Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously dicussed potential higher performance than first announced with the Model 3 Performance version.
Now the CEO teases a way to get faster acceleration with a simple modification: wider, stickier tires.
For the Long Range rear-wheel-drive version of the Model 3, Tesla went with low resistance tires to optimize range.
But that wasn’t good enough for the Performance Model 3.
Tesla went with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires on 20” performance wheels which is certainly an upgrade. However, now Musk concedes that Tesla tried to find a balance between range and performance, probably to keep the range rating close to the 310 listed for the other models.
He wrote on Twitter last night:
We gave up some grip and width in exchange for range. I would recommend stickier tires and wider on the rear for best performance.
The comment was in response to the first drive review of the Performance Model 3 from the Wall Street Journal, which didn’t discuss the drive experience much, but the reviewer did come out impressed aside from traction of the tires. The positive review is perhaps more notable because the WSJ has been critical of Tesla in the past. A recent Tesla spokesperson comment:
“For over a decade, the WSJ has relentlessly attacked Tesla with misleading articles that, with few exceptions, push or exceed the boundaries of journalistic integrity…”
The Performance Model 3 is currently advertised with a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of 3.5 seconds.
Musk says that “you might get 3.3 sec 0-60 mph or better with optimized rims and tires.”
We recently reported on a non-performance Tesla Model 3 with small mods setting a new electric record at the Laguna race track.
The mods included better performance tires on sports wheels.
But when Musk teased higher performance for the Model 3 Performance version, he was specifically talking higher “power output”, which would entail something else than better tires.
He said at the time:
we might be able to increase Model 3 Performance power output a little.
Emphasis on the “might” and he added that he can’t promise anything. Therefore, it’s far from a done deal.
Nonetheless, I asked him again last night, but I didn’t get a response:
Any chance Tesla could also unleash more power through software and/or small hardware upgrade à la Ludicrous upgrade?
— Fred Lambert (@FredericLambert) July 20, 2018
Musk did say two years ago that the Model 3 Performance will have a Ludicrous mode – so you never know.
Also, it appears that Tesla is no longer anti-selling the Performance of the Model 3 in favor of its more expensive and available Model S and X. The $70,000 Performance Model 3 is available in 2-4 months if you order right now.
What do you think? Do you think someone will ever get a flush 3.0-sec 0-60 mph time with a Performance Model 3? Let us know in the comment section below.
Featured Image: First look at Tesla Model 3 Performance version with new white interior – by Marc Benton