Since Tesla started releasing the Model 3 Performance, the high-performance electric sedan has gained accolades from numerous publications, from The Wall Street Journal to Popular Mechanics. While Tesla did not design the Model 3 Performance to be quicker on the quarter-mile than its larger, more expensive siblings — the Model S P100D and the Model X P100D — the electric car is proving to be a performer on the quarter-mile just the same.
Latest case in point? A series of drag races recently shared by Tesla owner-enthusiast Erik Strait, better known as the host of YouTube’s DÆrik channel. After fitting the Model 3 Performance with staggered tires and lightweight wheels, Erik opted to test out the electric sedan at a local drag strip to see how well it stacked up against other vehicles.
The Model 3 Performance faced several notable opponents in its day at the drag strip, including a Tesla Model X P100D with Ludicrous Mode. The battle between the two Teslas proved interesting, considering that the Model 3 Performance finished the quarter-mile in 11.74 seconds at 115.46 mph, which was incredibly close to the Model X P100DL’s 11.66-second, 115.73 mph pass.
It should also be noted that the Model X P100D ended up launching ahead of the Model 3 Performance, and the SUV’s driver had a better reaction time (0.014 secs vs. Erik’s 0.338 secs). Had the two vehicles launched at the same moment, the race could have been even closer. This was despite the Model X P100D with Ludicrous Mode being listed with a 0-60 mph time of 2.8 seconds, while the Model 3 Performance is listed with a 3.3-second 0-60 mph time.
Apart from the Tesla Model X P100D, the Model 3 Performance also battled a unique opponent in the form of a souped-up 1964 Ford Falcon. The vintage car is fully set up for the drag strip, as could be seen in its upgraded suspension and its drag-optimized tire setup. The souped-up Falcon looked and sounded daunting before the race, causing the YouTube host to note that the Model 3 Performance would probably lose.
The Falcon actually got the jump on the Model 3 Performance when the race started, getting a slight lead before the all-electric sedan caught up and overtook it. Once it established a lead, the Model 3 Performance just pulled away, dominating the souped-up vintage racer. The race ended with the Model 3 Performance hitting the quarter-mile mark in 11.76 seconds at 115.49 mph. The Ford Falcon drag racer completed the run in 13.21 seconds while traveling at 103.73 mph.
Tesla has not given the Model 3 Performance a feature that allows it to perform better in straight-line races, though it is set to become the first vehicle that receives Tesla’s dedicated Track Mode feature. Elon Musk dubs Track Mode as an “Expert User Mode” for the Model 3 Performance, in the way that it would allow drivers to modify the vehicle’s settings to optimize it for hard hard driving. Track Mode has not been fully released yet, but early reviews of the feature, such as those from auto publications like Car and Driver and Road & Track, have been positive so far.
Watch the Model 3 Performance battle the Model X P100D and a souped up Ford Falcon in the video below.