A Tesla Model 3 Performance achieved the unthinkable over the past weekend when it shattered the all-time electric vehicle lap record at the famed Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California.
Ripping through the racetrack in near-stealth fashion, the all-electric sedan stunned onlookers as it set a lap time of 1:37.5, crushing the previous lap record of 1:41.2 set by Cameron Rogers in December 2018. Incidentally, both lap records were set in the same Tesla Model 3 Performance that’s owned by Cameron, with the latest achievement reined in by driver Sasha Anis of Mountain Pass Performance.
The electric four-door family sedan’s 1:37.5 lap time soundly beats the Jaguar I-PACE, driven by legendary racecar driver Randy Pobst around the track in 1:48.6, by nearly 11 seconds. More importantly, Model 3 Performance beat the previous all-time record set by Lucid Motors in their purpose-built, 1,000 hp Air prototype that included a stripped out interior and a full roll cage.
Top 10 Fastest EV Laps at Laguna Seca Raceway
- Tesla Model 3 Performance w/mods: 1:37.5 (Teslarati/Mountain Pass Performance at TeslaCorsa 6/29/19)
- Lucid Air 1,000 hp prototype (non-production, full roll cage, race tires): 1:39.3
- Tesla Model 3 Performance w/mods (December 2018 record): 1:41.2
- Lucid Air 1,000 hp prototype (non-production, full roll cage): 1:41.6
- Tesla Model S P100D w/mods: 1:45.2 (Refuel 2019)
- Tesla Model 3 Performance: 1:46.8
- Tesla Model S P100D (Lucid Motors test driver): 1:47.6
- Jaguar I-Pace (Randy Pobst driver): 1.48.18
- Tesla Model 3 Long Range rear-wheel drive w/mods: 1:48.6
- Tesla Model 3 Long Range rear-wheel drive stock: 1:54.2
The weekend played witness to two EV-centric events at Laguna Seca: the annual REFUEL event and Tesla Corsa. REFUEL 11 featured time trials and events for electric vehicles and electric motorcycles in a competitive setting, while Tesla Corsa was, for many, an opportunity to meet up with other Tesla owners and enthusiasts who wished to experience the track with their electric cars. This was the first time that the Model 3 Performance was able to join REFUEL, as the vehicle was not yet available during last year’s annual meet. The Model 3 Performance made an impact in both events, performing record-setting runs, back-to-back on Friday and Saturday during Tesla Corsa. The Model 3 Performance would win REFUEL 11 the following day after setting the fastest qualifying lap in its event debut.
What is quite remarkable about the record-setting Model 3 is that the vehicle is a regular commuter car that’s been upgraded with standard off-the-shelf Mountain Pass Performance parts that include an adjustable coilover suspension, upgraded control arms, improved brakes, and a second set of track tires. The vehicle’s owner, Cameron Rogers, who also previously held the production EV lap record at Laguna Seca, uses the vehicle to get to and from work on a daily basis.
Teslarati and Mountain Pass Performance joined Cameron in his mission to prove that Tesla’s first track-capable sedan could really be a formidable opponent to gas cars on a closed circuit racetrack. More importantly, we set out to turn the Motorsport world entirely on its head.
A Tesla Model 3 Performance attacks the track at Laguna Seca Raceway. (Photo: Tom Cross/Teslarati)
When Elon Musk announced the Model 3 Performance, he stated that the vehicle would be competitive on the track even against track-capable gas cars. The electric sedan’s new lap record at Laguna Seca Raceway suggests that the CEO’s words were accurate, as the vehicle’s 1:37.5 time bests that of far costlier performance cars, including the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, BMW M4 GTS, the Porsche 911, and the Aston Martin Vantage.
It should be noted that the Model 3 Performance is Tesla’s most affordable Performance vehicle in its lineup. The car currently retails for $59,900, and is available in multiple territories today, meaning customers in North America, Europe, and China could acquire a car with the performance to beat nearly all production cars around a track. If that’s not an inflection point for the motoring world, it’s hard to imagine what is.
Watch Sasha rip through the corkscrew at Laguna Seca in a Tesla Model 3 Performance and set the all-time EV lap record for a production car.