One Year With a Tesla Model 3 Performance: An Owner’s Perspective


How Fast Is the Tesla Mannequin Three Efficiency?

At the start, let’s speak acceleration and 0-60 time. After an over-the-air software program replace in December 2019, through which Tesla said, “your automotive’s energy has been elevated by roughly 5 %, enhancing acceleration and efficiency” within the firmware launch word, I ran the Mannequin Three Efficiency by our normal acceleration take a look at. It easily sprinted to 60 mph in 3.Zero seconds and completed the quarter mile in 11.5 seconds at 117.Three mph. Evaluating that consequence to the earlier take a look at from April 2019 (proper after I obtained the automotive), the ability enhance considerably improved propulsion at excessive velocity above 70 mph and knocked down 0.5 second from 0-100 mph and 0.2 second for the quarter mile. Up to now, Tesla continues to be the one automaker able to tweaking a car’s powertrain remotely by over-the-air software program updates—and as an proprietor, I take into account {that a} main perk.

Wish to know extra concerning the Tesla Mannequin 3? Try these tales for extra in-depth technical evaluations of the EV:

Monitor Time With the Tesla Mannequin Three Efficiency

Once I was serving to on a comparison test, the Mannequin Three Efficiency sparked—no, electrified—my curiosity as the primary efficiency EV that I might take to a monitor day with out an excessive amount of compromise. Having the ability to have some enjoyable on monitor is a requirement after I store for a automotive, and I noticed potential within the Mannequin Three Efficiency. All through the previous 12 months, I’ve taken the automotive to a few monitor occasions, however essentially the most fascinating was REFUEL 2019 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, my first monitor day after buying the Mannequin 3. REFUEL is a yearly occasion that is open to any full electrical car (from manufacturing to conversion to prototype) to compete in a time trial format. On the day I attended, most contributors introduced Tesla Mannequin 3s in numerous trims (many with modifications); there have been additionally a couple of Mannequin S sedans, a Mannequin X (sure, this electrical SUV obtained on monitor, too), and an authentic Tesla Roadster. Apart from Teslas, there have been a pair Chevy Bolt EVs, a Fiat 500e, a Kia Soul EV, a Radical SR3 with a full electrical powertrain, and a gaggle of ZERO electrical bikes.

So how did the Mannequin Three Efficiency do on monitor? It was nice whereas it lasted, however battery drain and overheating brakes held it again (we’ll get to that in a bit). Every session solely lasted 5 – 6 laps, with the final one being a much-needed cool-down lap. In an period of turbocharged engines and eight-speed gearboxes with throttle mapping tuned to squeeze out each final mpg, the Tesla’s instantaneous “throttle” response really stands out with no lag. In a sure manner, it jogged my memory of the direct feeling you get from a high-revving engine with a throttle cable. The absence of engine and exhaust word can take out a number of the thrill for some, however I personally do just like the high-pitch whine from the electrical motors. It appears like one thing out of Star Wars—and I’ve at all times thought the TIE Fighter flyby noise might make a cool EV warning sound.

The dearth of engine NVH made for a buttery-smooth driving expertise; additionally, I might focus extra on listening to the tires. As for visibility, I appreciated the tiny glimpse of the entrance fender to assist me place the automotive on the monitor, a characteristic you sometimes get on a sports activities automotive, however not often on a sedan. The absence of any type of driver-centric gauge cluster didn’t trouble me a bit on monitor. Whereas I’m driving on the monitor, I usually look to date forward and am continuously in search of the following nook, or the following reference level. I really not often have to see the quantity on the speedometer; I can get a way of velocity by really feel.

With Monitor Mode engaged, the system permits the automotive to be extra playful. The automotive responds to lift-off oversteer to let me tighten the road in a nook. It additionally permits the tail to kick out (in a protected method) after I apply an excessive amount of energy exiting a nook. Particularly at flip 11 after I braked onerous into it after which stepped again on the go-pedal a bit too early earlier than I utterly straighten the steering wheel and speed up on the primary straight. Talking of acceleration, that’s the main power of this automotive, as proven by its 0-60 time. I discovered it labored properly after I went right into a flip slower than I usually would, however then picked a line that would enable me to straighten the steering wheel ASAP for optimum acceleration. Sluggish in, actually quick out.

The Climax Must Final

Because of the improved cooling functionality of Track Mode, I didn’t expertise any powertrain limitation all through the day. Nevertheless, I did uncover an enormous letdown: the brakes, which had been solely in a position to deal with two sizzling laps (three, if I took it barely straightforward) earlier than significantly fading and overheating. I perceive Laguna Seca is tough on brakes, particularly onerous braking at over 110 mph approaching Flip 2. However nonetheless, solely three sizzling laps? To me, that’s unacceptable for a sport sedan with efficiency in its title. I used to be anticipating at the least 5 laps. One other disadvantage of monitoring an EV—not restricted to Tesla—is maintaining the battery at its optimum state of cost, and that sometimes means as absolutely charged as doable, particularly at a time assault occasion.

Usually, as state of cost decreases, the powertrain most output additionally decreases. Within the case of the Mannequin 3, above 90 % can be preferrred to get the quickest lap, and it might not really feel considerably slower till dropping beneath 75 %. On the REFUEL occasion, there have been 200V retailers for contributors to plug in; nevertheless, we needed to share utilization time as a result of there weren’t sufficient for each single one. My Mannequin Three Efficiency consumed 15-18 % for every 15-minute session, so I wanted to plug in for almost two hours after every run, however that was not doable. By the point it was my flip to do my time triall run (the entire monitor principally clear for myself) the battery SOC was solely at 65 %, and I posted a 1:53.20 lap time. The automotive did nice on the monitor, and it was a quite new sensation, however I want the climax might last more.

Can You Personal a Tesla Mannequin Three With out a House Charger?

Exterior of the racetrack, charging isn’t an excessive amount of of an issue. And fact be advised, I am within the minority of EV house owners who doesn’t have entry to charging at dwelling. Fortuitously, the EV charging infrastructure in Los Angeles works for me. Previous to having this Tesla, I had a Chevy Bolt EV for 2 years. It labored, and this Tesla improves the expertise because of greater charging functionality and Tesla’s Supercharger community. There are a pair Stage 2 stalls inside 5 minutes strolling distance from the place I reside. Then there are a couple of Supercharger websites inside 10 miles of MotorTrend‘s El Segundo workplace. On a typical week, I solely have to cost twice for my 70-mile each day commute: as soon as midweek at a Supercharger after I let the automotive cost to 80 %, and as soon as throughout the weekend close to dwelling after I absolutely cost it to 100 %. In the course of the first 12 months, my Mannequin Three Efficiency coated 22,744 miles and used 6,473 kW-hr of power; effectivity is at about 3.5 mile/kW-hr. Of that complete power, 44 % was from AC energy, and 56 % was from DC energy, resembling Superchargers and different Stage Three DC Quick chargers. It doesn’t imply a lot if I advised you the way a lot I paid for charging in a 12 months as a result of I obtained some free Supercharger credit score from Tesla’s referral program. In a traditional month, I spend about $70 on charging the Tesla. In comparison with my different gasoline automotive, a Honda CR-Z (with supercharger), I might have paid roughly $230 for gas to drive the identical distance in a month. And the Mannequin Three is greater than twice as highly effective. Battery degradation is minimal to date. When absolutely charged, the automotive is displaying 296 miles of vary, which is barely Three miles fewer than the present 299-mile EPA-rated vary.

How Is Tesla Service?

As we have already coated, I bought my Tesla Model 3 Performance at a discount, and it was not precisely new. Nevertheless, throughout the first 12 months of possession I’ve not encountered any main downside that requires service. I additionally spent no cash on upkeep as a result of there was none vital, aside from tires.

For those who ask Tesla house owners with Efficiency fashions what they dislike about their automobiles, do not be stunned while you hear a few of them hate the efficiency wheels and tires. And I agree; these huge wheels and low-profile tires might be broken simply by potholes. I had one tire develop a sidewall bubble and a leak after hitting an unavoidable pothole at 40 mph on a neighborhood street throughout a morning commute.

Fortuitously, the leak was sluggish, and there was a Tesla service middle eight miles away. I confirmed as much as the service middle with none appointment, however they had been in a position to take my automotive in and exchange the tire in two hours. I used to be again on the street after paying $435. I additionally had two different Tesla service experiences. Some Mannequin Three Efficiency automobiles inbuilt 2018 didn’t have the carbon-fiber spoiler after they left the manufacturing facility. In these instances, Tesla needed to set up it when the half turned out there after prospects took supply. I purchased the automotive in April, and I by no means heard something from Tesla concerning the spoiler, so I reached out in July to ask for it and in addition to repair a misaligned seal close to the motive force facet B-pillar.

The method was quite handy. I first submitted a service request and picked an appointment time within the Tesla app on my telephone. The subsequent day, a Tesla consultant reached out by textual content to ask for some images so Tesla’s cellular service might come ready. Sure, cellular service.

As a substitute of getting to go drop the automotive off and wait at a service middle, Tesla despatched a Tesla Ranger to my office. On the day of my appointment, a Tesla Ranger confirmed up in a Tesla Mannequin S with instruments and components within the automotive. All I needed to do was present her the place my automotive was parked. She labored on the automotive within the workplace parking construction, and all the pieces was performed in 30 minutes. Two months later, I observed each ends of the spoiler had been unsticking from the trunk. Based on a dialog with different early Mannequin Three Efficiency house owners, there have been some manufacturing inconsistencies, with some spoilers becoming higher than others, and it was a fortunate draw to have one which match. Tesla coated the unsticking spoiler beneath guarantee, so I requested cellular service once more. The second got here higher than the primary one, but it surely needed to be mounted half an inch off middle to remain comfortable on the trunk—bummer. I additionally observed a misaligned driver facet rear wheel liner that left a sensor uncovered. The Tesla Ranger appeared into it and contacted a Tesla engineer, however they stated the sensor is weatherproof and shouldn’t be a priority.

Do I Remorse Shopping for a Tesla Mannequin 3?

At this level, you may be considering, “What about Autopilot?” That deserves its personal article as it’s a difficult matter. Spoiler alert: It has not killed me but. As for the Mannequin 3, I am maintaining it. These fitment points I had had been so minor, and there have been no main issues with the automotive. A $70 month-to-month operating value for a automotive that may do 0-60 in 3.Zero seconds? Actually, a comparable different doesn’t exist but. And I am trying ahead to Tesla’s response when the following M3/four comes out. If in case you have any questions concerning the Tesla Mannequin Three or have a particular side you’d prefer to find out about, please e-mail alan_lau@motortrend.com or go away feedback on our social media channels.



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