Autocar Reviews Tesla Model 3 Performance: Says Others Must Catch Up


Autocar says the Tesla Model 3 Performance is “startling” and proves that legacy OEMs have serious catching up to do.

As far as Autocar is concerned, Tesla is in a class of its own when it comes to premium EVs that sell like crazy, despite the fact that it has yet to bring the promised $35,000 Model 3 to market. Any competitor hoping to top the Model 3 Performance will have to manufacture an incredible car.

The publication says that Tesla is seemingly working backwards from what people may have expected. Rather than releasing a less expensive, mass-market EV, it’s touting the much more expensive variants, and especially the top-of-the-line, dual-motor, all-wheel drive Performance trim.

The Model 3 Performance relies on an 80.5-kWh battery pack, churns out 450 horsepower, and boasts a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.5 seconds or less. Autocar’s test drive took place in Michigan of all locations. You can’t buy a Tesla in Michigan and it’s the last place we’d assume on overseas publication would visit to check out the Model 3. The vehicle as tested included the Performance Upgrades Package, with 20-inch wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires, and a lowered suspension. It’s capable of a 155-mph top speed, which is 10 mph faster than the same car without the upgrade package.

What’s the car like according to Autocar?

In a word, startling. I drove the Model 3 Performance just after experiencing the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye for the first time and can honestly report that the acceleration of the Tesla is only fractionally less impressive than that of a supercharged 800hp muscle car. But while the Dodge does its thing to a furious soundtrack, the 3 delivers its organ sloshing longitudinal G-forces without drama or apparent effort. The chassis can digest even stamped throttle starts without squeaking or slithering, and with no more noise than the whine of the electric motors.

The review goes on to say that the instant torque and incredible throttle response are surely not the Model 3’s only assets, though they’re something that you must experience to understand. In addition, the car has a well-engineered chassis that will astound the driver whether they’re pushing the car to it limits or driving casually.

When traveling Michigan’s backcountry, the Model 3 fared well through corners and felt quite agile. However, there’s no mistaking that it’s a heavy car. Nonetheless, unless the car hit a large bump while rounding a bend, the Model 3 maintained its composure well.

Autocar calls the Model 3 interior minimalistic. Surprised? Getting used to that reality and the fact that the touch screen controls everything requires a bit of a learning curve. However, this is how Tesla does things and it seems the automaker’s customers appreciate it. It may just take some time to get the more traditional crowd to buy in.

Source: Autocar


Tesla Model 3 Performance - Dual Motor Badge
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18 Comments on "Autocar Reviews Tesla Model 3 Performance: Says Others Must Catch Up"

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I don’t care of 0-60 performance. All I want is a 25 000$ car with 200 miles range with decent space for a familly of 4.

As the average purchase price of a car in the USA is around $33k, I suspect you’re not gonna get what you want – EV or not.

The average is pulled up by very expensive cars that the median car shopper can’t even dream of owning.

Remove the cheapest 5% and the most expensive 5% of the vehicles from the statistics, and I’d expect the number to drop well below $30k.

The 35 K price is for the median, not mean/average. That is 50% of all the cars sold were priced above 35K.

Whoa, Americans have expensive taste!

Market average price on the Bolt is $34k or $27k after rebate. The LEAF e-plus should also get you under $30k after rebate when it launches early next year.

Just remember the federal rebate only counts so far as how much you OWE in taxes. If you don’t owe more than $7,500 you won’t get that much rebate back. Not everyone that wants or owns an EV makes enough money to owe that much in taxes especially if you support others on your income.

Sometimes that $7500 credit can be reflected in the lease price.

Get a Leaf

Family of 5 please what balmy manufacturer would make just 4 seats, which would leave us out!

Uhhhhh… Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius Prime, Mitsubishi iMiEV? All came out as 4 Seaters: Volt is only a 4.5 seater still in 2nd release.

Then buy a Bolt or new Leaf. If you want performance, you can spend more and have that option, too. The point is there’s starting to be something for everyone now, which is really cool. In 2-3 years you’re gonna have MASSIVE options, especially if you factor the used market.

Clarity PHEV or Volt. Not 200 mile electric range, but still can run almost all electric and after tax credits and discounts can be well below $30,000.

About 4-5 years away, from Tesla, and you should be able to hear confirmation of such a car a bit sooner. In the meantime, other companies might try that Combination of $25,000 & 200+ Miles Range, and bring it out sooner! That’s the beauty of “Competition!”

Chevy tried to do that kind of thing, with the Bolt EV, ahead of Midel 3, and have gained a few sales from being first: now they need to make enough to sell more in more places!

So, once Tesla is talking up a coming reveal of a $25,000 Tesla, we may see another player try to go there first, as well!

If “Electrify Amerfica” from VW, and other Non Tesla Players get busy with more appropriate Fast Charging, and more Home, Business, and Service Charging Installations, such other Vehicles might even begin to be more viable options in America, too! (VW also started, voluntarily, a smaller effort up here in Canada: “Electrify Canada”, as well!)

is 25k the TCO you want?

Get a Leaf


I bought a Performance version (3P) with the extra upgrades for $70K total. Subtract the forthcoming $5K refund (I chose to forego the Free Lifetime Supercharging offer), net price is $65K. It’s considerably expensive, but compared to sport sedans at this price range the Model 3P is by far the best value – in my opinion anyhow. It’s far more comfortable than the BMW M3 or the MB C63 in daily driving, yet it connects to the drive unlike the other cars. I think it has to do with the nimble handling and instant acceleration. I don’t have that connection with the Model S even the Performance version. The 3P is well worth the price and the very long wait (2 1/2 years for me).