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“Pure Jungle Cat” — Tesla Model 3 Performance Review From Motor Trend

It’s one thing for Tesla to get a strong review of its performance Model 3 in the Wall Street Journal, but what about a car magazine? It turns out that the team at Motor Trend got a chance to test drive the much-anticipated dual motor, performance (DMP) version of Tesla’s newer, smaller sedan. Let’s check out what some gearheads had to say.

Originally published on EVANNEX.

It’s one thing for Tesla to get a strong review of its performance Model 3 in the Wall Street Journal, but what about a car magazine? It turns out that the team at Motor Trend got a chance to test drive the much-anticipated dual motor, performance (DMP) version of Tesla’s newer, smaller sedan. Let’s check out what some gearheads had to say.

Tesla’s Model 3 (Image: Tesla)

There were some quibbles. Although Motor Trend‘s Kim Reynolds acknowledges recent Model 3 software updates, he writes, “this is still—initially, at least—a very alien interface. To most people familiar with traditional automotive gauges, the Model 3 is equivalent to coming across a landed UFO in a Kansas farm field and sitting down at its controls.”

That said, Reynolds was taken with the car’s combined 450 hp and 471 lb-ft of torque. To put that kind of power in perspective, “the Model 3 Dual Motor Performance scats to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds… [whereas] a traction-limited rear-wheel-drive BMW M3 Competition pack and Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio we tested did 4.3 and 3.9 seconds, respectively, and the less powerful but AWD Audi RS4 managed 4.2.”

Options with Model 3 DMP’s interior include white upholstery/trim finish along with performance pedals (Image: Tesla)

During his brief test drive with the Motor Trend team, Reynolds floored the Model 3 DMP and the car “surged ahead so startlingly that it stopped conversation. Except maybe for an uttered ‘Oh my god.’ I braked pretty hard and arched up the on-ramp toward the freeway. It was a flourish more akin to swiping a navigation route on your phone than driving a car on the actual road. [Fellow passenger] Carol might have been upside down by the time I backed off.”

What about the Model 3’s handling? Reynolds reports, “the dual motor and all-wheel drive give the compact Tesla a tensed, hair-trigger potency for leaping ahead or around whatever’s in the way. It’s pure jungle cat.”

The Model 3 DMP is also available with ‘Dual Motor’ badging and spoiler (Image: Tesla)

Taking a step back, what could this mean for the likes of BMW, Mercedes, and Audi — Germany’s legacy automakers who boast years of leadership in this competitive market segment? After experiencing the Model 3 DMP, according to Reynolds, “a high-performance hierarchy has been rattled. The European marques perennially atop the sport sedan podium are about to have trapdoors release beneath them.”

Source: Motor Trend

 
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Written By

Matt is all about Tesla. He’s a TSLA investor, and he loves driving the family's Model 3, Model S, and Model X company cars. As co-founder of EVANNEX, a family business specializing in aftermarket Tesla accessories, he’s served as a contributor/editor of Electric Vehicle University (EVU) and the Owning Model S and Getting Ready for Model 3 books. He writes daily about Tesla and you can follow his work on the EVANNEX blog.

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