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Model 3 LR vs Performance for 1-2 track days a year

Hi everyone,
I'm currently considering the M3 LR since I'd definitely get wheel/tire damage with the 20" wheels where I live (Boston). I'm thinking of the 18" aero wheels, and perhaps switching the wheel covers for the orbital covers! There's also a $2,500 rebate for EVs under 50k in Massachusetts (free acceleration boost!) and I don't think I need the full power of the M3P to have fun!

That being said, I was wondering if any of y'all that have done performance driving with the LR had insight on a couple of track-related considerations:
  • The LR would come without the bigger M3P brakes - I was thinking that changing the pads and brake fluid might be sufficient for track use? (Along with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 or 4S's)
    • I'm not a pro driver or anything so I don't know if I'll be stressing them suuuper hard.
  • Do you think that the lack of track mode is fine?
    • I don't really feel a need to tune the front-rear power delivery, but I was wondering about things like the cooling overclock and the traction control defeat. I've test driven the Model Y performance, Model Y LR and Model 3 SR+ (no M3P or LR available...) and I've definitely felt the power cut out many times when trying to drive harder.
      • Perhaps a way around the traction control would be to get the MMP Partybox that now works for the LR AWD (in beta)
 
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jmaddr

Active Member
Mar 29, 2019
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Well, setting aside power...first the brakes are the weak point, even on the P. You will certainly cook the LR brakes faster than the P, but you’ll also likely cook the brakes on the P. Second, track mode is a lot of fun. The point of track days is fun so missing out on track mode would be sad. And a second to that second, the max cooling enabled by track mode will keep your power longer in the track.

So yes, I personally think the P is needed.
 
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Well, setting aside power...first the brakes are the weak point, even on the P. You will certainly cook the LR brakes faster than the P, but you’ll also likely cook the brakes on the P. Second, track mode is a lot of fun. The point of track days is fun so missing out on track mode would be sad. And a second to that second, the max cooling enabled by track mode will keep your power longer in the track.

So yes, I personally think the P is needed.
If I got the P I was anticipating just finding an optimal setting then forgetting about it... but I now that I think about it I'll probably want to tweak things between runs 🤔. Do you think max cooling will be needed? Since during track days it's typically ~ 20 mins each session with long breaks in between

The tires that come with the LR AWD are bad for track days. Its great for range due to low rolling resistance though. You could get the Performance model and sell the 20s to get a nice pair of forged 18s as an option. Also, the Performance feels much faster than the AWD version....go test drive both and its pretty obvious.
Get the P; swap to 19s w/40 sidewall... or even 18s (some 18s will fit over the brakes I hear). If you like spirited driving and the track, you want the extra pop. That said, the LR I drove was nice, but I never even considered it
True changing the tires seem to be a good option if I were to go with the M3P - I guess it always just seemed like a lot of work (shipping the tires etc) which makes me averse to going that route - that and the price increase haha. That aside, dang, those 20" uberturbines look so good on the M3P - when I was at the Tesla shop the salesperson showed me his personal M3P and it looked amazing.

I'm also worried about the M3P being too fast during normal/non-track driving! I'm worried that it'll be too easy to go fast and I'll end up going to quickly sometimes, then either crash (because a hazard pops up) or get a ticket or something 😅
 
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MXLRplus

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Mar 11, 2020
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The one piece of hardware on a car that is the most critical is not in the powertrain. It's the nut between the seat and the steering wheel.
I can embarrass some new sports car owners in an MX. An MX is effectively an electric tank. She's a big lass indeed.
Seat time is more critical than HP or (gasp) tires. Anyone who has been autocrossing for years can attest to this.

I would guess that a normal AWD M3 with tires and tweaks is faster around a tight track than a stock P series on OEM rubber.

BUT! Buy what puts a smile on your face. Enjoyment is the most critical factor in cars over $30k. A $30k car, SUV, or truck can do the job, but is it fun?
 
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Get the P; swap to 19s w/40 sidewall... or even 18s (some 18s will fit over the brakes I hear). If you like spirited driving and the track, you want the extra pop. That said, the LR I drove was nice, but I never even considered it
If I got the P I was anticipating just finding an optimal setting then forgetting about it... but I now that I think about it I'll probably want to tweak things between runs 🤔. Do you think max cooling will be needed? Since during track days it's typically ~ 20 mins each session with long breaks in between



True changing the tires seem to be a good option if I were to go with the M3P - I guess it always just seemed like a lot of work (shipping the tires etc) which makes me averse to going that route - that and the price increase haha. That aside, dang, those 20" uberturbines look so good on the M3P - when I was at the Tesla shop the salesperson showed me his personal M3P and it looked amazing.

I'm also worried about the M3P being too fast during normal/non-track driving! I'm worried that it'll be too easy to go fast and I'll end up going to quickly sometimes, then either crash (because a hazard pops up) or get a ticket or something 😅
... there is no such thing as too fast for normal/non-track driving...

Too low (especially for bad roads), too stiff, wrong tires... yes. Been down all those roads. But too fast? Nope. You can always drive it slower.

and you can have the car warn you when you are going over a certain speed anyhow.
 
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BUT! Buy what puts a smile on your face. Enjoyment is the most critical factor in cars over $30k. A $30k car, SUV, or truck can do the job, but is it fun?
Those 20" uberturbines on the M3P 🥴 (but what about all the flat tires and wheel damage o_O)

... there is no such thing as too fast for normal/non-track driving...

Too low (especially for bad roads), too stiff, wrong tires... yes. Been down all those roads. But too fast? Nope. You can always drive it slower.

and you can have the car warn you when you are going over a certain speed anyhow.
You're right... never thought I'd see a use for the speed warning chime haha, my friend tried turning it on during the test drive. I think that I'm also considering the whole "drive a slow car fast vs drive a fast car slow" paradigm, for how much fun daily driving might be!
 
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MXLRplus

Active Member
Mar 11, 2020
1,602
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Eastvale, CA
Get the P; swap to 19s w/40 sidewall... or even 18s (some 18s will fit over the brakes I hear). If you like spirited driving and the track, you want the extra pop. That said, the LR I drove was nice, but I never even considered it

... there is no such thing as too fast for normal/non-track driving...

Too low (especially for bad roads), too stiff, wrong tires... yes. Been down all those roads. But too fast? Nope. You can always drive it slower.

and you can have the car warn you when you are going over a certain speed anyhow.

Yeah, there is such a thing as TOO FAST for the street. When the car is caged, rides like a solid suspension, tires wear out in under 2000mi, near zero visibility behind you, and can't go up driveways, you have went too far for a street car.

When it comes just to sheer horsepower and nothing else? Tires, Tickets, and Trouble come to mind. Yeah, everybody should experience a caged <10 second car on the street. That's how you learn what you really want. Or you can save time and listen to those who own trailer queens and have put plates on 8 second (or quicker) cars.
 
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Like I said. Too stiff, wrong tires... absolute no starters for a daily driver or a street driven ride. No visibility. Sure.

But raw power? Hyperbole aside you would have to be talking drag car power or some absurd gearing for something to not be streetable. I’ve seen plenty of daily driven 900+hp cars in my immediate circle that have perfect road manners. Some Ruf 911 turbos, blown corvettes, supras... the list goes on.

just because a car is a rocket doesn’t mean you have to drive it like one.

temptation isn’t the same for everyone, most can find places to open it up safely from time to time and stay within reason the other 99%

nevertheless, a car like the M3P doesn’t even remotely check the box of what could or would be considered as too fast for the street... and I think you missed my exaggerated joke. Of course it exists... but it would have to be something very extreme before you can legitimately argue it’s too fast to street
 
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Sam1

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Sep 11, 2019
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Yeah, there is such a thing as TOO FAST for the street.
hg.png
 
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Only thing I'd do is change your brake fluid and that's for safety reasons. You don't need a performance to go on track. I've seen people go out in sentras, corollas (insert economy car) in the beginner group and they're still having a lot of fun. Fact is majority of people go to one track day and then never go back again. Even in car centric so cal, the biggest track day group rarely has beginner groups anymore.

The saying that it's more fun to drive a slow car fast VS a fast car slow still holds true on track, especially as a beginner (not saying you are, no idea, you didn't mention)
 
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Only thing I'd do is change your brake fluid and that's for safety reasons. You don't need a performance to go on track. I've seen people go out in sentras, corollas (insert economy car) in the beginner group and they're still having a lot of fun. Fact is majority of people go to one track day and then never go back again. Even in car centric so cal, the biggest track day group rarely has beginner groups anymore.

The saying that it's more fun to drive a slow car fast VS a fast car slow still holds true on track, especially as a beginner (not saying you are, no idea, you didn't mention)
I'm perhaps a beginner-intermediate! I've been to the 7-8 track days :3
I think the main thing I'm concerned about regarding getting LR is the smaller brakes leading to brake fade/cooking the pads etc. But if I have DOT 4 or DOT 5.1 fluid and change the pads maybe things will be alright? I'm guessing that for the traction control the MPP partybox (1k USD) is a good amount cheaper than paying 10k more for the M3P :p
 
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I'm taking my LR AWD to the track on 4/20. Only mods will be PZero summer tires and a DOT4 race fluid swap. Hoping stability control doesn't intervene too much, but I'll have to drive to the limits of the brakes, so maybe it won't be much of a factor.

I get three 20min runs with a breaks in-between. Hopefully the car can keep the battery cool, but I have a feeling It'll be cutting power at the 15min mark.
 
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I'm taking my LR AWD to the track on 4/20. Only mods will be PZero summer tires and a DOT4 race fluid swap. Hoping stability control doesn't intervene too much, but I'll have to drive to the limits of the brakes, so maybe it won't be much of a factor.

I get three 20min runs with a breaks in-between. Hopefully the car can keep the battery cool, but I have a feeling It'll be cutting power at the 15min mark.
Omg, please let me know how it is! I might decide on the M3P vs LR based on how you find things ;)
 
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I can give you a pretty elaborate answer - but it requires more information. Also DO NOT put DOT 5.1 fluid into your Tesla! DOT 3 or 4 only.

It looks like you have done 7-8 track days; which tracks did you go to and in what car(s)? I'm pretty familiar with the NE tracks. What class are you generally placed in? I am assuming you still run with an instructor?

Are you willing to run separate wheels and tires for track days, or do you want to have one set for all?

Same for brake pads - are you open to swapping them between events or is that a no-go?
 
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I can give you a pretty elaborate answer - but it requires more information. Also DO NOT put DOT 5.1 fluid into your Tesla! DOT 3 or 4 only.

It looks like you have done 7-8 track days; which tracks did you go to and in what car(s)? I'm pretty familiar with the NE tracks. What class are you generally placed in? I am assuming you still run with an instructor?

Are you willing to run separate wheels and tires for track days, or do you want to have one set for all?

Same for brake pads - are you open to swapping them between events or is that a no-go?
I've been to Buttonwillow, Willow Streets and Autoclub Speedway (Pomona) in California - and I've been to Palmer multiple times in Massachusetts. I've been in a 2011 Golf TDI (driving a slow car fast - super fun) and a 2016 Golf R! I'm usually in intermediate and run without an instructor - sometimes someone nice hops in and gives me advice though!

My tire plan has always been Michelin PS4S's that I use on the street and on the track, switching to winter tires when the climate is cold 🚙I've stuck with the stock Golf TDI and Golf R pads and I think I've mostly been fine! I think that it would be convenient to not have to switch but I'm not opposed to switching :)
 
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Thanks for the reply. I think the Performance has a couple obvious advantages - Additional Power and Track Mode being the two most notable. On the flip side, the LR DM will last longer without overheating given the appropriate supporting modifications, will consume less energy, and is still plenty fast. In either case, you are going to need to at least upgrade the brake fluid and the brake pads. You will likely want a set of dedicated wheels and PS4S tires, so again, no real advantage to the Performance there. I would also strongly recommend camber arms front and rear unless you really like spending money on tires.

Given the recent price changes and the $2,500 MA credit, you're looking at a hefty $12,000 spread when you include sales tax. I think personally if I were being budget conscious I would get the LR DM and do the following.

  • Your Choice of 9"-9.5" Wheels: $1,500
  • PS4S Tires (255-275): $1,200
  • MPP Sports Coilovers: $2,690 (optional, but recommended)
  • MPP Front Camber Arms: $1,150
  • MPP Rear Camber Arms: $395
  • MPP CPC: $780
  • MPP PB: $920
  • MPP 365mm BBK: $1,380
  • Stock Performance Rear Rotors: $300 (optional)
  • MPP/Carbotech/RB/etc Pads; $500 F+R
  • RBF 600 Brake Fluid: $40

That still leaves you over a thousand to do what you want with in the future, and gets you set up with a sweet car that will run circles around a stock Performance. I wouldn't bother with the Acceleration Boost to start - maybe consider it once you have a couple events under your belt. Keep in mind a lot of this would still need to be done even if you purchase a Performance - the only things you could really forgo would be the CPC, PB, BBK, and rear rotors. I thought the Performance was worth the extra $$$ back when the price gap was only $7k, but now that it's up to $9k AND you get the MA rebate, doesn't really seem worth it.

If you need an installer let me know too, I'm going to be back in MA soon.
 
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Thanks for the reply. I think the Performance has a couple obvious advantages - Additional Power and Track Mode being the two most notable. On the flip side, the LR DM will last longer without overheating given the appropriate supporting modifications, will consume less energy, and is still plenty fast. In either case, you are going to need to at least upgrade the brake fluid and the brake pads. You will likely want a set of dedicated wheels and PS4S tires, so again, no real advantage to the Performance there. I would also strongly recommend camber arms front and rear unless you really like spending money on tires.

Given the recent price changes and the $2,500 MA credit, you're looking at a hefty $12,000 spread when you include sales tax. I think personally if I were being budget conscious I would get the LR DM and do the following.

  • Your Choice of 9"-9.5" Wheels: $1,500
  • PS4S Tires (255-275): $1,200
  • MPP Sports Coilovers: $2,690 (optional, but recommended)
  • MPP Front Camber Arms: $1,150
  • MPP Rear Camber Arms: $395
  • MPP CPC: $780
  • MPP PB: $920
  • MPP 365mm BBK: $1,380
  • Stock Performance Rear Rotors: $300 (optional)
  • MPP/Carbotech/RB/etc Pads; $500 F+R
  • RBF 600 Brake Fluid: $40

That still leaves you over a thousand to do what you want with in the future, and gets you set up with a sweet car that will run circles around a stock Performance. I wouldn't bother with the Acceleration Boost to start - maybe consider it once you have a couple events under your belt. Keep in mind a lot of this would still need to be done even if you purchase a Performance - the only things you could really forgo would be the CPC, PB, BBK, and rear rotors. I thought the Performance was worth the extra $$$ back when the price gap was only $7k, but now that it's up to $9k AND you get the MA rebate, doesn't really seem worth it.

If you need an installer let me know too, I'm going to be back in MA soon.
Oh wow thank you for the list! I was just writing up something to help me decide as well haha :oops:

This was what I came up with, but it started looking like the LR wasn't that far off from the M3P 🤔 What do the camber arms help with?
(I tried to include labor in the costs, and I didn't include things that I thought might be the same for the LR vs the M3P, e.g brake pads, fluids. I also included the MY LR xD)

M3 LR (50k incl accel boost (2k) + spoiler (0.2k) + orbital wheel covers (0.3k) + brake rotors (2.5k) + Partybox (1k) - sub 50k MA EV rebate (2.5k)):
  • Cheaper tires so long term operational costs better - no MP4S + acoustic foam for 18" tires though (either get MPS4 foam, or MPS4S no foam). 336 usd difference per set of tires.
  • Already comes with 18" wheels so no need go thru hassle of changing the 20" wheels (or risking wheel dmg).
    • Can get this (Orbital covers) for wheels, looks great and gives the M3 LR more range than the M3P!
    • Potential extra cost: Changing the Michelin Primacy MXMs to MP4 or MP4S's i.e +1000 USD
  • 0.78 G acceleration, already fast af.
  • 3.7s 0-60. 0.78 G acceleration (86% of M3P)
  • No track mode.
M3P (56-56.7k, 0.7k if doing tire/wheel change (sell uberturbines for 2.5k and buy wheel/tires <3.2k)):
  • 20" wheels look rly good.
  • Has track mode.
  • Insurance cost same as M3 LR?
  • Big/Performance brakes = shd be better for repeated braking on track.
    • Calipers painted red
  • General advice is if ur gonna track the car then get M3P (but I think the LR might be good enough?)
  • 0.60 3.3s. (+~0.2s to cancel roll-out) 0.91G acceleration.
MY LR (59.7k incl accel boost, spoiler, sway bar, brake rotors and lowering springs):
  • 7 seats. Middle Seats can recline, more comfortable middle row seats than M3
  • Hatchback opening + big space in the back e.g for sleeping/camping.
  • Kind of fat looking.
  • Not sure if suspension changes will make the car fun enough.
  • 0-60 4.2s.
  • No track mode.
 
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