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14th of November 2018


Taking a Tesla Model 3 Performance to the dragstrip

I’ve had my Tesla Model 3 Performance for about a month now, but I have been traveling so much that I haven’t had much quality time with the car… until this weekend.

I took the new electric vehicle to the dragstrip and here’s a quick account of my experience.

Like all of Tesla’s vehicles, the Model 3 Performance takes full advantage of the instant torque of an electric motor – or two electric motors in this case.

It’s quick.

Tesla advertises a 0-60 mph acceleration in just 3.5 seconds.

Some owners have been getting quicker times, but there are tons of variables: temperature, wheels and tires, or even the measurement devices.

My car hit the drag strip at Napierville completely stock with the Performance Upgrade package on the 20″ Sports wheels and the included Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.

I used a GPS-based performance meter called Dragy ($150 on Amazon), which does not calculate a 1-ft rollout. The times I was getting on the Dragy was extremely consistent with the times at the track.

After a few runs, my best time was 11.89 seconds for the quarter-mile and an acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 3.48 seconds:

Considering it’s without the usual 1-ft rollout and it was quite cold outside at the track yesterday, I think those are pretty good times.

Here’s a quick video of the run (don’t be surprised by the sound, that’s the modified Mustang next to me):

Best run of the day today in a @Tesla Model 3 Performance 100% stock: 0-60mph in 3.48s and 1/4 mile in 11.89s. Ton of fun. Next I want to do some autocross.

— Fred Lambert (@FredericLambert) October 13, 2018

The main takeaway is that the Model 3 Performance is an extremely fun machine with an acceleration that puts a stupid grin on your face.

That said, I feel like it was holding back on me a little bit. I feel like the first 60-ft could be a bit quicker.

CEO Elon Musk has previously said that the Model 3 Performance would have a Ludicrous Mode and it has yet to come true. Maybe Tesla could unleash some more power in the vehicle with a software update, like it did in the past with previous vehicles.

Regardless, the Model 3 Performance is already quite quick. I even almost beat an extremely fast Nissan Skyline GTR with it yesterday:

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To be fair, the Skyline had some better runs throughout the day, but that highlights an advantage of electric vehicle: consistency.

While I saw several cars having wildly different times during the day, my quarter-mile runs were all about a tenth of a second from 12 seconds.

There was only one other electric vehicle at the drag strip yesterday and it certainly was an interesting one. It also had very consistent times. I’ll have more on that vehicle in another article tomorrow.

Now there are certainly faster Tesla vehicles that you can bring to the drag strip to give a quick smackdown to the loud gas-powered cars, like the Model S P100D, but I think the Model 3 Performance is still fun to drag.

You could also make it significantly quicker with lighter wheels and better tires (hit me up if you have a good kit for those).

But I think a stock Model 3 Performance could shine even more at autocross racing. I think that will be my next adventure with the vehicle.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

Thanks to Sylvain Belanger, Guillaume Andre, and Hugo Normand for some of the images.

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