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How does Model 3 RWD handle vs other sport cars?

I been a passenger couple of yours ago in Tesla Model 3 but can not remember which version it was.

How is the driving dynamics of the Tesla Model 3 SR+ RWD compared to what I used to drive in the past ?

Since having my driver's license, most were Mustang GT convertibles and Mazda MX5 Miata's. The Mazda MX-5 had better handling than the Mustang due to almost perfect 50/50 ratio.

Anyone here compared handing of Tesla Model 3 to Mazda MX-5 ?

What can I expect for driving characteristics as closest SC is over 4 hours away and can not test drive the Model 3 ?

Dan
 
I own a Model 3 Performance (modded, but I’ve driven plenty of stock RWD) and a 1991 Miata (fully stock). The weight distribution honestly feels very similar (Model 3 is also 50-50), but you’ll definitely feel the weight of the Tesla when cornering, especially if you’re coming from a Miata. The Tesla will have much less body roll and corner flatter though. In a canyon, you’ll be able to enter a corner faster (but not by much) with a Miata because of the weight, but you’ll be able to exit the corner much faster in the Tesla because of the power. Both are super fun though.
 
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The SR+ is not a sporty car. Stock tires are not geared for sporty driving in any way. Any attempt at 'play' will be negated by the traction/stability control. You cannot slide the SR+ (or any other 3 short of Performance with the track mode engaged), and you cannot apply all the power until the steering wheel is almost straight.

You can make it slightly sportier by upgrading tires from OEM to something stickier and with a stiffer sidewall, at the expense of 10-20% range decrease.
 
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MODEL+

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The SR+ is not a sporty car. Stock tires are not geared for sporty driving in any way. Any attempt at 'play' will be negated by the traction/stability control. You cannot slide the SR+ (or any other 3 short of Performance with the track mode engaged), and you cannot apply all the power until the steering wheel is almost straight.

You can make it slightly sportier by upgrading tires from OEM to something stickier and with a stiffer sidewall, at the expense of 10-20% range decrease.
Far from the truth in my opinion.
After our second autocross session with the SR+ today, I was reassured that we will continue dialing this car to make it competitive vs getting a Model 3 Performance.

All you need is a MPP Party Box or Ingenxt Bonus Module to alter the traction/stability settings. In our case, using the Ingenext Module allowed us to FULLY disable traction, stability and regenerative braking. This allows for consistency and predictability in performance driving situation.

In this video, you can see I'm actually having the opposite problem as the car spins out 0:20 from too much power input. As a driver, I am still getting used to not having "audible" feedback as I put the power down compared to an ICE car with aftermarket exhaust.


You can easily turn the electronic nannies back on by interfacing with the module via your phone. Even during backroad carving, with these features on, the car is still very capable and balanced. In the dry, you can carry momentum around corners without the traction/stability ever interfering.

One more thing to note:
SR+ weighs nearly 500lbs less than Long Range or Performance models. This directly benefits agility and weight transfer of the car. This is not to be overlooked considering there are people out there who will put in great efforts just to remove a few pounds here and there around their car.
More importantly, this weight is directly removed from the front axle from the absent of an electric motor to power the front wheels.

Image.jpeg

For all these reasons, we think the SR+ is actually the overlooked "sleeper" performance model. We are adding KW V3s, front/rear swaybars, and dedicated tires to continue to test and push this car to be more competitive and fun to drive.

Stay tuned,
Danny
 

MODEL+

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At one point, I had one of these simultaneous to the SR+ Model 3.
Was able to get a lot of A/B seat time between the two... so you can say I know what a "true sports car" or a balanced chassis should feel like ;).

Image.jpeg

The Model 3 continues to amaze me by how well mannered it is around corners and how quickly you can change directions considering the weight of the car.

Danny
 
All you need is a MPP Party Box or Ingenxt Bonus Module to alter the traction/stability settings.
All you need is to say good bye to your warranty, then you can make the SR+ into an okay sport sedan.

The OP is not asking how a heavily modified to the point of possibly losing all warranty coverage SR+ *could* behave. If the SR+ had a stock 'sports' mode that dialed down the nannies, it'd definitely be a decent sport sedan (or would have good potential to become one with just good tires).

Speaking of competitiveness, not sure if those traction/stability control disabling boxes are compliant with SCCA rules on modifying stock nannies. They might be, but you'd still be SS, competing against the M3P. The latter would be shooting to top the class/PAX with a good driver. The SR+ will be an also-ran regardless of M3P presence that day.
 
" If the SR+ had a stock 'sports' mode that dialed down the nannies, it'd definitely be a decent sport sedan (or would have good potential to become one with just good tires). " Could this just be done as a software update? Also thinking lighter wheels, better tires would improve handling?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
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" If the SR+ had a stock 'sports' mode that dialed down the nannies, it'd definitely be a decent sport sedan (or would have good potential to become one with just good tires). " Could this just be done as a software update? Also thinking lighter wheels, better tires would improve handling?

I doubt tesla will ever release a "sports mode" for the SR+ (or for any vehicle in their stable other than the performance via its track mode).

The "pary box" is an aftermarket item.


Directly from MPP (bold emphasis mine)

====================================

Description​

Welcome to the MPP Party Box. This page has been private for the last year or so as we’ve slowly been selling these units to die-hard enthusiasts. We now feel confident in the product enough to release it to all to you, but please understand that purchasing this product does come with limitations and requirements on you, the customer.

Do not buy this if you don’t plan to use it responsibly. Do not buy it if you just want to do burnouts and show off to your friends. Do not buy it if you’re going to blame us if in a year’s time a Tesla software update breaks it. Our Partybox is able to be updated by the end-user, so in the event that a software update renders the module inoperable it will be easy to update as long as we’re able to find a solution in the software.

Now that we have the negativity out of the way – The Partybox currently works without any faults or issues on RWD Model 3’s. It also works with AWD Model 3’s, although the traction control strategy is still in development. Please see the AWD section below. The box has been working successfully since mid-2019 on all Tesla software versions, and at this point, we feel somewhat confident that the way our module works it will not be able to be impacted by a software update.

The factory Model 3 stability control is extremely intrusive and it results in the Model 3 being essentially useless on the racetrack. Unplugging a wheel-speed sensor is an option, but it removes ABS which reduces the car’s ability on track significantly, as ABS will significantly improve track lap time and consistency. Our Partybox allows for controlled sliding and ideal track performance by allowing some slip and deactivating intrusive stability control nannies. Dyno mode has been removed by Tesla, so that’s no longer an option for those of you that want to be able to open up your Tesla’s.

This Partybox kit includes our MPP designed microcontroller in a CNC-machined aluminum enclosure, the wiring harness which has been produced with MIL-Spec harness practices including Raychem heat-shrink protecting the wires, and an adapter harness using the OEM Tesla connectors to allow for a plug and play installation. A USB port on the device allows for software updates in the future if required.
 
" If the SR+ had a stock 'sports' mode that dialed down the nannies, it'd definitely be a decent sport sedan (or would have good potential to become one with just good tires). " Could this just be done as a software update? Also thinking lighter wheels, better tires would improve handling?
From Tesla? I'd say not very likely.

Better tires/wheels will raise the traction limit and make traction control engagement less likely on the street, until you get used to higher grip. If you never purposefully tried to break loose and then catch the rears of your Mustang GT or Miata, just upgrading tires/wheels may be quite enough for you.

If you did enjoy pushing your prior cars, you may want to think about these aftermarket traction control solutions.

From third-party vendors, two options mentioned above both cost ~$1k usd. They mess with OEM Tesla sensor inputs to limit the nannies. BUT, if one day Tesla decides to move against those who use them, I'm fairly certain they could. So, be prepared for a low probability event of being royally screwed by Tesla with no recourse against anybody. Also, realize that these 'solutions' are tested to work with particular Tesla software version. As Tesla rolls out new updates, it's possible that Tesla's algorithms will change not sufficiently enough for these mods to fail to work at all, but sufficiently enough to trigger some dangerous handling behavior with these mods. Or, a future update could just turn these party boxes into $1k useless bricks.
 

raptor5244

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May 10, 2019
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Florida
I own a Miata ND, Tesla M3 SR+ and M3 Performance. The Miata is the most fun car to drive on the street. At 2300lbs it is so toss-able, it feels like a go-kart. Low on torque but the newer ND2 is rev happy and fun to wind out.

The SR+ handles better than the Performance. Without the front motor the SR+ handles more like a mid-engine car and you can feel the difference. The Performance handles well but at 4250lbs, even with all the instant torque, it is a piggy. The big issue for most enthusiasts is the lack of playfulness of the chassis. You have to resort to these aftermarket party boxes to disable the nannies and since there is so much dependency on software tuning and compatibility it kinda spoils the fun.
 
I own a Miata ND, Tesla M3 SR+ and M3 Performance. The Miata is the most fun car to drive on the street. At 2300lbs it is so toss-able, it feels like a go-kart. Low on torque but the newer ND2 is rev happy and fun to wind out.

The SR+ handles better than the Performance. Without the front motor the SR+ handles more like a mid-engine car and you can feel the difference. The Performance handles well but at 4250lbs, even with all the instant torque, it is a piggy. The big issue for most enthusiasts is the lack of playfulness of the chassis. You have to resort to these aftermarket party boxes to disable the nannies and since there is so much dependency on software tuning and compatibility it kinda spoils the fun.
My last Miata was the 2007 ( NC ), still miss that car and the current Miata ND is the choice I would make if there was not electric cars available.
 

raptor5244

Active Member
May 10, 2019
1,561
1,241
Florida
My last Miata was the 2007 ( NC ), still miss that car and the current Miata ND is the choice I would make if there was not electric cars available.
I wonder what an EV Miata would be like. The affordable Telsa Roadster. :) Small battery to keep it light, one rear motor, top down, it would be a real hoot to drive.
 
(not exactly what you asked) I owned a 2001 ( NB) Mazda Miata 6-speed prior to this LR 2021 tesla. Totally different cars in terms of handling and feel. The Miata at 80 miles an hour (w top down) felt like you were doing 120. Tesla is a lot more planted and frankly less fun (it's heavy!). I also own a 2011 WRX (5 speed), and it's driving dynamics (on dry roads) are fairly similar to the Tesla.
 

MODEL+

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All you need is to say good bye to your warranty, then you can make the SR+ into an okay sport sedan.

The OP is not asking how a heavily modified to the point of possibly losing all warranty coverage SR+ *could* behave. If the SR+ had a stock 'sports' mode that dialed down the nannies, it'd definitely be a decent sport sedan (or would have good potential to become one with just good tires).

Speaking of competitiveness, not sure if those traction/stability control disabling boxes are compliant with SCCA rules on modifying stock nannies. They might be, but you'd still be SS, competing against the M3P. The latter would be shooting to top the class/PAX with a good driver. The SR+ will be an also-ran regardless of M3P presence that day.
OP was inquiring about driving dynamics of the SR+ and I gave my input...
Even when the car was bone stock, I enjoyed the balanced handling and the willingness to change directions around corners.
I understand what I'm doing to this platform may be on the extreme side, but that should not take away from the point I'm trying to make about the SR+ being balanced and lightweight (relative).

As for getting bumped out of stock class, I really don't mind. There's no way I'm resorting to 8.5" width wheel size and factory suspension anyway. The goal is to come after the M3Ps.

If Tesla decided to make a RWD Performance Model 3 one day, with sophisticated traction and stability control, I would be all over it.
Raw 0-60mph pulls mean little to me. When it comes to going around corners, you cannot escape the laws of physics from losing nearly 500lbs over the front axles.


Danny
 
Last edited:
OP was inquiring about driving dynamics of the SR+ and I gave my input...
Even when the car was bone stock, I enjoyed the balanced handling and the willingness to change directions around corners.
I understand what I'm doing to this platform may be on the extreme side, but that should not take away from the point I'm trying to make about the SR+ being balanced and lightweight (relative).

As for getting bumped out of stock class, I really don't mind. There's no way I'm resorting to 8.5" width wheel size and factory suspension anyway. The goal is to come after the M3Ps.

If Tesla decided to make a RWD Performance Model 3 one day, with sophisticated traction and stability control, I would be all over it.
Raw 0-60mph pulls mean little to me. When it comes to going around corners, you cannot escape the laws of physics from losing nearly 500lbs over the front axles.


Danny
Appreciate your input, for now first step is lighter wheels, better tires once I do get the Tesla Model 3 RWD
 
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