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I need some convincing re: M3 Performance

StealthP3D

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2018
11,566
109,751
Maple Falls, WA
Hey all - my name's Royal, from Chicago IL. I'm a recovering/stubborn old school car guy warming up to the idea of ditching ICEs for my daily driver. For my entire life I have always enjoyed driver focused analog style cars, and I've had many of them, (example: I've owned every generation of 3 series up until the F30, and I also own a Morgan 3 wheeler). I just absolutely love driving.

So, I'm considering a Model 3 Performance edition, with gunmetal paint and black interior. I don't really have any interest in the self driving aspects and cost is not a primary consideration, I just want a really cool daily driver that will last me five to ten years. Also I'm not really considering any other cars and I'm not "up" on what the M3 Performance is being compared to. BMW, Audi, Benz, etc. haven't really been interesting in years to me... Basically, I am just looking to hear from other people that may have been in my position.

Will I like this car? Anyone move away from a stick shift and love it? Also, I sometimes like to customize my vehicles, are there any forums dedicated to this? Can't wait to learn a little more. Also, is it possible to order the car with smaller wheels than 20"? Seems kind of big for a smaller sedan, I'd prefer an 18 or 19.

I know this is long but I'm real curious. Hope to hear from some of you soon!

Don't dismiss the AWD Model 3. It's actually a better performance car than most performance cars. Deceptively fast. I think if you had never driven a Tesla and got behind the wheel of an AWD Model 3 (thinking it was a Performance) you would be suitably impressed.

But you really need to drive these cars to be able to wrap your head around them. All the theoretical pondering and studying the specs will not prepare you for how much fun they are to drive.
 
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I had a 135i with toggle shifting.
Fun, agile and quick car.

It gave way to a much larger and better Model S 85.

I still have the S, but mostly drive my Stealth PM3,
18" wheels without the original wheel covers and snap on lugs. Very cost effective and still Stealth. No red brake calipers.
For Daily driving in heavy traffic, I keep the car in Chill mode.

Occasionally, I shift it into Sport mode, and the car has a completely different personality.
Unbelievably quick, smooth and willing to do your bidding.

This IS a very serious car, in sheep's clothing.

Only way to answer for initial OP's question is for him to do a test drive, preferably away from traffic.

Whether you get the 18" or 20" wheels is up to you, and a bit of diligence to see if you can locate a Stealth or go BIG with the 20".

I just saw a P3 (being delivered) with the new dark wheels, and it was awesome looking, red calipers.
 

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My previous car was a Mercedes CLS63 AMG - before that I had a F10 M5, 987 Cayman, BMW M2

We got the Model 3 Performance for my wife, there are some great tax incentives coming to the UK and thought we'd give EV's a go. No way would I be able to lose my AMG sound etc.....................

When the Tesla arrived (we did not test drive one!) I tried my commute a few times in it...............within days the AMG seemed like a prehistoric thing and I was enjoying the Tesla more than I've enjoyed most of my previous cars (except the M2, that was sublime).

In the end I ended up with the Tesla and the wife got a BMW i3s.

Its very difficult to describe why we love them in full, but I honestly miss NOTHING from my previous cars.

Having said all that, I think you have to question what you want from a car - if its a great handling, epically fast, cheap to run car, the EV's are perfect. If you drive 10/10ths a lot and want a visceral feeling when driving, you probably want an ICE over 10 years old. Modern ICE's offer nothing to me now.
 
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IMO, a Model 3 Performance with its 19" wheels, low profile tires and lowered suspension is a mistake in an urban environment like Chicago. Too many poor, pot hole riddled streets that lead to a rough ride and possible wheel damage.

How much are you going to utilize the increased speed of the Performance model in Chicago?

Prior to owning a Model 3 AWD, we owned a Porsche 911S, and two Porsche Cayman S cars. They were fantastic automobiles, but the low profile sport tires combined with lowered suspensions made them miserable daily drivers. We were constantly scraping the front spoiler on driveways, speed bumps, road dips, and parking lot concrete stops.

A mid-range Model 3 Dual Motor AWD has off-the-line acceleration that betters any of the Porsche cars we've owned, and the 0-60 time is close enough to be a non-factor in a daily driver. It's fantastic...and it avoids getting scraped on common city obstacles.

Almost no one but you and Teslerati are going to recognize the cosmetic differences between a Model 3 AWD and a Performance model, so the ego boost may not be as big as you think.

Okay, I know the odds of anyone considering a Model 3 Performance model opting instead for an AWD version are extremely slim, but I felt obligated to offer some perspective as a city-based, ex-owner of high-end, precision sports cars.
 
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I only drove manual transmission cars since getting my licence at 16. I've had modified subarus, and still have a modified c5 corvette. I got the p3d- in the fall of this year, and it was such a game changer, when I got back in my corvette, I thought it was broken. It made a bunch of noise, and really didn't go anywhere. I am seriously wondering if I should keep the corvette around or not. It is the most amazing daily driver, great at road trips, I've put 11,000 miles on it in 5 months. If you can charge at home, this is possibly the best car money can buy right now.
 
You and I have a lot in common...old-school ICE, long history of driving great cars, and in Chicago. When I decided to trade my S63 AMG this past April, I was considering 3 options: Jeep Trackhawk, Ford Raptor, M3P. I test drove them all and ended up going with the M3P.

8 months later...I love it and don't regret the decision at all. I have other ICE cars to drive when I feel the need, but that usually ends up with me anxious to hop back in the M3P.

For me, it's just a fantastic car that happens to be an EV.
 
IMO, a Model 3 Performance with its 19" wheels, low profile tires and lowered suspension is a mistake in an urban environment like Chicago. Too many poor, pot hole riddled streets that lead to a rough ride and possible wheel damage.

Fair comment on full performance. Maybe consider a stealth which has regular wheels and rims (rims could be upgraded later) and therefore better handling on bumpy roads.
 
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Fair comment on full performance. Maybe consider a stealth which has regular wheels and rims (rims could be upgraded later) and therefore better handling on bumpy roads.
I agree. Had I known about the Performance Stealth before we bought our Dual Motor AWD in a frenzy one day before the Fed credit reduction on July 1, 2019, I would have purchased one...but we are very satisfied with the Dual Motor AWD and have no regrets.
 
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I have to agree with the others on here and say "take a test drive" or "DON'T take a test drive" unless you plan on spending 50-60k for a new car LOL. These cars are insane and you have to drive one and experience it for yourself. I've owned m3, m5, wrx sti, a few tuned diesel trucks, and a tuned ford raptor. The model 3 is on a different level. Quiet, smooth, and scary fast. Did i mention it was fast?

I'm kicking myself for not looking into these a couple years ago. Honestly, it wasn't until about a month ago when my best friend and his buddy came up from San Diego in his performance model 3. He showed me his car and told me about all the features and perks of having an EV. I started to do some research of my own and found out about the stealth model. Scheduled a test drive with the wife and placed an order.
 

Bahtatboy

New Member
Dec 16, 2019
1
0
UK
I'm in a similar position to that of the OP and the position that some other posters were in. I've more-or-less narrowed my shortlist down to an M3P or a Lotus Exige S (probably the roadster version, with 345bhp), although there are still a couple of ICE sports cars hiding in the wings. I know what the visceral thrill of an Exige (and similar) is like, and in all honesty I don't think it'll be matched by an M3P -- but, I have a test drive in one coming up in a week's time (well, definitely in an M3, I'm trying to ensure it'll be a P), so hopefully that'll allow me to finally decide. (An alternative is an Exige for a year or so, and then see if there are any new EVs available which offer a similar experience -- BMW's e4 (?) may well tick the boxes.)
 
Hey all - my name's Royal, from Chicago IL. I'm a recovering/stubborn old school car guy warming up to the idea of ditching ICEs for my daily driver. For my entire life I have always enjoyed driver focused analog style cars, and I've had many of them, (example: I've owned every generation of 3 series up until the F30, and I also own a Morgan 3 wheeler). I just absolutely love driving.

So, I'm considering a Model 3 Performance edition, with gunmetal paint and black interior. I don't really have any interest in the self driving aspects and cost is not a primary consideration, I just want a really cool daily driver that will last me five to ten years. Also I'm not really considering any other cars and I'm not "up" on what the M3 Performance is being compared to. BMW, Audi, Benz, etc. haven't really been interesting in years to me... Basically, I am just looking to hear from other people that may have been in my position.

Will I like this car? Anyone move away from a stick shift and love it? Also, I sometimes like to customize my vehicles, are there any forums dedicated to this? Can't wait to learn a little more. Also, is it possible to order the car with smaller wheels than 20"? Seems kind of big for a smaller sedan, I'd prefer an 18 or 19.

I know this is long but I'm real curious. Hope to hear from some of you soon!

I moved from a 2016 Chevy SS Sedan with a manual. I loved that car. It was really great. I ultimately traded it in for a 3 Performance though. I was using it as a commuter and to carry around the kids. While the shifting was fun and kept me busy in traffic I was spending around 420 a month is gas. With the Performance I miss the shifting but having a quiet car is pretty cool around town so the sound thing is a mixed bag. For me it made sense financially to change but I can tell you if I had a short commute and gas was less of an issue I would have stayed in the SS just for the throwback feel and great ride. I do enjoy the 3 though and the girls still ask for me to give it the beans pretty regularly. If you want any specifics I'd be glad to share.
 
Wow - incredible responses from everyone; I really appreciate you all taking the time to give me some thoughts, all of which are helpful.

A couple of things that resonate so far: I am definitely going to look into the "Stealth" version of the car as well. The harshness and potential wheel/tire/pothole issues certainly aren't lost on me and I would like to drive both the Stealth and the full Performance model to see what will work the best for me. I would like to make it clear that I obviously do not "need" the full Performance model, but I am the type of person that impracticality does not phase in the least, and I do frequently get out of the city to stretch the legs on my cars (and my own).

Mostly, I am glad to know that Tesla has satisfied many enthusiast types coming from engaging-to-drive type vehicles such as Porsches and Lotuses (all of which are leagues more powerful and expensive than most of the stuff I have driven, so I'm already convinced I will be fine as far as performance). The I think the thing that convinces me most in thinking about doing this is how inherently inefficient the engineering of a vehicle with an internal combustion engine is. Every added moving part adds a delay and a power loss, and more *sugar* to fix at the mechanic over time. Jboy210s post (and several others) have really stuck out.

When you boil it down to the vehicle basically always being in gear, having instantaneous, on-tap power, and being able to rev to 16,000rpms and really think about how much most enthusiasts should love those characteristics... the rumble of exhaust and gear shifting suddenly seems like something that might suffice just every now and then on a weekend.

Driving my 2003 Ford Ranger with a five-speed (winter/work truck) to work felt incredibly archaic today as I was thinking about this thread. But the heat worked well. :).

This is probably something I will end up doing, just a matter of timing. Thanks again.
 
...This is probably something I will end up doing, just a matter of timing. Thanks again.

I'm a "car guy" from way back - my last 2 cars were a modified Audi S4 and a modified Audi S6. They were great cars, but I don't miss them at all.

You're welcome to drive mine if you'd like...

(Performance model currently on winter tires)
 
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I started quoting a bunch of replies on here, but gave up - basically what's been said before. You sound like a carbon copy of me and other of "real" car guys on here. More of us seem to be switching to Tesla... which I find very interesting & encouraging. I myself drove manual BMWs forever until I got my P3D-. Nothing new appealed to me *that much.* Made the mistake of test driving a P3D+. End of story.

If the "performance" is your concern... lol. That should be the least of your worries. It's fast AF.

With all cars on the market trying to become computers (e.g. - BMW & others now piping "exhaust noise" in through the speakers... disgusting) - why not just get the car that's a computer & does it fantastically well? I have a bunch of other reasons for going this route, but won't bore with those details now...

My own path: I bought a P3D- because I didn't want the 20" donks & thought I could build a better car for the $5K extra. With MPP Sport coilovers + 19 x 9.5" wheels on 265 PS4S... it should be everything I'll ever want... Without any of the high-performance ICE BS that comes with it.

5 hrs yeh....10 years be cautious. We just don’t know how long the battery will last.
Let's hope you're wrong on this... hoping to keep mine past the 15 year mark. Or hopefully by then aftermarket/refurbished packs are like <$5K so it will be a "non-issue!"
 
I started quoting a bunch of replies on here, but gave up - basically what's been said before. You sound like a carbon copy of me and other of "real" car guys on here. More of us seem to be switching to Tesla... which I find very interesting & encouraging. I myself drove manual BMWs forever until I got my P3D-. Nothing new appealed to me *that much.* Made the mistake of test driving a P3D+. End of story.

If the "performance" is your concern... lol. That should be the least of your worries. It's fast AF.

With all cars on the market trying to become computers (e.g. - BMW & others now piping "exhaust noise" in through the speakers... disgusting) - why not just get the car that's a computer & does it fantastically well? I have a bunch of other reasons for going this route, but won't bore with those details now...

My own path: I bought a P3D- because I didn't want the 20" donks & thought I could build a better car for the $5K extra. With MPP Sport coilovers + 19 x 9.5" wheels on 265 PS4S... it should be everything I'll ever want... Without any of the high-performance ICE BS that comes with it.


Let's hope you're wrong on this... hoping to keep mine past the 15 year mark. Or hopefully by then aftermarket/refurbished packs are like <$5K so it will be a "non-issue!"

Thank you Dolomite! Yeah I’m no one special, and actually know little to nothing about what the M3P is going up against - to be honest not concerned with the performance or comparing it to much just more so trying to figure out whether it’ll “feel” right since it’s so different.

You have given me an idea of buying a stealth and changing the wheels (maybe shocks/springs later on), so thank you for your post very much!!!
 
I used to drive a stick shift and am now driving a stealth performance and I couldn't be happier. Although, the key difference between you and me is that I love using autopilot (not full self driving) on the highway. Makes my work commute tolerable. I too would recommend you test drive it.
 
My previous cars were 08 Evo X, 06 Corvette C6, 05 Pontiac GTO, 08 Audi S4, various other 'fun' manual cars. All were modded and set up for autocross or 1/4 mi, and the occasional road course day. I bought a 2013 Model S P85 ~3 years ago and would never look back. Even my old P85 made all my previous cars feel clunky and outdated. It isn't necessarily faster than all of them, but as a daily driver, it's a far superior car, and the responsiveness makes it feel much quicker than my previous cars. I'm now waiting on a model 3 stealth performance delivery, which feels like a smaller, quicker, and nimbler car than my S.

@ exhaust... I do appreciate a nice exhaust note, but I've always preferred having a quieter car where possible. Being able to put a grin on my face without drawing a lot of attention is great. Even better when you're seemingly effortlessly leaving a noisy ICE car in your wake.

I do miss some of the satisfaction of driving a manual, but I wonder if that's just some kind of ego effect. "I have mastered the heel-toe downshift, who cares if it's no longer a useful skill!". So it seems kind of silly to lament those skills being completely unnecessary now.

I don't miss stopping for gas (much rather just plug in at home and leave every day with a full charge), oil changes, replacing clutches, transmission fluid, etc. Tesla is absurdly low maintenance compared to my old fun cars.

You also mentioned not being interested in self-driving stuff.. I was in the same boat. But autopilot on a long road trip is so damn nice. Same for stop and go boredom.

Best of luck with your decision!
 

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