Mountain Pass Performance’s RWD Model 3 vs. Tesla’s AWD Performance Build On The Track

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Sasha Anis and the crew over at Mountain Pass put their modified rear wheel drive (RWD) Tesla Model 3 head to head against a 3-day old Performance Model 3 with the Performance Upgrade Package.

In other words, the modified RWD Model 3 is going up against the fastest Model 3 you can buy from Tesla, pegging 60 miles per hour from a dead stop in around 3.3 seconds. Compared to the RWD build of the Model 3 with the Long Range (LR) battery, that’s nearly 2 full seconds faster — the RWD LR build posts a 0–60 time of 5.1 seconds.

Mountain Pass Performance has put some fairly extensive modifications into its Model 3, including some nice wide rims, track-ready tires, a big brake kit, suspension mods, and even going so far as to hack into the car’s stability control and traction control systems to disable them without disabling the onboard antilock braking system (thanks to its custom Stability Defeat system). In other words, it has achieved the holy trifecta for optimizing the Model 3 for a day at the track.

With that setup, the team was able to set a new track record for the class, beating out track-tested and heavily modified gasoline/diesel vehicles after just a few days of work on the modifications.

The question naturally became: can Mountain Pass Performance’s tuned Model 3 beat out a stock Tesla Model 3 Performance build?

To answer that question, they took to the track in Toronto, even going so far as to swap drivers to see if it was better driving that made the difference. Electric vehicles are different beasts on the track, as they lose power as the battery state of charge declines, and shedding heat from the battery becomes a real barrier to optimum performance.

That makes it challenging to fundamentally compare EVs head to head, especially with a driver swap in the middle, but they did their best to keep the playing field even and came back with some conclusive results. The Mountain Pass Performance modified LR RWD Tesla Model 3 posted a 1:18.8 lap, besting the (not fully charge) stock Tesla Model 3 Performance with the Performance Upgrade Package, which put up a 1:21.0 lap.

It’s worth noting that the Performance car posted its best lap near the end of a handful of laps and had just a 48% state of charge. As stated earlier, it’s no easy task to present a completely level playing field when it comes to EVs on the track.

To have a bit of fun with the Performance build, the company installed its Motec Stability Defeat system and was able to cut a few more seconds off its time, posting a 1:19.9 lap at the same 48% state of charge.

Just looking at the head-to-head laps of the Performance car, it clearly shows that disabling stability control and traction control do make a big difference on the track. Perhaps this is just the pre-release of Tesla’s Track Mode? Either way, it is great to see Sasha and his team pushing the limits of the Model 3 in all of its configurations … and they are just getting started.

After the laps, they talked for a bit and everyone agreed that the Model 3 Performance suffers the most from its stock suspension. Because it is tuned for everyday street driving, there is a ton of body roll when it’s pushed to the limits on the track. That leaves room for a truly track-ready Model 3 Performance build from Tesla with upgraded suspension, and for aftermarket tuners like Sasha and his team at Mountain Pass Performance to have their way with it.

Sasha related that if both cars were fully charged, the Model 3 Performance would likely best the Mountain Pass Performance Model 3 by about a second, posting a lap time in the 17s.

He felt that could be even further improved by adding on MPP’s Model 3 components, which could drop that time as far as the 15s, which is nuts considering just how accessible that is. That doesn’t require any modifications to the motor, powertrain, or anything, just brakes, suspension, and a little software bandaid to force their Track Mode onto the car.

The description for the video on YouTube sums up their view of the Model 3 in a few short words:

“This, my friends, is The Future.”

“The Future” is also the name of the Mountain Pass Performance Model 3, but it fits both ways. This, my friends, is the future of racing, and they’re just getting started!

Thanks to Sasha and the team at Mountain Pass Performance for the early look at the video and for all the cool stuff they’re doing up in Canada to squeeze out every bit of performance from the Model 3.

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

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