Are you tired of driving around in a Tesla that looks like every other one on the road? Let’s face it: the Model 3 is a great car, but it’s not exactly a head-turner. The good news is, with all the modifications available on the market, you can go from mild to wild.
If you want to add some visual flair to your vehicle and make a statement on the road, you’ll want to stick around.
In this article, I’ll show you how to modify your Tesla Model 3 exterior to achieve a sporty look that will surely get noticed.
I’ve already covered the Model 3 body kits, so we’ll discuss how to choose and match more budget-friendly exterior upgrades for your car. To clarify, I don’t mean cheap, poor-quality mods.
Considerations When Modifying Model 3 Exterior
Without a doubt, the most important thing when customizing your Tesla Model 3 exterior is meeting your personal preferences. But there are other factors you should consider at the start of that journey. Before we move to the actual modifications, let’s look at those.
This relates mainly to the body parts and aftermarket wheels you might want to install on your Tesla. You should go for mods made of light solid materials in both cases.
For spoilers, side skirts, diffusers, etc., genuine carbon fiber is a must to keep your vehicle weight in check. As for the Model 3 rims, a flow-formed or forged alloy is the way to go.
Usually, higher prices would translate to better quality, but that’s not always the case with Tesla exterior mods. While most come from China, many US-based websites sell those at premium prices.
I bought a lot of Model 3 mods from Amazon, and so far have no regrets. As for the Chinese websites, you may wait a little longer, but the pricing and no import tax on their products are worth it in most cases..
Make sure you read the product description and customer reviews carefully. Sometimes accessories for Model Y are described as they’re for Tesla Model 3 or vice-versa. I’ve seen it a few times.
Before buying exterior modifications, think if those will match your Tesla’s color. For example, if you have a matte vinyl wrap, a glossy carbon fiber lip or wing will better complement it.
Considering the ease and cost of installation is also very important for your Tesla project, especially if you don’t have any experience with automotive customization and are on a tight budget.
Installing a chrome delete kit or tinting the windows of your vehicle are relatively easy DIY customizations. Still, some tips from other Tesla owners will be helpful for a first-timer.
A combination of proper research and wise decisions will ensure that your Model 3 exterior modifications are both cost-effective and visually appealing.
What Are the Model 3 Exterior Mods I’ll Cover?
Since the topic is achieving a sporty look for your Tesla Model 3, we’ll focus on visual rather than performance modifications. I’ll go through carbon fiber spoilers, aftermarket lights, and upgrades related to the wheels.
Upgrading your suspension will also impact your car’s appearance, but I’ve covered that in my How to Lower Model 3 article. So, let’s see what it takes to get that sleek Tesla look you’re after.
Carbon Fiber Parts
Whether you want a matte or gloss finish, I recommend buying genuine carbon fiber parts for all the benefits they offer. These are lightweight and durable, giving your Tesla Model 3 a sporty, subtle look. Let’s start with the basics.
Front Lip Spoiler
As I mentioned, we’ll discuss more budget-oriented options. Instead of spending a couple of thousand on a custom front facia/bumper, get your Model 3 a front lip spoiler for starters.
A good quality front lip made of real carbon fiber can be found in the $100 to $300 range. Installation is easy, and the enhanced aerodynamics are worth the money.
The mirror covers are one of my favorite Tesla carbon fiber mods. If you have a chrome delete and/or front lip installed on your Model 3, those will add more style and protect your original mirrors. This mod is a no-brainer and is available at a low cost for all trim levels.
Moving to the back of your car, a little trunk lip spoiler will make a noticeable difference. The installation and cost are similar to those of the front lip. In other words, for around $500, you could have your Tesla Model 3 looking a bit sportier from any angle.
Skirts are a modification to consider after you’ve spent the $500 we talked about above. I’ve seen some guys installing side skirts as individual mod on their cars just because they found a good deal.
It looks ridiculous. So don’t rush; you can add those to your Model 3 later.
Diffusers are generally intended for those who want a more aggressive appearance when modifying a street car. However, if you find a clean, simple design that you like, you can install a rear diffuser.
It can be a good match to a bare front lip, but choose carefully or get ready to spend another $1,000+ for upgrading the front bumper of your car.
Installing body mods one at a time has its benefits, even if you’re not on a budget. It gives you time to pick the right ones and excites you when adding each item to your Model 3.
LED Lighting Exterior Upgrades
As with any other Tesla Model 3 customization options, there are a ton of lightning upgrades. Most will ruin your car if you ask me, but we all have different opinions on what makes a vehicle stand out.
Therefore, a couple of ways to customize the lights are worth mentioning.
There are some cheap replacements, but even if you like the way they look, think about the negative impact those will potentially have on the visibility.
There are also better-quality LED headlights for Teslas that cost north of $1,500. Even those are considered illegal modifications in most states across the US.
I’m sure you could think of better ways to invest such an amount of money into your Model 3. If you want to make some changes, tinting the headlights using vinyl overlays is easy, cheap, and protective. You can also choose from different colors.
Now, that’s a different story. A set of nice custom tail lights made a big difference in every car I’ve owned, and my Tesla Model 3 is no exception. OE quality replacements start from $500 and are a plug-and-play upgrade with everything you need included.
The LED looks cool when you hit the brakes, and the sequential turn signals are some of my favorite features of modern cars. You can also pick a different housing to contrast the color of your Tesla exterior.
Don’t mess with your headlights unless you’re confident about the effect of that particular mod on your Tesla’s look and visibility.
Aftermarket Wheels & Accessories
With multiple options on the market and potential impact on your Tesla performance and range, there are a lot of mistakes to avoid. Let’s talk about each wheel-related upgrade, starting with the cheapest.
The most simple way to customize the look of your wheels is to get some lug nut covers. An inexpensive Tesla wheel accessory that comes in a variety of colors. If you’re not planning to change those every month, a set of lightweight lug nuts will be a better choice.
Hubcaps are an easy and cost-effective way to enhance the look of your factory Tesla wheels. They also increase the lifespan of each wheel by protecting it from dirt and damage.
To be satisfied with this exterior mod, you only need to pick a pattern and check the feedback from other Tesla owners. If you want to explore the options, here is a list of wheel covers for Model 3/Y.
Spacers are another way to get a sportier look without changing the wheels. You can improve the stance and handling of your car, but there are quite a few things to consider. To better understand the types of wheel spacers and see some fitment tips, check out my handy guide.
Aftermarket wheels have always been my number one modification. And there is no lack of Tesla Model 3 wheel options. A variety of companies offer all kinds of designs and finishes.
A nice set of rims will impact your Tesla’s appearance the most. It will also cost you the most, and many things can go wrong if you don’t know how to get the right fitment.
Other Reasons to Modify Your Model 3 Exterior
By modifying the exterior, you obviously want to make your Tesla look sporty. But there are other reasons why Model 3 owners customize their vehicle’s exterior. I thought a few paragraphs on those would be a nice way to end the topic.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
As Tesla continues to innovate, some owners worry that their cars will start to look outdated. This concern has only been heightened by the recent announcement of the Model 3 Project Highland, which promises to bring significant updates and improvements to the popular electric vehicle.
Express Your Personality
Modifying a Tesla Model 3’s exterior can also be a way to express one’s personality. Some folks add decals or graphics to their car to show off their interests or favorite sports team. Others choose wild paint jobs or vinyl wraps to catch the eyeballs at car meets and attract sponsors for parts.
Improve the Performance
There are specific exterior customizations, which are also performance mods. Enhancing your Tesla’s aerodynamics can help reduce drag and improve handling. Light rims and body kits minimize weight and improve Model 3’s acceleration and range. Something to keep in mind if you have a bigger budget.