Tesla Model 3 Hits The Autobahn
Experiences some thermal protection behavior after extended hard driving
The Tesla Model 3 is not yet officially being sold in Europe, so it’s impossible to know how it will hold up to the rigors of Germany’s speed-limitless (in places) Autobahn, right? Wrong. As you can see in the video above, it is indeed possible to know. Though not supported by the California automaker, a few examples of the mid-size sedan have made it across the pond to the Old Country.
Faithful InsideEVs readers may remember that time an outfit called NextMove set a driverless hypermiling record in the baby Tesla. Well, that same organization has let a Model 3 loose on the high-speed highway, allowing it stretch its legs all the way up to their limit. This being a non-Performance, Long Range battery, rear-wheel-drive version of the car, that top end is as supposedly 140 miles per hour (225 kph), though we’ve seen it do 142 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
So, how did it do? Overall, we’d have to say pretty well. The driver was pushing it hard to see if he could get thermal protection behavior to happen and, eventually, he was successful. The lengths he had to go to, however, make it clear regular owners will never reach these limits. Not only did he drive at top speed for some distance, but he also did a number of hard accelerations from typical driving speeds to 140 mph. Ten of them, actually, before he finally noticed an effect. And, when forced to drive slower because of traffic or the occasional speed limit zone, the car normalized.
Now, there was one instance deep into the roughly 100-mile drive between Leipzig and Erfurt where the car did exhibit an odd behavior. At the 4:44 mark, he puts his foot into it at 90 kph (55.9 mph), but the acceleration is very limited. Apparently, it lasts for a few seconds and then resumes as normal. It would be interesting (for us and, we imagine, Tesla engineers) to know what exactly occurred here. Unfortunately, as we said, cars in Europe are unsupported until deliveries officially begin and so we may have to wait and see if this occurs in another customer’s car.
For now, though, check out the video for the all the action. If you aren’t a German-language speaker, click on the closed caption (CC) icon for an English translation. Enjoy!