Motor Trend Releases Test Data On Tesla Model 3 Performance

Tesla Model 3 Performance


0-to-60 in 3.2 seconds!

Motor Trend has just spent some quality time with the Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor Performance and published some eyebrow-raising instrumented numbers. This is the publication’s second time around with the Performance version of the mid-size all-electric sedan and probably not their last – the example they worked over this time lacked the still-in-development “track mode.” The first review was a narrative-driven piece produced after a relatively short time behind the wheel. This time around, it’s all about the numbers.

As one would expect, during their time with the Model 3, MT staff put it through its acceleration, braking, and skidpad paces. They then compared those to some of its competitors and painted a flattering Performance portrait. Take the 0-to-60 time, which the buff mag marked as a mere 3.28 seconds. They note that, while it can’t keep pace with quickest Tesla Model S (2.28 seconds!), it does keep some pretty stellar company, naming the Audi 2014 R8 V10 Plus, the 2018 BMW M5, and the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E63S, among others, as equals when it comes to this metric.

Similarly, when let loose for a quarter-mile, the car embarrasses a number of its competitors with a pass of 11.8 seconds at 115.2 miles per hour. That leaves the car it was ostensibly benchmarked to beat — the 2015 BMW M3 (12.1 sec @ 117.8 mph) — in its rearview, along with 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Wide Body (11.9 sec @ 125.1 mph) and the 2017 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang (12.2 sec @ 119.0 mph), to name a couple more.

Of course, the ability to scrub speed is at least as important as adding it quickly, and here the red-painted Brembos do yeoman’s work, halting — without the need for an over-the-air update — the M3P in as little as 99 feet, a result achieved during the last of three attempts (the others were 100 and 105 feet). At MT notes, this speaks highly of the car’s ability to dissipate heat.

The car’s handling was more of a mixed bag. Certainly, it seems they appreciated the quickness and precision of the Model 3’s steering. However, it only averaged .94 g on the skidpad, where its weight and tires may have worked against it. MT also conducts a figure-eight test. Here, while suggesting it might see some improvement with the addition of track mode, the car scored a 24.3 second time, which still puts it in pretty decent company on the publication’s all-time list.

With its performance numbers put into perspective like this, it’s fair to say the California automaker has done a good job of offering a bullet of a sedan that can stand up to it high-caliber competitors, and even embarrass them at times. Importantly, while not burning gasoline. Nicely done.


Tesla Model 3 Performance - Dual Motor Badge
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Source: Motor Trend

Categories: Tesla

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29 Comments on "Motor Trend Releases Test Data On Tesla Model 3 Performance"

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So where is the “beats anything in its class on a track”? With a scored 24.3 s time it doesn’t beat anything in it’s class. Even the M2 is faster

Yes, please complain about this, Musk will fix it.

Motor Trend has a Performance Model 3 without track mode which makes use of both motors for torque vectoring and is able to reign in traction control. We’ll have to wait to see how that performs.

Yeah 24.3 sucks. Without the track package software it only beats cars like the Dodge Viper SRT-10 Roadster, Alfa Romeo 4C, E 63 AMG S T-Modell, BMW M5 Competition Package, Ariel Atom 3 (300 PS), Audi R8 4.2 FSI Quattro (Mk I), Ford Mustang GT (Mk VI), Dodge Viper SRT-10, Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, Lotus Evora S and the Aston Martin AM 310 Vanquish. That Tesla Model 3 Performance must be a POS.

Wow, so many cars older than 10 years listed. At least it beats a T-Modell wagon

You gotta look further up the list. The Viper for example also lists a time of 23.90.

Who thought he was talking about a figure eight loop? That’s no more “on a track” than a drag strip.

I also suspect he’s talking about equal circumstances, like all engineers do, i.e. equally grippy tires. No car can make up for a notable grip deficit.

Beat everything in it’s class except in the figure eight, and that’s without track mode.

Lap time close to or better than anything in its class. Got to admit, I’m impressed.

With Track Mode and maybe stiffer suspension, handling will much improve. I would expect at least 0.5 sec improvement on the figure 8 test. Wider tires would also help (235 is skinny for this type of car)

Not trying to hate here but stock BMW M3 does 11.66. Means EM bragged about numbers that were false and I am sure the BMW will drive circles around it on a track because of a better handling. Thwy should stop overselling their platforms!

Fine, let’s call it close/equal or even say the M3 is a bit better.
Do you wanna pay $78K for a gas guzzler or $71K for the TM3 Performance?
Nothing wrong with choosing the gas guzzler. Just a matter of personal choice.
Nobody is overselling anything, the MT numbers here speak for themselves.

Weeeiirdd that doesn’t match up with standardized testing at all!!!

Oh yeah some other conditions were changed: the BMW was using racing fuel. I’m sure that changing certain conditions will do nothing to the Model 3’s times. /s

Good heavens, the TM3P is almost a full second faster.

racing fuel… love it.

It seems that this run from a number of years ago hasn’t been repeatable, it was a one-off perfect condition on 103 race fuel run. Here are the other runs he made that same day, all of which were worse than the run made by the Model 3:

“This is the best result. I also did:
11.84 @ 117.46 w/ a 1.855 60′
12.48 @ 120.26 w/ a 2.457 60′
12.48 @ 118.71 w/ a 2.345 60′

Yes, if you cherry pick one run or another, you might find some runs are better. The same will go for the Model 3. Some people will find time and circumstances to outrun the MT time. In fact one just ran an 11.739 in another story.

I’m not sure that 1 run out of 4 beating MT’s time with the Model 3, and the other 3 runs being slower is justification for you calling out Tesla. That’s just racing.

And remember, it is MUCH easier to launch the Tesla. Without an exotic multi-step process, and lots of noise before you even know if a Tesla is game, the BMW owner has to look like a tool. All for a 1:4 chance?

but isn’t it supposed to be 15% faster and beating anything in its class on the track? Well, get them on a real track. Can’t wait. The Nordschleife is waiting for it with all the reference laps to compete against. Mark my words, the Beamer will drive circles around it. Tesla has no clue about racing

Domenick Yoney said:
“Take the 0-to-60 time, which the buff mag marked as a mere 3.28 seconds. . . . it does keep some pretty stellar company, naming the Audi 2014 R8 V10 Plus, the 2018 BMW M5, and the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E63S, among others, as equals when it comes to this metric.”

“Similarly, when let loose for a quarter-mile, the car embarrasses a number of its competitors with a pass of 11.8 seconds at 115.2 miles per hour. That leaves the car it was ostensibly benchmarked to beat — the 2015 BMW M3 (12.1 sec @ 117.8 mph) — in its rearview. . .”

Nope, the 2018 BMW M5 smokes the Tesla Model 3 Performance with a 0-to-60 time of 2.8 seconds. I can also see why you compared (cherry-picked) the Model 3 Performance to an old 2015 BMW M3 and not the current 2018 BMW M5, which leaves the Model 3 Performance in its rear view mirror with a quarter-mile time of 10.9 seconds at 129 mph.

From Car and Driver’s review of the 2018 BMW M5:
“In 2.8 seconds you’re at 60 mph and in 10.9 you’re whisked through the quarter-mile at 129 mph.”

The Model 3 Performance has always been marketed as a competitor to the M3, not M5. It’s only the fact that it outright embarrasses the M3 that the M5 even enters the conversation at all.

Try running the Model 3 performance against the BMW M3 on the Nurburgring.. Then report those numbers for comparison.

The Nurburgring is an outlier even among race tracks. So it wouldn’t be a good representation of how any car would generally perform on the vast majority of tracks around the world.

But with that said, what if the TM3 puts in a competitive time against the M3 on the ‘ring? Can you imagine that? First version of the Model 3, first time building a track oriented car, can you imagine if Tesla jumps in with a competitive time, when car companies have been working DECADES to compete with the BMW M3?!?? Any time that is competitive with the BMW M3 on the first try would be a massive win for Tesla.

Also keep in mind that Tesla has a long history of rapidly improving their performance of their cars after they first achieve ramp-up. The first performance versions of the S and X were repeatedly replaced with faster versions.

The BMW M5 has a base price of $103K, and the M5 Competition version starts at $110K. $145K fully decked out with brake upgrades. And you will have to pay a Gas Guzzler tax, along with around $15K in premium gas over 5 years of ownership. More if you use the 0-60 regularly.

The correct comparison would be the Model S P100D. You will find it is faster than the M5 in 0-60, and quarter mile times.

“the car scored a 24.3 second time, which still puts it in pretty decent company on the publication’s all-time list.”

It would place it at #110 on the list, ahead of both Model S at #148, #152 and #182. That shows that lighter Model 3 is a far better handling car than the Model S as expected. It may not sound like it is dominating. Keep in mind that most cars on the top 100 list are performance coupes that are far lighter or don’t have 4 doors… So, it is a remarkable achievement.

Impressive for a four-door sedan. Can’t really make the golf cart analogy anymore.

The boots big enough for two golf bags, that makes it twice as good as a good cart 🙂
Can’t wait for them to be available in my country, even the SR rear wheel drive should be more than enough for my needs!

Nothing new. As expected model 3 is good in a straight line, very fast from stand still (EVs are fast doing 0-60, even a modest Leaf do it in close to 7s – that’s 2000s performance car level).
On a track, starting from stand still speed is irrelevant and cornering capacity and braking is paramount. Tesla model 3 has good brakes on this $77k version but is far from a fast car on a track. Also it’s not able (yet) to maintain the top performance for a longer period of time.
Tesla still have a long way to “beat anything else on a racing track”.

Why placing a thumbs down in a polite comment, that tries to be accurate?!

You are building a strawman. Tesla never said they would beat “Anything Else” on the track. Just other 4-door sedans in the same class. The Roadster is the car they are building to go up against dedicated sports cars/supercars,