Ever since Elon Musk made is outlandish claims that the Tesla Model 3 Performance would be the greatest track car since the invention of race tracks (intentional hyperbole, Tesla fans. Chill), journalists have wanted to test that claim. Each time the Model 3 Performance has been on track with its competitors, it’s almost always been faster. The only car in its class that’s beaten the Tesla on track, that we know of, is the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Though, no one does comparison tests quite like Top Gear’s Chris Harris. So he recently put the Model 3 Performance up against the BMW M3, the Mercedes-AMG C63 S and the aforementioned Alfa.
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Unfortunately, we live in America and the new season of Top Gear hasn’t begun airing here just yet. So we didn’t get to see the entire episode. Thankfully, TG put a short clip of the test up on the YouTube machine for us to watch.
In that short clip, we get to see a drag race between the four cars, though it’s one with a minor modification from the rest of the internet’s drag races. Rather than the typical quarter-mile race, Harris drags them for a half-mile. Why? Because EVs are always faster than comparable gasoline cars in a quarter-mile but always run out of puff after 100 mph. So Harris extends the race a bit, just to see what happens.
Off the line, the Telsa obliterates the other three. It simply walks away from them without even trying. However, after 120 mph, the gasoline cars start to catch up. Though, there isn’t much distance left in the race at that point, so the Tesla mostly holds onto its lead. I say mostly because the mighty AMG storms past it in the final seconds and wins the race.
So, I think I’ll be buying a Tesla Model 3 quite soon. Thought it was so impressive. Nothing like as enjoyable as an M3, but as my first toe-dip into the leccy world, it should work until they figure out how to make EVs more fun and desirable.
— chris harris (@harrismonkey) June 24, 2019
We didn’t get to see the part where Harris puts the Model 3 Performance on track against the other three, as we’ll have to wait for the season to debut here for that. However, we’re assuming/hoping some of our European readers will let us in on the details. Though, Harris did tweet a bit about it, claiming that the Model 3 Performance is impressive enough for him to buy one but still not as fun as an M3 on track.
I know this is going to sound like M3 fanboy-ism (it isn’t, I’m not even a huge fan of this generation M3) but isn’t fun the entire point of a track day? Sure, the Tesla will likely crush the Bimmer on track but if the driver isn’t having as much fun, what’s the point? Unless you’re using race winnings to pay your bills, the entire reason for taking your car to the track is to have some stupid fun, which is usually more likely to happen while going slower and in a cloud of tire smoke.
There’s no questioning the Model 3 Performance’s, well, performance. It’s astonishing, it really is. But if it’s devoid of fun and emotion (which not all electric cars are), can it really be considered the better track car? I’m not judging, I’m really asking.