A Model 3 Standard Range Plus with a larger battery is being put to the test in New Zealand, where the first model has been received by a customer.
This is considered a “unicorn” Model 3, because while it has the larger 62.3kWh battery recently confirmed in early November resulting in an increase in range, it also retains the original 5.6 second 0-100km/hr acceleration.
As noted by The Driven, the next incarnation of the base variant Model 3 has dropped the Standard Range Plus moniker but also has a decrease in acceleration to 6.1 seconds.
Not that this puts it behind its competitors, as noted in our article here, but it does mean that a limited number of lucky Tesla customers in both Australia and New Zealand will get both the larger battery with longer range, and the original acceleration.
According to a tweet by Tesla tracker @Vedaprime who is in contact with Knight, the unicorn Model 3 has 491km driving range according to WLTP standards, and a real world range of 444km according to the vehicle’s range estimator.
That is 20km more than this author’s Model 3 SR+ with 50kWh LFP battery had when first purchased.
And because the new battery is also an LFP, drivers will also likely enjoy minimal degradation. While some owners of Model 3s with Tesla’s NCA battery report an 8% degradation after 20,000km, after about 12,000km mine still says about 419km, a degradation of just 1.1%.
Unicorn tests underway on new ANZ Q4 #Tesla Model 3 SR+. Battery range is confirmed as larger.
Test 1 – Q4 SR+ In-car displayed range at 100% state of charge charge is now – 444km
Test 2 will be acceleration test
— VedaPrime (@VedaPrime) November 11, 2021
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.