Consensus Among Noted Reviewers: Tesla Model 3 Performance Impresses

Tesla Model 3 Performance

SEP 28 2018 BY EVANNEX 13


Should you settle for a lower-priced Model 3 or splurge on the souped-up “Performance” version of Tesla’s newest sedan? The reviews, thus far, have been enticing. Media outlets ranging from Top Gear to the Wall Street Journal have come away impressed. Check out this latest round-up of Model 3 Performance reviews to consider if this top-end model might be right for you.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Tesla Model 3 Performance has a lower stance with 20″ wheels and red calipers (Image: Tesla)

Alexander George writes (via Popular Mechanics), “The ultra-luxe Performance variant, at $64,000, adds the kind of stuff that will appeal to anyone who’d chose a BMW M3 or M4 over the 3-Series.” In a race, the Performance version of the Model 3 “can dust anything that’s not mid-engined and costs six figures.” Regarding the radical interior, George adds that “after driving a Model 3, every other car’s console feels like a misuse of wires and visual real estate.”

However, Tim Stevens (via CNET) is not a fan of the car’s console. He admits it’s “nice once you experience it, but still not as immediately intuitive as the dedicated controls found in most cars.” Yet, when it comes to raw power, Stevens says the Model 3 Performance will “leap forward with brutal aggression.” He adds, “the Model 3 is just always ready to go, morphing from docile, silent EV to ballistic projectile with just a little more pressure on the go pedal.”

Above: CNET’s Antuan Goodwin also tested Tesla’s Model 3 Performance “Track Mode” feature on an autocross course (Youtube: Roadshow)

After 600 hours behind the wheel of the Model 3 Performance, Kim Reynolds (via Motor Trend) reports, “Tesla still knows how to extract staggering performance out of its electric vehicles.” Reynolds says, “Imagine a gigantic slot car, and you’ll get the idea. Of course, the slot you’re following isn’t an actual slot but a virtual one, a sharply defined path the steering angle has mentally scribed on the road ahead of you. If any alterations are needed, you just make small steering adjustments… [and] quick steering is exactly the scalpel you need here.”

Patrick George (via Jalopnik) says, “For me, the Model 3 Performance is the most impressive Tesla I’ve driven to date, and easily the most fun… It’s very, very quick.” And, “Inside it feels about as roomy as a BMW 3 Series, but it feels noticeably more compact to drive… its relatively small size makes it super fun to just throw into corners.” His impression: “the Model 3 Performance handles like a legit sports car, and that’s not a descriptor I toss around lightly, especially for a sedan.”

Above: Tesla Model 3 Performance is also available with special badging and a carbon fiber spoiler (Image: Tesla)

Steve Fowler (via UK’s Auto Express) gives it a perfect 5 stars. He says the “range-topping Tesla Model 3 Performance sports saloon offers M3-beating performance and best-in-class tech. Among a sea of legends, the Tesla Model 3 stacks up.” Fowler says, “What’s most enjoyable is that the slightest tickle of the throttle from any speed – especially standstill – will shove you back into your seat with a ferocity to rival the fiercest rollercoaster, with a fun factor to match. You’ll never tire of it and will look for every opportunity to do it.”

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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13 Comments on "Consensus Among Noted Reviewers: Tesla Model 3 Performance Impresses"

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From article: “…Steve Fowler (via UK’s Auto Express) gives it [Tesla Model 3P] a perfect 5 stars. He says the “range-topping Tesla Model 3 Performance sports saloon offers M3-beating performance and best-in-class tech”…”

BMW has a very serious problem on their hands…

Tesla Model 3P’s superior performance and advanced tech is winning over BMW’s North America core customer base of young professionals that seek the best performing car the market has to offer. Purchasing a BMW was largely about making the statement that one can afford the best-in-class and take enjoyment in driving the best.

BMW’s top-line executives have made a massive mistake by not *today* having in production an EV that can perform as good or better than Tesla Model 3P.

Likely some heads will roll at BMW and their EV program will be kicked up a few notches… but it will be multi-years before BMW will be able to compete against Tesla.

So much for brand loyalty, which imo leads to complacency..

While I generally agree with your comment (and upvoted it), I would toss in one comment: BMW may be one of the companies that shortly reveals how much serious EV R&D they’ve been doing behind the scenes. If it does indeed take multiple years for them to release a TM3-competing car, then they clearly screwed up. If, on the other hand, a year from now we’re oohing and aahing over the upcoming 3-series EV or high performance Mini EV, then we’ll know they’ve been busy little engineers behind the scenes.

Similarly, I wonder how much work Honda has done on a much longer range Clarity BEV than the current model. I would hope they were savvy enough to have their engineers come up with at least two major variants, one that crams as much battery as possible into the current car, something they could rush into production as soon as they can get batteries from LG or Panasonic or whoever, and one that requires a “minor” chassis rework to accommodate an even bigger pack.

I think you’re giving these companies too much credit. What we have to remember with ICE companies is that their identity is bound up in their engine design. Honda, for example, prides itself on the quality of its engines (they just keep going), whilst BMW believes they build the best performing engine. Most of the rest of a cars components are outsourced, while the engines are all designed and built internally. That’s a lot of culture to overcome and the denial about how this is the end of the ICE age must be massive.

I think we’re in the middle of a massive reordering in the automotive industry.

You’ve put your finger on a very important point indeed. GM outsourced the entire EV powertrain of their first BEV, the Bolt EV, to LG Electronics/ LG Chem. Sure, they oversaw the design, and some parts are being made by LG according to GM’s design. But the point is that GM made a deliberate decision to make none of the Bolt EV’s powertrain in-house.

Can you imagine Tesla outsourcing the entire EV powertrain of any of their cars? Of course not! It’s crazy to even suggest that they would. (It should be noted that at one time Tesla outsourced its electric motors, so clearly there can be exceptions to the rule I’m suggesting. However, Tesla outsourcing its motors didn’t last.)

If legacy auto makers are going to make and sell compelling EVs, EVs which will strongly compete in the marketplace, then they’re going to have to start building their own EV powertrains, or at least major parts of them such as the battery pack, the motor, and the inverter.

Lou Grinzo said: “…BMW may be one of the companies that shortly reveals how much serious EV R&D they’ve been doing behind the scene…”

My hope that proves to be the case as it may be.

The BMW i3 to BMW’s credit was a serious EV effort backed by serious development $$$ but the critical mistake BMW made with the i3 is that it was intended to be an eco car (BMW’s version of Nissan Leaf) than a best-in-class high performance car.

If the recently revealed Euro EVs are an indication of what these companies can do with an EV, then it is hard to imagine that they could be competitive. You would think that their first major effort would be a 5 or 7 series-level car where their margins are better. The M3 kinda drops a hand germane right in the sweet spot of their product lines and makes their cars look obsolete.

One of the guys at MotorTrend said it first. The Model 3 is Car 2.0. It seems like the best the European companies can do at the moment is to produce Car 1.5. Another analogy would be iPhone vs Blackberry.

As an aside, I saw that the head of MB stepped down this week.

Yeah, the recently unveiled German EVs still scream “compliance car”. Only the next generation, which should come around 2021 or so, will show the results of a more serious effort…

Based on public info regarding BMW’s modular platform, one that is intended for both ICE and EV power train, I would dare say BMW will still be at a disadvantage to Tesla as far as handling dynamics are concerned. This approach (same as MB) will allow them to be competitive on price and production efficiency, but will forever erase the reputation they’ve built over the year as the “Ultimate Driving Machine” – although many would disagree as BMW has lost it many years ago.

In the big EV picture, the outstanding performance of the Model 3 and its commercial success will drive more legacy companies to compete by introducing more EV offerings – that’s a good thing. People will ultimately experience and acknowledge the superior qualities of EV and will switch over in droves, which will entice those companies to commit further development. I think the end of ICE is not very far – starting now in 2018 with the release of the Model 3 and will reach inflection point in 2020 with the release of a lot more EV products around the world.

It looks now like the really big wave of new EV models from legacy makers will start rolling between 2021 and 2023… It will take several more years though for people to get used to the idea that combustion cars are obsolete, and for production of EVs to ramp sufficiently to displace combustion car sales on a large scale.

I don’t remember for sure: but isn’t Daimler working on a dedicated electric-only platform, like VW? The EQC clearly doesn’t use that yet; but IIRC future models are supposed to…

As for BMW, their strategy seems somewhat unclear. On one hand, they said that they will make electric and combustion variants of all future models on a common platform (like Volvo for example); on the other hand, they keep hyping their iNext concepts, which do not really seem to fit into this story…

They misquoted Motor Trend. They spent 70 hours/600 miles, not 600 hours, behind the wheel.

No doubt an extremely disruptive product. But it looks like the disrupted even have the SEC on their side to disrupt the disruptor. At least that’s how I interpret the unprecedented speed at which the SEC is moving against Elon Musk and the fact that it is specifically seeking to take out Tesla’s most valuable asset: Elon Musk. Let’s hope the products are successful enough to safe Tesla because it’s clear that the powers that be have teamed up for its destruction.

The history of disruptive technology is that 70-80% of existing incumbents go bankrupt, e,g,; the move from mainframe to mini-computers. Obviously Tesla is eating the mid-range luxury market first, but it will destroy down the price range as the battery price/ KWH drops. Other firms need to build battery factories and learn battery management, which is harder than it sounds.
So, let’s start a bar discussion on which 25% will survive. The top 15 by size are: Volkswagen, Toyota, Renault-Nissan, Hyundai-Kia, General Motors, Ford, Honda, Fiat Chrysler, PSA (Peugeot, Citroen), Suzuki, SAIC, Daimler/Merc, BMW, Changan. Choose 4.
I’d say Volkswagen (because of Audi), Renault-Nissan, SAIV & Changan. Maybe Daimler. Add in Geely (because of Volvo) and Tata (because of Jaguar). I can’t see the US firms surviving or most of the Europeans. The Japanese have gone all in on the blind alley of Hydrogen cells. SAIV and Changan and other Chinese undercut Tesla from the bottom.