A modified Tesla Model 3 Performance is being trialled in the UK as a police highway patrol vehicle.
It’s unclear exactly what features the law enforcement-spec sedan picks up for official duties (beyond the external livery, sirens and lights), however the car was reportedly custom-built by Tesla's UK division to gauge interest for electric vehicle uptake across the wider fleet.
In 2020, the UK government announced its intention to prohibit the sale of new internal combustion vehicles by the end of the decade. Emergency services – including police, paramedics, and fire response teams – will not be exempt from the ban.
Drive in the Tesla Model 3 Performance comes from dual electric motors mounted to the front and rear axles, sending a combined 335kW/638Nm to all four wheels.
That’s enough to launch the 1847kg vehicle from 0-100km/h in a claimed 3.3 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 261km/h.
For reference, the Kia Stinger – currently used by police in Queensland, the Northern Territory, and Western Australia – completes the same sprint in about 5.0 seconds.
The 206kW all-wheel drive Volkswagen Passat (as used in Victoria) does the 0 to 100km/h dash in a claimed 5.7 seconds.
Pricing in Australia for the Tesla Model 3 Performance starts from $94,058 before on-road costs, up almost 50 per cent over the entry-level, rear-wheel drive Standard Range Plus variant ($62,900).
This is not the first time law enforcement has looked to zero-emission automotive alternatives – Victorian police currently have a Tesla Model X SUV on fleet, while NSW police have been loaned Hyundai Ioniq Electric and Kona Electric vehicles.