The Long Range RWD Model 3 might not have the blistering acceleration of the Model 3 Performance or the Model S P100D, but the all-electric sedan is still capable of high-speed driving. This was showcased recently by the owner of an unmodified Model 3, who was able to push the vehicle beyond its 140 mph top speed limit on Utah’s famed Bonneville Salt Flats.
Accounts from owners and videos of the Long Range RWD Model 3’s performance are many, though most of them feature the electric car either tackling a racecourse or doing quick acceleration runs. Top speed attempts, on the other hand, are rather rare. A group of Tesla enthusiasts from Germany went all out on the Autobahn last April while driving a Model 3, but they were only able to push the vehicle to a top speed of 130 mph.
Tesla owner Michael Striker‘s recent run on his factory Long Range RWD Model 3 was conducted in a closed area noted for being a popular site for top speed tests. This provided the vehicle with all the space it needed to hit its maximum speed. Striker had taken his Model 3 to the same place in an acceleration run earlier this year, but he hesitated and pulled back when his car hit 90 mph. This time around, Striker was a bit more prepared.
Videos of Striker’s recent runs in the Bonneville Salt Flats show his Model 3 seamlessly accelerating until it approached Tesla’s rated 140 mph top speed. One run filmed on August 6 featured the Long Range Model 3 accelerating past its top speed, hitting 142 mph before Striker lifted his foot off the accelerator. In a statement to Teslarati, Striker stated that his Model 3 seemed like it was still capable of going past 142 mph, but he opted to stop there just to be safe. The Model 3 owner also noted that he started the max speed run with 293 miles left in the battery. After hitting 142 mph, his car’s range was down to 279 miles.
Striker’s top speed run is quite remarkable in the way that his Model 3 with 18″ Aero Wheels is not tuned for performance and one of the first-production vehicles the company produced.
The Model 3 is a critical component of Tesla’s plan to reach profitability in Q3 2018. Elon Musk noted in Tesla’s Q2 2018 earnings call that production of the electric car was sustained at 5,000 per week for several weeks in July, keeping the pace it achieved at the end of the second quarter.
“At a production rate of 7,000 cars a week, we believe we can be sustainably profitable from Q3 onwards. We’re going to try to raise that rate of the Model 3 production steadily in the coming quarters and try to get to the 10,000 cars a week number as soon as we can. We expect to, in the absence of a force majeure or some very unexpected event, be able to achieve an average of 5,000 Model 3s or above for Q3,” Musk said.
Watch Striker’s top speed runs in his Long Range RWD Model 3 in the videos below.