above, but the 2018 Performance models did not have an identifier in the VIN to distinguish it from an AWD. The 2019 and beyond models have a VIN that definitely identifies the Performance models.
 
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holmgang

Active Member
Sep 9, 2019
1,342
1,484
eu
The reason I ask is this:
In my research and preparation before my purchase, I spoke with my insurance agent whom happens to be a friend. I threw some VIN numbers at him from carvana of potential vehicles in my wheel house, both of which were LR AWD and P. Some of the quotes came back on the high end for the LR AWD, basically in-line with the Performance quotes. Upon seeing this, I asked him whats the deal? He went on to say confidentially that per their system upon entering a Tesla VIN for a quote, they cant distinguish between the Performance and LR AWD vehicles. Ok, so I dove deeper.
The real why of the question is why might insurance company not really distinguish between Performance and LR AWD? Insurance rates are based on risk/incidence rates and cost of claims. (lets not get into nitty gritty over real actuarial mechanics).

The components of the car is 99% similar. For a long time, it was rumored the motor were identical (so-called 980 units). Lip spoiler costs almost nothing. Suspension and brakes barely different. Wheels and tires are different but not with huge $ delta. For repairs and parts replacement the costs costs across the 2 cars is a scratch. The capabilities (high HP AWD) are the similar. And besides outright replacement costs, I think in the insurance model it matters very little.

It is unlike the difference insuring a Honda Civic 1.5L vs Civic Type R
 

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