Ownership Verified: The wait was long enough: leviathan's Tesla Model 3 Performance

leviathan

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Three years ago, I stood in line outside a small store in downtown Frankfurt to place a reservation on a car, with a bunch more excited people:

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We didn't know what it would look like. Only a few key facts were given: the base version would cost 35k$, it would be a sedan slightly smaller than a Model S, and it would have a base range of 210 miles. We each put down a small-ish payment, and got a number in an online account.

A long time later, the car could actually be configured and ordered in Germany. And as soon as I could, I put in an order through a leasing provider, to get one as a company car. One could not order the base version (and still cannot, except in the US) - but I didn't intend to.

Some three months later still, after a lot of radio silence, I got a text: "Your Model 3 is ready for delivery".

And finally, a week after that text, this happened:

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As is typical for my cars, weather at and after delivery was utterly crap, so better pictures are coming soon .

As mentioned above, this is not a base version Model 3. Instead, the specs go:
  • Model 3 Long Range AWD Performance
  • Pearl White exterior
  • Premium Black interior
  • Performance Upgrade Package, which used to be optional but is now fitted to all Performance 3s, consisting of:
    • 20" wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires
    • Upgraded brakes
    • Upgraded steering
    • Lowered and stiffened suspension
    • Small spoiler
  • Enhanced Autopilot, which is basically equivalent to having the current Autopilot + FSD packages (for now)
Having had it for close to three days now, I am very impressed with the car, and highly unlikely to make use of the 7-day return policy :) I'll need a bit more time to gather my thoughts for a full review, but here are a few things that I can make a note of already:
  • The acceleration is just stupid. The fastest car I've owned was the A5 3.0 TDI, which could press one into the seat when floored at correct revs, on full boost, for a short while until it needed an upshift. The Model 3 has very nearly double the power and a ridiculous amount of torque, available at any time, with no delay and no preconditions to meet. It does not kick like its bigger brother, the Model S; instead you press the pedal, your neck briefly hurts if you didn't think to put your head against the headrest in time, and then you find yourself going at a million km/h. It doesn't get old.
  • Handling is not lacking either. The steering could use a little more feel, but it's very direct and precise. The steering wheel itself, while not much of a looker, is nicely small-ish and very grippy, in a good way. And the PS4S tires deliver an unbelievable amount of corner grip for a car this heavy. I am very much looking forward to trying Track Mode, once an opportunity presents itself.
  • I'm rather fond of the interior. It is very minimalist and somewhat polarizing because of that, and some design choices are not ideal in my opinion (whyyyy the buttons instead of normal door handles...). But after a very short time, I'm completely used to the display being the main control for pretty much everything. It is placed just within reach without having to lean forward in the seat, and reacts really fast to any input, sort of like a brand new smartphone. The seats are very comfy, and offer very decent support for more spirited driving. Premium interior sound system is awesome, and I just generally feel that the car is a nice place to be in.
  • It's not quite as quiet and refined at Autobahn speeds as the A5 was. Ride comfort is decent, especially considering the fairly low profile tires (235/35ZR20). There is some tire and wind noise, possibly more noticeable than it would usually be because of lack of any motor or exhaust sound. But is still a very good cruiser in my opinion. Especially because...
  • Autopilot is just something I don't ever want to miss anymore. It's smooth, predictable, and spares the driver a lot of mental capacity that is usually taken up by the mechanical tasks of driving. It is squarely in a league above any other driver assistance package I've tried on modern cars. However, a friend who rode with me put it well: "it's something you can only fully use when you know the tech behind it" - I can sign off on that. One absolutely has to learn and know its quirks and "habits" to be able to relax when it's safe, and know where the system's limits are and how it approaches and hits them in various ways. It's in no way a fully "hands off" system, and will take a long time still to become one imho. But even in the state it is now, it already makes my "point A to point B" drives and sitting in traffic just so much more enjoyable.
Of course, this being a Tesla, there is an issue, and that is the aforementioned Performance spoiler. Which is missing. Apparently a common occurrence with Tesla's current deliveries :) I was assured it will be delivered and installed in a couple weeks. Looking forward to it completing the look of the car, and unlocking the top speed of 261 km/h (limited to 235 without it - apparently it actually does something for high-speed stability).

I will be keeping this car for a while, and driving the hell out of it. More impressions, thoughts and whatnot are to come.
 
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loose_unit

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First one on the forums, congrats! I really can't wait to see how this actually drives :)

I would probably have more seriously considered one if I could have dealt with the interior, but I really just did not like it when I sat in one in Vienna :)
 

leviathan

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Obligatory proof pic, late night meta version:

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First one on the forums, congrats! I really can't wait to see how this actually drives :)
I believe you're coming to the Alpine roadtrip this year? If all works out, so am I - with this thing.

One sentence only: Shotgun on the 'ring! :p
If we're disregarding the "be within sight of the car when calling shotgun" rule, then I believe @thomas called it a couple years ago at a Ringmeet :)
 

Hok

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Congrats. Finally the wait is over for you.
 

D-Fence

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Obligatory proof pic, late night meta version:

View attachment 3555323


I believe you're coming to the Alpine roadtrip this year? If all works out, so am I - with this thing.


If we're disregarding the "be within sight of the car when calling shotgun" rule, then I believe @thomas called it a couple years ago at a Ringmeet :)

Sorry Olex, the rules clearly state:

Updated 5/29/2011 for rule change.

If you are posting a new thread about your car, you MUST include a photo showing your forum username. Write it on paper, cardboard, a printout of your profile page, and stick it on the gearshift of your vehicle. This is the only accepted proof shot, and must be on the vehicle you are posting.
Therefore, I doubt it is yours. Not my problem you don't have a gearlever :p
 

leviathan

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Sorry Olex, the rules clearly state:

Therefore, I doubt it is yours. Not my problem you don't have a gearlever :p
Just for you, my expressively German friend, the boring by-the-rules proofpic :sleep:

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marcos_eirik

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Congratulations! Must be electrifying! :)

The spoiler thing also happened with Tesla Bjørn and his white Model 3 Performance, but the spoiler was in the boot, apparently because some don't want it. Anyways, I see lots of them here, Oslo is almost flooded by them... :LOL: They broke the all time registrations record for a single car in a single month in March, 5315 cars delivered in a single month. Previous record was about 2200 Nissan Leaf in March 2018.
 

thomas

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Obligatory proof pic, late night meta version:

View attachment 3555323


I believe you're coming to the Alpine roadtrip this year? If all works out, so am I - with this thing.


If we're disregarding the "be within sight of the car when calling shotgun" rule, then I believe @thomas called it a couple years ago at a Ringmeet :)
I claim victory! :p
 

Tram13

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As much as I don't like the Model 3's design (mostly comparing it to the IMO beautiful Model S), I am very much impressed by its technology. If I were in the market for an electric car, it'd be on the top of my list. Looking forward to reading more about it!
 

leviathan

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The weather really cleaned up a lot over the weekend, and earlier today I was able to take a couple better shots of the Model 3:

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I must say, the more I look at it, the more I'm happy I went for the white paint. I've seen all other colors of the Model 3 by now, and white just works best of them all in my opinion. Red is amazing as well, but the Performance brakes and spoiler both don't work with the red color as well as they contrast against the white. Really want my spoiler now :)

Met another new owner at a local free charger:

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Not as fast as Supercharging, but for free and with a very good restaurant (+ brewery) two minute walk away :) Definitely will be coming back here.
 

Hok

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Do you have home charging or are you depending on public chargers?
 

leviathan

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Not at home at the moment, but there's a 11kW AC charger at work that I can use free of charge. And there are a bunch of public chargers around where I live (including fast-ish DC), closest two are ~10 minutes from home by foot - already left the car overnight there once. Will definitely be looking for home charging when I move, which will be some time soon presumably.
 

Hok

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At work is a good place to have a charger available as well.
 

47

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Well congrats in the thread, too! Finally it's here, good for you, man! ;)

It looks good, thought I really don't like the look of that steering wheel :D
Will have to inspect the inside at ringmeet, I've only ever seen Adrians tesla and that was at night.
 
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