Today’s featured ride belongs to a great car guy. His name is Matt Barnes, and he is one of the creative gurus at the German Automotive Syndicate in Atlanta.
A Tesla Model 3 Performance modified by someone who’s been around cars for decades is the inspiration you might need for your project.
I decided to cover his custom Tesla for two reasons:
- In my opinion, Matt’s Tesla Model 3 Performance is modified just right. From the color to the choice of wheels, and aftermarket parts, I love everything he did to his Performance Model.
- While most folks are trying to figure out which one is better, Matt and I share a passion for both old BMW cars and Teslas. He had a V8-powered stick shift E39, and I have an E46 and E38.
Matt’s Tesla journey didn’t start with this Performance Model. He had another modded Model 3, which sadly got totaled in an accident. Barnes didn’t get injured and credited the Tesla safety features, particularly the auto braking that prevented him from hitting a wall.
Now let’s talk about Matt’s modified Tesla Model 3 Performance.
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Matt’s Tesla Model 3 Modifications
Matt ordered the replacement for his totaled Tesla Model 3 Long Range in late September 2020 and took delivery the next month. He started to modify the 2021 Model 3 Performance right away, and below is the list of car modifications.
Matt chose a Satin Black Avery wrap from Glass Tiger Auto Aesthetics, which was applied over the factory Tesla black paint. The wrap was further enhanced with embossing stickers underneath and racing stripes, creating an aggressive but tasteful customized look.
The Exterior Upgrades
Being a seasoned gearhead, Matt knew that a body kit was the way to take a Tesla Model 3 Performance to the next level. He tried a couple of body kits before he found the right one, which doesn’t require a lot of modifications and looks good on his car.
As you probably know, the Tesla aftermarket parts scene is still limited, and it’s hard to find high-quality exterior mods that fit well. Matt decided to ask around, and one of his car buddies, who also owns a modded Model 3, recommended this front bumper lip from EOS.
Checking out the Hayward CA based company, Matt saw that these guys offer many body kits and accessories for domestic cars, including all Tesla models. To enhance the appearance and increase downforce, he purchased the lip, side skirts, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler from the Extreme Online Store.
The Suspension Mods
While Matt used lowering springs on his last Tesla, he decided to go with a coilover suspension setup on the Model 3 Performance. The decision was again made based on advice from a fellow modified Model 3 owner who lowered his car with BC Racing coilovers.
Matt also upgraded his Tesla Model 3 with rear camber arms from Mountain Pass Performace to improve the handling. He says this suspension setup provides the adjustability and flexibility that can’t be achieved with lowering springs and sway bars.
The Wheel & Tire Combo
When it comes to wheels and tires, Matt went with a combo that contributes to the stance and helps his Performance Tesla Model 3 to put the additional power to the ground. He runs a square setup of 19×9.5 Forgestar CF5V wheels with 35 offset.
After trying a few tire sizes on those wheels, Matt wrapped them in Continental Extreme Contact DWS06s measuring 265/35. I love the way his Performance Tesla Model 3 looks with those aftermarket rims and factory-painted brake calipers, and he shares the car feels right at home.
Matt’s Thoughts on Tesla Vs. BMW
Once you fall in love with old Bimmers, you’ll never forget them. These are my thoughts based on being an owner and a member of BMW communities for over a decade. But we also have a Tesla vehicle in the family; I take care of it, modify it, and get behind the wheel when my wife allows me to…lol.
Matt says he appreciates the technology behind Teslas and misses the sweet noise of a ground-pounding BMW V8 while he is banging gears with the windows down. Each vehicle excites him in a different way, but the nicely modified Model 3 meets his current needs for a street car.
I’m more chill now as I’m getting up in age. The electric car is still great in speed and performance and is also much more mature.
The instant torque delivery and acceleration of electric motors will certainly impress you when you sit behind the wheel of a Tesla. I’m sure that with the suspension lowering, the wheels, and the other mods Matt has done, his Model 3 Performance handles like a top-notch sports car.
I hope you enjoyed my write-up on Matt’s car. You can follow him and the progress of his Tesla build on Instagram at rc.static. The photos are spectacular.
Shoutout to team Eurofed Automotive for the nice video interview with Matt. If you drive a European car, these guys will help you with everything you need. Now hit the play!
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