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Published on November 9th, 2018 | by Dr. Maximilian Holland


Tesla Model 3 Performance — World’s Quickest Sport Sedan … Er, 2nd Quickest

November 9th, 2018 by  

Tesla has just released a fully baked version of its “Track Mode” software, which, in initial testing by Motor Trend, makes the Performance Model 3  the “world’s quickest sport sedan” around the Streets of Willow race track.

The Tesla beats out sports sedan rivals the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, BMW M2 and M4, and even pure sports cars like the Porsche Cayman GT4 and 718 Boxster S. The Track Mode is already rolling out to Tesla owners in the form of an over-the-air software update, version 2018.42.8.

Tesla Model 3 Performance on track (Image courtesy of Tesla)

It is definitely worth reading the full Motor Trend write-up (and watching the video) to see the Tesla in action.

Tesla has also provided more information about track mode on its blog (including a short video). After some initial concerns from owners, Musk has confirmed that the track mode will eventually be available on all Model 3 Performance vehicles, not just those with the optional performance upgrade package (PUP).

Having said that, the performance upgrade package does provide stronger brakes (as well as other extras) that are certainly required for any significant track work.

Getting back to the new record for its class, let’s see how the Tesla’s lap time at Streets of Willow compares with gas counterparts:

All of that said, Elon Musk has indicated that the Model 3 Performance actually isn’t the quickest sport sedan in the world. The Model S P100D is.

Presumably, Motor Trend or someone else just needs to take the P100D out onto the track to confirm this.

For now, the only sport sedan that is anywhere near the performance ballpark on track that competes on price with the Tesla is the BMW M2, a much smaller 2-door only sedan, which starts from an MSRP of $55,495. The more comparably sized BMW M4 has a base MSRP $68,700, a good chunk above the Tesla’s $64,000. The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is priced from $75,085.

Whilst the Model 3 Performance is certainly showing the inherent ability of electric powertrains to outperform gas guzzlers, the next-gen Tesla Roadster will seal the deal on that front, as its main purpose is to permanently dethrone gas cars from holding the performance crown.

Will the Model 3’s stunning performance on track be enough to convince petrol-heads to switch to an EV? Let us know what you think in the comments! 

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About the Author

Max is an anthropologist, social theorist and international political economist, trying to ask questions and encourage critical thinking about social and environmental justice, sustainability and the human condition. He has lived and worked in Europe and Asia, and is currently based in Barcelona. Follow Max on twitter @Dr_Maximilian and at MaximilianHolland.com, or contact him via LinkedIn.

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