Tesla lists its Dual Motor Model 3 Performance with a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds, but as acceleration tests of the car seem to suggest, the vehicle is actually faster than Tesla’s estimates. This was demonstrated recently by Tesla owner-enthusiast Erik Strait, better known as the host of YouTube’s DÆrik channel, as he performed back-to-back acceleration tests of the Model 3 Performance using a VBOX data logger.
The first VBOX stats of the Model 3 Performance’s 0-60 mph time was posted recently, but no video of the actual run was taken as per request of the car’s owner. A brief 0-60 run recorded with Dragy was posted a few days ago, but the vehicle in that video was equipped with Aero Wheels, which are optimized for range, not performance. Erik’s test was quite a bit different since the Model 3 Performance he drove was equipped with 20″ Performance Wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires, which are part of Tesla’s $5,000 Performance Package.
Consistent with VBOX data shared by fellow Tesla owner-enthusiast Eli of My Tesla Adventure, DÆrik‘s acceleration test featured a consistent 0-60 mph time of 3.3 seconds. That’s 0.2 seconds faster than Tesla’s official performance listings for the vehicle.
A 3.3-second 0-60 mph time for the Model 3 Performance was actually teased by Elon Musk on Twitter, with the CEO stating that the electric car could have better acceleration if it gets fitted with stickier and thicker tires at the rear. Musk noted that thicker rear tires for the Model 3 Performance would make it possible to lower the vehicle’s 0-60 mph time to just 3.3 seconds. Erik’s recently uploaded video on YouTube is proof that 3.3 seconds is possible even when the vehicle is unmodified.
The Model 3 Performance has so far been getting rave reviews from veteran auto journalists. Dan Neil from the Wall Street Journal described the car as a “magnificent” piece of auto engineering that is “representative of the next step in the history of autos.” Kim Reynolds of MotorTrend, whose test drive of the vehicle was highlighted by a brief sprint on a freeway on-ramp, stated that “in maybe 120 wheel revolutions, a high-performance hierarchy has been rattled.” The auto veteran also stated that the “European marques perennially atop the sport sedan podium are about to have trapdoors release beneath them” with the arrival of the Model 3.
The Performance Model 3 might look practically identical to the car’s lower-specced variants, but the vehicle does have several tricks up its sleeve. Among these is a unique “Track Mode” beta feature exclusive to the Model 3 Performance (at least for now). In a statement to Road and Track, Michael Neumeyer, Manager of Chassis Controls for Tesla, stated that the Model 3 Performance’s Track Mode differs slightly from comparable features in other vehicles, which usually involve the disabling of traction control systems.
“Our Track Mode doesn’t disable features, it adds them,” Neumeyer said.
Tesla’s Track Mode is a mixture of tweaks and in-house programming that makes adjustments to the vehicle’s settings, including its dynamic control and regenerative braking. With the beta feature turned on, the Model 3 Performance becomes a car capable of maneuvers that are invaluable on the track, such as drifting and sharp changes in direction. The Model 3 Performance’s motors and battery use cooling circuits that are independent but linked as well. This means that as one component heats up, the car’s system shifts cooling capacity where it’s needed. With this approach, the Model 3 Performance becomes immune to the total performance shutdowns that happen in vehicles like the Model S P100D when temperatures spike.
Watch DÆrik‘s VBOX-recorded Model 3 Performance 0-60 mph run in the video below.