We have every right to ask questions about the generalization of electric and the future of driving pleasure. But the numbers are stubborn. With a 0 to 100 km / h in 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 261 km / h, the Tesla Model 3 Performance is swift. Obviously, these statistics only tell part of the story and the pleasure of Elon Musk’s sports car can only be measured at the wheel.
First, it’s a (very) good sedan. Bright, spacious, modern, the Model 3 transports its passengers in a unique atmosphere, without the orgy of buttons or fatigue. We appreciate the efforts made on the finishes in the 2021 version (see below), even the quality of some plastics and fit remain below German benchmarks. Despite the adoption of double glazing, air and rolling noises are always a bit disappointing. A trip on the A5, however, is the opportunity to test the improved Autopilot (optional at 3,800 €): a flash of the blinker and the machine changes lanes smoothly and explaining its approach to you. on the central screen. The driver does need a little getting used to before enjoying the system, but no other manufacturer does so well today.
=> Tesla Model 3: what evolutions on the 2021 model?
VIDEO – Our detailed test drive of the Tesla Model 3 Performance (25 minutes)
But it is time (fortunately) to take back 100% of the controls, with the approach of the turning points of Chablisien. The Performance version benefits from a ground clearance lowered by 10 mm and 20-inch rims called “Uberturbine”. Especially with 298 hp at the rear, 215 hp at the front and the all-wheel drive, the two electric motors tear off the asphalt in concert with the work of the tires in the soundtrack. Battery full, traction begins to take shape … before the electronics gradually limit performance in order to maintain autonomy.
In turns, it is just as remarkable. Before entry, the four-piston calipers nimbly bite the ventilated discs (355 mm at the front, 335 mm at the rear). Thanks to a very direct steering – 2 turns lock to lock – and Pirelli PZero strong in grip, the Model 3 describes the curve without understeer despite a significant weight – 1,856 kg empty. The very low center of gravity and the ideal distribution (52/48) obviously help the machine to register. In the tight, the speeds maintained at the chord point are even surprising for a machine of this size (4.69 m). At the first stroke of the accelerator when exiting, the machine continues its course without batting an eyelid, with a almost light rear axle. On degraded pavement, conventional damping (double fork in front, multi-arm at the rear) is effective, but firm over time. Yes, this car is a sports car.
Besides, Track mode will allow some circuit excursions : the brakes and the torque are distributed directly to the 4 wheels, “simulating” a limited slip differential absent from the Model 3. Be careful, after a few laps, of brake fatigue and overheating of the battery . The cameras will allow you to film everything and retrieve the images on a USB key located in the glove box. The multiple lenses are used on a daily basis for driving aids and for Sentinel mode, which is responsible for protecting the vehicle when stationary. In heavy use, life expectancy without recharging is reduced to less than 200 terminals.
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Speaking of terminals, know that the Model 3 benefits – like all Tesla – from the Supercharger network (770 charging points distributed in 87 stations in France). No card, no subscription … Count approximately 35 to 40 cents per kWh and a consumption of 21 kWh / 100 km in motorway driving. We measured a real range of 350 km (467 km at WLTP approval), with the lithium-ion battery made up of Panasonic cells with a capacity of around 80 kWh *.
Billed bare 59,900 euros, the Model 3 Performance also benefits from a bonus of 3,000 euros … on condition that you waive any option. To find a vehicle with such interesting figures on the German side, you have to exceed the 100,000 euros mark. Electric side with the Porsche Taycan 4S and Audi e-Tron GT Quattro. But also on the thermal side with, for example, a BMW M3. The 6-cylinder in-line certainly causes thrills inaccessible to the Tesla. But admit that there is enough to ask serious questions …
Who offers such performance in a car designed every day and at this price point? No one else, to our knowledge.
- Stunning performance
- Easy recharging
- Price / performance ratio
We like less
- Imperfect soundproofing
- Damping a bit firm
- Inconvenient chest (s)
What’s new in the 2021 version?
First sign of recognition: the rods, door handles and indicator repeaters change from chrome to black. Added to this is a slight reduction in weight (around 40 kg) and the addition of a heat pump, optimizing autonomy in winter conditions. Double glazing is added to the standard equipment. On board, a central tunnel carries two docks with induction charging for smartphones and new plastics that are more pleasant to the touch are appearing. The unique atmosphere doesn’t change with the unmistakable 15-inch central screen. Left: driving information. Right: the rest (audio, navigation, air conditioning, entertainment…).
Tesla Model 3 Performance
Tested version: 59,990 euros
From 43,800 euros
=> Tesla price: all models, their prices and their configurations
Average consumption during the test (kWh / 100 km): 21
Manufacturer autonomy (km): 467
Autonomy during the test (km): 360
CO2 (g)/malus : 0 / 0 €
Fiscal power (CV): 9
Country of Manufacture: United States
Electric, from 275 to 513 hp, from 43,800 to 59,990 euros
Rear motor: Permanent magnet synchronous motor, liquid cooled, with variable frequency control
Front motor: induction, liquid cooled, with variable frequency control
Transmission: all-wheel, single-speed fixed gear
Power (hp): 298 (rear engine) + 215 (front) *
Torque (Nm): 420 (rear engine) + 240 (front) *
Battery: liquid-cooled lithium-ion (Li-ion), voltage 360 V
Battery capacity: around 80 kWh *
Weight (kg): 1,856
Long.xlarg.xhaut. (m) : 4,69×1,85×1,44
Wheelbase (m): 2.87
Max speed (km / h): 261
0 to 100 km/h (s): 3.3
Standard tires (AV-AR): 235/35 R20
Test tires: Pirelli PZero
Rear legroom (cm): 89
Chest at 5 (l): 425 (AR) + 50 (AV)
Metallic paint (black, gray, blue): € 1,050
White interior: € 1,050
Improved autopilot: € 3,800
Porsche Taycan 4S, 530 hp, from 109,414 €
Audi e-Tron GT, 530 hp, from € 101,500
* Note: Tesla does not officially communicate the capacity of its battery or average consumption. The power figures change according to the state of the battery.
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