Motor Trend: Tesla's Model 3 performance is 'pure jungle cat'

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. 

Above: 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."

Above: 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."

Above: 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