Elon Musk drops new specifications for Tesla's Model 3 updates: $78,000 at the high end, and 'quicker than a BMW'

Key Points
  • Tesla's CEO is boasting that a Model 3 update will be faster than a comparable BMW and can "beat anything in its class on a track."
  • The Model 3 has been dogged by production backlogs.
Tesla email hints at Model 3 production breakthrough

Elon Musk has boasted of adding new bells and whistles to Tesla's Model 3, classifying the highest end version as a car that rides quickly, smoothly and has the ability to "beat anything in its class."

In a series of posts on Twitter, Tesla's CEO announced that he was working on two separate versions of the car, with dual motor capabilities that are "optimized for power and...for range."

He outlined a list of specifications: the all-wheel drive (AWD) performance Model 3 will boast a top speed of 155 miles per hour, can go from 0-60 in less than four seconds, and has a top range of 310 miles.

Starting at $78,000, the AWD performance Model 3 would make it pricier than BMW's high performance M3 that's priced over $67,000 and marketed as the "ultimate driving machine." Musk, however, boasted the Model 3 would be faster and easier to handle. The AWD performance Model 3 "will beat anything in its class on the track," the billionaire added.

A normal dual-motor will be less costly, Musk said, but will do 0-60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 140 miles per hour.

Musk's tease comes as a recent report suggested the Model 3 could take a production leap in spite of its well-publicized woes. Tesla has struggled to ramp up production of the Model 3, which is expected to catapult Tesla into the ranks of mainstream auto producers, instead of a niche purveyor of high-end roadsters.

Electric car blog Electrek, citing a leaked email from Musk to employees, said it was "quite likely" Tesla will make more than 500 Model 3 cars per day this week.

If that prediction holds true, then Tesla could conceivably hit a weekly production rate of 3,500 cars per week. The company is trying to reach a production rate of 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of the quarter, but has had to push back that timetable.

Musk and his ambitions have come under withering scrutiny, heightened recently by a controversial earnings call in which the billionaire was openly dismissive of analysts' questions.

Last month, Musk boasted that Tesla would be cash-positive in the second half of this year. However, a number of prominent Wall Street analysts have warned the company is facing a cash crunch, and may need to tap the market sooner rather than later. Goldman Sachs estimates Tesla may require as much as $10 billion in additional capital by 2020.

Tesla' stock, which shed nearly 3 percent in Friday's trading session, is down more than 11 percent year-to-date.

—CNBC's Robert Ferris contributed to this story.

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