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Tesla's performance Model 3 variant is coming in 2018

Elon Musk has to make it through "hell" before that happens, though.

Tesla has finally started series production of the Model 3, which will ramp up over the next several months. For those yearning for a performance-oriented Model 3, you'll have to wait, but it shouldn't take that long.

Someone on Twitter asked Tesla CEO Elon Musk when a performance variant of the Model 3 would be ready for the big time. Musk, being a big Twitter user (tweeter?), responded and said, "Probably middle of next year."

For now, though, the priority is on "Model 3 production hell," as Musk calls it. He points out that adding more variants will only complicate the already delicate production schedule, which radically ramps up production volumes through the beginning of 2018.

Tesla has hundreds of thousands of deposits for Model 3s, and buyers are already champing at the bit to get theirs as fast as possible. Slowing that down just to add a performance variant, which will likely be the most expensive Model 3 to date, wouldn't improve matters any.

Tesla isn't even starting production with its $35,000 base model. Instead, the first batch of Model 3s will carry all the same equipment, including the $9,000 long-range battery and the $5,000 premium package, likely in an attempt to simplify early production efforts. Over time, the $35,000 Model 3 will enter production, with a dual-motor, all-wheel drive version coming in 2018 as well.