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Why Does The Steath Model 3 Exist?

Skotty

2014 S P85 | 2020 3 P19"
Jun 27, 2013
2,528
1,963
Kansas City, MO
Curious what some takes are on why the "stealth" Model 3 exists. I have one myself, and happily so. I like performance paired with the 19" rims, and I don't care much about the other performance model enhancements. Not sure if they ever made other color combos, but at the time I got mine, it was limited to only white exterior with black interior. Not my first choice if I had one, but a combo I was happy with.

Since these cars were lot cars, my guess is it was a way to give the "dealers" performance show cars without having to use up potentially low volume performance model calipers, spoilers, etc. But that's just a WAG.
 

Candleflame

Active Member
Mar 9, 2015
3,329
1,800
QLD, Australia
Curious what some takes are on why the "stealth" Model 3 exists. I have one myself, and happily so. I like performance paired with the 19" rims, and I don't care much about the other performance model enhancements. Not sure if they ever made other color combos, but at the time I got mine, it was limited to only white exterior with black interior. Not my first choice if I had one, but a combo I was happy with.

Since these cars were lot cars, my guess is it was a way to give the "dealers" performance show cars without having to use up potentially low volume performance model calipers, spoilers, etc. But that's just a WAG.

I have a stealth performance and would not consider a non stealth.

I drive a lot without the supercharger network (next charger is 1400km away) so I cannot afford to lose 15-20% range from the bigger wheels.
I also drive a lot in rural areas and cannot afford a flat - so 18" are ideal. they munch potholes for breakfast.
 
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Rmchrger

Member
Feb 21, 2021
97
178
Arlington, Washington
My theory is that at some point they had a supply issue with Performance brakes and/or the 20" wheels. No facts or proof but just a guess and speculation but its possible. If they had say 1000 Performance models coming down the assembly line but only enough Performance brakes for 600. 400 sleeper/stealths created.
Or how about this conspiracy theory. One day on the assembly line, HEY, who forgot to put the Performance brakes on 400 Performance models...DOE! Hey boss, I have an idea...
Would be interesting to know the true story.
 

GreenHokie

Member
Sep 26, 2019
443
523
central Virginia
Obviously, no one really knows why they were built/offered, but my initial thought was…

the Stealth vehicles out there were manufacturing configuration “mistakes” made by Tesla. In other words, Stealths were the Long Range models which got the true Performance motors installed in them by mistake. So, Tesla decided to offer these few “bastard” vehicles at a small premium ($2000) above the regular Long Range model, in order to just get rid of them.

This perception was what made me initially hesitant/suspicious about going for the Stealth. Coming from the ICE selling/buying culture, an off-menu configuration/vehicle like this would be a sure sign that there was something not desirable/wrong with the vehicle (and explains why a manufacturer/dealer would be willing to sell it at such a good price). Another case of something that seems too good to be true. So, proceed with caution…

I’m sure the real reason for existence of the few Stealth vehicles out there, is different than my above perception. Regardless, I am DAMN glad I took a chance and got my Stealth!! 😁 Absolutely, the best and most coveted configuration out there!!!!

By the way, I’ve raced a few other M3 Performance models with their full PUP and am typically a little faster than them, due to my slightly lighter stock set-up.
 
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Sunny5280

Member
Jul 29, 2021
149
96
Colorado
If I had to guess, and that's all what I am about to write is, it was an evolutionary thing. From what I have been able to gather the stealth performance is really just the long range with performance software. At the start of the Model 3 production doing so allowed Tesla to produce two different vehicles (and price points) with merely a software update. They could also increase income by offering an optional performance plus configuration. Once production was ironed out they decided to better differentiate it from the LR model.

I think it's too bad that you can no longer purchase one new as I think many people, I being one, like the acceleration but can benefit from the non-plus configuration. For some performance owners the longer range, wider tire availability, and higher ride height are advantages for the non-plus configuration as they have no interest in tracking their cars.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,892
12,617
Riverside Co. CA
I believe, at the very beginning of the model 3 Performance model launch, the "performance upgrade package" (aka the extra bits that are currently not on the stealth model) was a 5k upcharge. Not long after that, they decided to "include" that stuff and people who had recently bought (and paid for) the PUP package raised a huge stink, and eventually got a chance to trade their free unlimited supercharging for the 5k they spent on the PUP.

So, My personal speculation on the answer to the question was, originally, the Performance upgrade package was going to be an add on purchase, then tesla decided that it would be "easier" to just included it on each car (1 less model, basically). They miscounted how popular the vehicle config might be, however.

They then saw how popular it was, and since at the time there was no additional cost to "make" a Stealth model 3 because the motors were exactly the same on the LR and the Performance, someone saw they could make some quick extra cash for just a software configuration change (something common in the computer industry but rare in vehicles).

So, they made some more, as dealer demos or whenever they didnt have some parts or other for the Performance upgrade package (speculation).
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
13,269
22,151
NC
Yeah LOTS of misunderstandings in earlier posts here.... jjrandorin mostly covers it, but in summaryL


The P3D- (what folks who didn't like that name started calling stealth) was the original base performance model in 2018

The big brakes, 20" wheels, etc, did not come standard on the Performance Model 3.

They were a $5000 option package you could add... (thus making it a P3D+ since it was + this additional option package)

Also note, back in 2018 it was roughly a $10,000-12,000 upgrade to go from LR AWD to P3D-

Also note, back in 2018, the LR AWD and P3D- were physically identical cars with the exact same motors - the entire difference was software.


Anyway, after some time selling it this way, Tesla decided to make the $5000 package the standard config, and stopped allowing people to order, via the website, the "base" vehicle.

They also offered $5000 refunds to everyone who bought a P prior to this change- but the catch was you had to give up free unlimited lifetime supercharging (which those early Ps got). For most that was a great deal.


Anyway, so the P3D- went away as an available config.

And sometime in early/mid 2019 Tesla began switching LR AWD rear motors over to the cheaper, less capable, 990 instead of using the 980 in everything like they did previously. This remains the only physical difference between a P3D- and a newer-built LR AWD.


Then, randomly for no apparent reason, batches of P3D- cars would show up in inventory occasionally- priced only a few thousand more than a LR AWD... And once for a brief period they actually put it back into the online configurator to order, but you no longer got a $5000 discount compared to the + model.


There seemed no rhyme or reason to it- and Tesla never officially offered one. Could be they just had a glut of 980s and/or shortage of 990s so wanted to make a few extra bucks since they were putting the "better" motor in there anyway... suppose they could've also had a shortage of 20" wheels or something, tesla seems to have a lot of problems with wheel supply.. (see how long the 3 referral wheels took for example, or the current 21/19 issue on the Plaid)


The idea they made these by "mistake" though, and made the mistake multiple times since then, is... kind of hilarious.
 

Rmchrger

Member
Feb 21, 2021
97
178
Arlington, Washington
"Then, randomly for no apparent reason, batches of P3D- cars would show up in inventory occasionally- priced only a few thousand more than a LR AWD..."

I was able to pre-order my 2020 about this time. SA had to find it and set it up online for me. He sent me a link with a buy it now option. Ordered Nov 2019, delivered Dec 2019.

The vin # in this pic did eventually change but I received the same car and configuration.

20210910_101443.jpg
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,892
12,617
Riverside Co. CA
Is it still possible to buy a Steath Model 3 ?

I was puzzle by the title: "Why Does The Steath Model 3 Exist?"

I wonder if the title should be changed to: "Why Does The Steath Model 3 Existed?"

In my opinion, no, because the stealth model 3 does still exist. A model that cant be bought any longer, but was purchased by many still "exists" (as all the people who own one would chime in and say). They were not all destroyed or anything, so past tense for "exist" isn't appropriate.

In the same way the Model 3 Limited Edition Mid range cars still "Exist", even though you have not been able to buy a new one for quite some time. These cars will be sold and bought used for quite some time, so "exist" vs "existed" is appropriate, in my opinion.
 

Watts_Up

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
3,723
2,705
In a galaxy far, far away
@jjrandorin , thank you for your reply, but I was wondering if, in US,: "Is it still possible to buy a (new) Steath Model 3 ?"

I mean, a Model 3 Performance without the 20" wheels?

In China, the Model 3 Preformance has 19" wheels as only choice but has the sport brakes and lower suspension.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,892
12,617
Riverside Co. CA
@jjrandorin , thank you for your reply, but I was wondering if, in US,: "Is it still possible to buy a (new) Steath Model 3 ?"

I mean, a Model 3 Performance without the 20" wheels?

In China, the Model 3 Preformance has 19" wheels as only choice but has the sport brakes and lower suspension.
I dont believe that one can buy a brand new model 3 without the performance package directly from tesla any longer, but admittedly do not follow that super closely. I dont follow international versions of the vehicle at all, myself, so have no idea what is or isnt available outside the US to be purchased new.
 

GreenHokie

Member
Sep 26, 2019
443
523
central Virginia
According to one of the Tesla sales advisors I spoke to a few weeks ago when I took my vehicle in for a routine state inspection, Tesla no longer offers the Stealth (P3D- or whatever you want to call it) anymore… even as an off-menu configuration.

Who knows if this is actually true….
 
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Candleflame

Active Member
Mar 9, 2015
3,329
1,800
QLD, Australia
Obviously, no one really knows why they were built/offered, but my initial thought was…

the Stealth vehicles out there were manufacturing configuration “mistakes” made by Tesla. In other words, Stealths were the Long Range models which got the true Performance motors installed in them by mistake. So, Tesla decided to offer these few “bastard” vehicles at a small premium ($2000) above the regular Long Range model, in order to just get rid of them.

This perception was what made me initially hesitant/suspicious about going for the Stealth. Coming from the ICE selling/buying culture, an off-menu configuration/vehicle like this would be a sure sign that there was something not desirable/wrong with the vehicle (and explains why a manufacturer/dealer would be willing to sell it at such a good price). Another case of something that seems too good to be true. So, proceed with caution…

I’m sure the real reason for existence of the few Stealth vehicles out there, is different than my above perception. Regardless, I am DAMN glad I took a chance and got my Stealth!! 😁 Absolutely, the best and most coveted configuration out there!!!!

By the way, I’ve raced a few other M3 Performance models with their full PUP and am typically a little faster than them, due to my slightly lighter stock set-up.

nope. when model 3s first came out in australia the stealth performance was the performance and you could get an optional performance package.
and that was in late 2019. its not a rhd problem either because in the uk they didnt have that option.

the performance was also the same price as a normal AWD.
 

Candleflame

Active Member
Mar 9, 2015
3,329
1,800
QLD, Australia
Yeah LOTS of misunderstandings in earlier posts here.... jjrandorin mostly covers it, but in summaryL


The P3D- (what folks who didn't like that name started calling stealth) was the original base performance model in 2018

The big brakes, 20" wheels, etc, did not come standard on the Performance Model 3.

They were a $5000 option package you could add... (thus making it a P3D+ since it was + this additional option package)

Also note, back in 2018 it was roughly a $10,000-12,000 upgrade to go from LR AWD to P3D-

Also note, back in 2018, the LR AWD and P3D- were physically identical cars with the exact same motors - the entire difference was software.


Anyway, after some time selling it this way, Tesla decided to make the $5000 package the standard config, and stopped allowing people to order, via the website, the "base" vehicle.

They also offered $5000 refunds to everyone who bought a P prior to this change- but the catch was you had to give up free unlimited lifetime supercharging (which those early Ps got). For most that was a great deal.


Anyway, so the P3D- went away as an available config.

And sometime in early/mid 2019 Tesla began switching LR AWD rear motors over to the cheaper, less capable, 990 instead of using the 980 in everything like they did previously. This remains the only physical difference between a P3D- and a newer-built LR AWD.


Then, randomly for no apparent reason, batches of P3D- cars would show up in inventory occasionally- priced only a few thousand more than a LR AWD... And once for a brief period they actually put it back into the online configurator to order, but you no longer got a $5000 discount compared to the + model.


There seemed no rhyme or reason to it- and Tesla never officially offered one. Could be they just had a glut of 980s and/or shortage of 990s so wanted to make a few extra bucks since they were putting the "better" motor in there anyway... suppose they could've also had a shortage of 20" wheels or something, tesla seems to have a lot of problems with wheel supply.. (see how long the 3 referral wheels took for example, or the current 21/19 issue on the Plaid)


The idea they made these by "mistake" though, and made the mistake multiple times since then, is... kind of hilarious.

free supercharging for 5000 usd for almost everyone a bad deal. people completely overestimate the money they spend on long distance travel charging
 
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