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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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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.

You're going to pay a small premium on insurance for the Performance over the LR. Just to be clear, I would get the MPP BBK for the front axle and leave the rear stock if you get the LR (or get the cheap factory Performance rotors). The Performance brakes are not much better than the Base brakes. Also, spoiler is for looks only (in reality). If you don't get the Performance, you really need the Cooling Party Controller to manage thermals - otherwise you're just going to be overheating all the time.

The Performance comes better set up from the factory for track days for sure, but you do pay a premium for it.

The reason I recommend Camber Arms is because the stock camber on the Model 3 is basically nothing and there is no adjustment. If you're doing track days, the outer edges of your tires are going to wear out very quickly. Camber Arms solve that probably by adding additional negative camber, so that the wear across the tire is more even, and it gives you a better contact patch with the track under load.

At the end of the day, I think it really comes down to how much (net) you want to spend. Model Y is an interesting option, but I do think it would be a bit hefty on the track, though if you're only planning for a couple days a year may not be a problem. FWIW, I would not recommend springs and sway bars - spend the money on a set of coilovers. Also, the Model Y comes with Performance brakes in the front (they're just not painted red).
 
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Just out of curiosity, does the software on the LR allow track driving without stepping in all the time? I would have assumed that the non-deflatable stability control would kick in all the time at the most annoying moments. Track Mode would at least prevent that from happening.
Yes, but that is why the PartyBox exists! MPP Partybox | Mountain Pass Performance
 
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You're going to pay a small premium on insurance for the Performance over the LR. Just to be clear, I would get the MPP BBK for the front axle and leave the rear stock if you get the LR (or get the cheap factory Performance rotors). The Performance brakes are not much better than the Base brakes. Also, spoiler is for looks only (in reality). If you don't get the Performance, you really need the Cooling Party Controller to manage thermals - otherwise you're just going to be overheating all the time.

The Performance comes better set up from the factory for track days for sure, but you do pay a premium for it.

The reason I recommend Camber Arms is because the stock camber on the Model 3 is basically nothing and there is no adjustment. If you're doing track days, the outer edges of your tires are going to wear out very quickly. Camber Arms solve that probably by adding additional negative camber, so that the wear across the tire is more even, and it gives you a better contact patch with the track under load.

At the end of the day, I think it really comes down to how much (net) you want to spend. Model Y is an interesting option, but I do think it would be a bit hefty on the track, though if you're only planning for a couple days a year may not be a problem. FWIW, I would not recommend springs and sway bars - spend the money on a set of coilovers. Also, the Model Y comes with Performance brakes in the front (they're just not painted red).
Good to know that the Model Y might be okay for light use the track 🤔 Why are coilovers better than springs + sway bars? I was thinking that if I didn't need the height adjustability it would save $ to go with springs + sway bars! (The shocks wearing out?)
 
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I drove the car with and without track mode (performance). I saw about a 2.5 sec difference at about 70% SOC. The car did drive very weird without the track mode. It was constantly bucking around like a horse. You couldn’t lean too hard into the corner or the stability control freaks out
Thank you for the info! Perhaps track mode (or Partybox) really is crucial. No Partybox for the Model Y LR (yet) it seems 😁

You're going to pay a small premium on insurance for the Performance over the LR. Just to be clear, I would get the MPP BBK for the front axle and leave the rear stock if you get the LR (or get the cheap factory Performance rotors). The Performance brakes are not much better than the Base brakes. Also, spoiler is for looks only (in reality). If you don't get the Performance, you really need the Cooling Party Controller to manage thermals - otherwise you're just going to be overheating all the time.

The Performance comes better set up from the factory for track days for sure, but you do pay a premium for it.

The reason I recommend Camber Arms is because the stock camber on the Model 3 is basically nothing and there is no adjustment. If you're doing track days, the outer edges of your tires are going to wear out very quickly. Camber Arms solve that probably by adding additional negative camber, so that the wear across the tire is more even, and it gives you a better contact patch with the track under load.

At the end of the day, I think it really comes down to how much (net) you want to spend. Model Y is an interesting option, but I do think it would be a bit hefty on the track, though if you're only planning for a couple days a year may not be a problem. FWIW, I would not recommend springs and sway bars - spend the money on a set of coilovers. Also, the Model Y comes with Performance brakes in the front (they're just not painted red).
I forgot to thank you for the info about the camber arms! Finally I know why people add a little camber to the wheels/tires haha
 
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mattack4000

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Thank you for the info! Perhaps track mode (or Partybox) really is crucial. No Partybox for the Model Y LR (yet) it seems 😁


I forgot to thank you for the info about the camber arms! Finally I know why people add a little camber to the wheels/tires haha
I have never used track mode outside of the track. At the same time, I think the performance holds the value up well. The extra $12k you spend, you probably get half of it back when you sell it. You have to ask yourself if you can really take advantage of it.

you need a lot of camber to prevent this, but you will probably wear out the tires on the street from 3 degree of camber
 

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I am driving a SR+ on track, the only issue is the missing regen. For unknown reason the regen is disabled ... otherwise I enjoy the car as it is, I only removed the front dust cover behind the front rotors. Really good track car for a novice/intermediate driver. The chassis is very well balanced, narrow tires makes the car sensitive to driver actions. The challange is to drive the SR+ on the edge between the protecting stability system and the max performance of the tires. I am using this Tesla for instruction on track.

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I have never used track mode outside of the track. At the same time, I think the performance holds the value up well. The extra $12k you spend, you probably get half of it back when you sell it. You have to ask yourself if you can really take advantage of it.

you need a lot of camber to prevent this, but you will probably wear out the tires on the street from 3 degree of camber
I do notice hella wear on the outside of my tires after track days haha 😬
I think this is probably the best answer, though I could go in more depth: Suspension Tech - Springs vs Coilovers | Mountain Pass Performance
Interesting, Model Y LR (7 seat) + coilovers and sway bars! 🤔
I am driving a SR+ on track, the only issue is the missing regen. For unknown reason the regen is disabled ... otherwise I enjoy the car as it is, I only removed the front dust cover behind the front rotors. Really good track car for a novice/intermediate driver. The chassis is very well balanced, narrow tires makes the car sensitive to driver actions. The challange is to drive the SR+ on the edge between the protecting stability system and the max performance of the tires. I am using this Tesla for instruction on track.

View attachment 650950
Ooh how are the stock brakes? Do you think the stability control stops you from going as hard, or does it stay out of the way as long as you're being proper with the correct racing line etc? Does the battery get too hot without the track mode's overclocked cooling?? 😁
 
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Tevo Solutions

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We did a track test here recently with a few different M3P setups and just for fun we sent a standard M3LR out first just to see how it fared and I was surprised to say it did pretty well. They are fitted with PS4 tyres here, which may be different to some of the U.S. spec cars.
Given the right sort of track and a smooth driver I think the LR would be fine for a few fairly relaxed track outings each year, but if you want to chase times you'll either need to spend money on it or get the Performance in the first place.
 
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mattack4000

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I do notice hella wear on the outside of my tires after track days haha 😬

Interesting, Model Y LR (7 seat) + coilovers and sway bars! 🤔

Ooh how are the stock brakes? Do you think the stability control stops you from going as hard, or does it stay out of the way as long as you're being proper with the correct racing line etc? Does the battery get too hot without the track mode's overclocked cooling?? 😁

You need race pads and high temp fluid regardless if you plan to track more than 1 or 2 laps. Street pads and fluid can't handle the heat.

The stability control kicks in when I try to send it hard into the corners. It does some adjustments at turn in and it cuts power exiting, it is very unnerving to feel it kicking in at corner entry. Time wise I think I am clocking about 2-3 sec slower with the track mode turned off, but that's just one lap and I didn't spend that much time messing with it
 
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We did a track test here recently with a few different M3P setups and just for fun we sent a standard M3LR out first just to see how it fared and I was surprised to say it did pretty well. They are fitted with PS4 tyres here, which may be different to some of the U.S. spec cars.
Given the right sort of track and a smooth driver I think the LR would be fine for a few fairly relaxed track outings each year, but if you want to chase times you'll either need to spend money on it or get the Performance in the first place.
Interesting! Do you think that the standard LR's brakes did fine?
 
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Tevo Solutions

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Interesting! Do you think that the standard LR's brakes did fine?
Yes, they were adequate for the track we were at which only has 1 big stop in a 2 mile lap, so the brakes don't ever get too hot there. That doesn't mean they'd be OK at another track. This is what I always discuss with new customers asking us about what brake upgrades they should go for. It's down to how and where you intend to drive the car.
 
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Yes, they were adequate for the track we were at which only has 1 big stop in a 2 mile lap, so the brakes don't ever get too hot there. That doesn't mean they'd be OK at another track. This is what I always discuss with new customers asking us about what brake upgrades they should go for. It's down to how and where you intend to drive the car.
I see!! Thank you for all the insight 😁
 
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dfwatt

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Sep 24, 2018
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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)
I would recommend that you get the performance M3 simply because you get track mode which is a huge boost. The brakes are somewhat better but you'll still need rotors and pads and fluid for even just light track use. Although it's tempting to believe that if you just do a couple of track days a year you can do sort of "track outfitting light," the discouraging reality is that either you do it right or you really are not going to enjoy it and additionally you're going to chew through your street tires after about 1 decent session. The Pilot Sport 4S is a great Street tire but it will not hold up to the heat of tracking. If you do tracking without significant negative camber at least 21/2 degrees on the fronts maybe even a little bit more than that your front tires are going to be gone after one session. So it gets very expensive to do "track outfitting light" in that sense.

Here's what you should really allocate: the extra ten grand for the performance model, a grand apiece for at least the front rotors and probably two rear rotors as well, a set of pads which is another five hundred bucks and a dedicated set of track wheels and tires which is probably about twenty five hundred bucks minimum. If you cut corners or try to save money on this it's just not worth it. And you will be buying new street tires for your car after every session. In the case of the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S that's about three hundred and twenty-five bucks a corner in the 20 inch size. If you do get the performance model dump the crappy wheels and get a proper set of lightweight forged wheels and sell the tires too. Get the Pilot Sport 4S. But don't run those on the track unless you got a rich relative at Michelin or tire rack. Although people joke that BOAT really stands for break out another thousand that really applies to tracking even more than boating.
 
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I would recommend that you get the performance M3 simply because you get track mode which is a huge boost. The brakes are somewhat better but you'll still need rotors and pads and fluid for even just light track use. Although it's tempting to believe that if you just do a couple of track days a year you can do sort of "track outfitting light," the discouraging reality is that either you do it right or you really are not going to enjoy it and additionally you're going to chew through your street tires after about 1 decent session. The Pilot Sport 4S is a great Street tire but it will not hold up to the heat of tracking. If you do tracking without significant negative camber at least 21/2 degrees on the fronts maybe even a little bit more than that your front tires are going to be gone after one session. So it gets very expensive to do "track outfitting light" in that sense.

Here's what you should really allocate: the extra ten grand for the performance model, a grand apiece for at least the front rotors and probably two rear rotors as well, a set of pads which is another five hundred bucks and a dedicated set of track wheels and tires which is probably about twenty five hundred bucks minimum. If you cut corners or try to save money on this it's just not worth it. And you will be buying new street tires for your car after every session. In the case of the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S that's about three hundred and twenty-five bucks a corner in the 20 inch size. If you do get the performance model dump the crappy wheels and get a proper set of lightweight forged wheels and sell the tires too. Get the Pilot Sport 4S. But don't run those on the track unless you got a rich relative at Michelin or tire rack. Although people joke that BOAT really stands for break out another thousand that really applies to tracking even more than boating.
Interesting. I always thought, that the tires on the M3P with the 20" wheels are the ones who are grippy and better for track instead of the LR tires. In my opinion (from what I have seen so far) they are also not good for street performance as they get really hard and brittle when it is not hot enough outside. If you are living in a colder climate, you can only use them for a couple of months every year.
So what are those PS4S tires good for? Nothing?

Do you have an example which tires are good for track?

I am currently deciding between LR and P for 2-3 trackdays a year and I do not want to change wheels and other setup before trackdays. I want to experience my street car as it is and push it harder on a track to get experience for the street when something is not goind well. Let`s say your car under/oversteers suddenly or breaks out. I want to learn on how to handle this on a track, to have the experience how this feels in the real world.
 
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Tevo Solutions

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Interesting. I always thought, that the tires on the M3P with the 20" wheels are the ones who are grippy and better for track instead of the LR tires. In my opinion (from what I have seen so far) they are also not good for street performance as they get really hard and brittle when it is not hot enough outside. If you are living in a colder climate, you can only use them for a couple of months every year.
So what are those PS4S tires good for? Nothing?

Do you have an example which tires are good for track?

I am currently deciding between LR and P for 2-3 trackdays a year and I do not want to change wheels and other setup before trackdays. I want to experience my street car as it is and push it harder on a track to get experience for the street when something is not goind well. Let`s say your car under/oversteers suddenly or breaks out. I want to learn on how to handle this on a track, to have the experience how this feels in the real world.
LR tyres are usually Michelin Pilot Sport 4 (PS4), P tyres were PS4S (before Tesla switched to P Zeros). The next step up from the PS4S/PZero is the Michelin Cup 2.

These tyres are all in the same family and are all very good tyres. All can be used on the road and track. The difference between them (on a dry track) is:
1. How long it takes for them to warm up to their optimum operating temperature.
2. How long it takes before they overheat and give up grip
3. How they wear

The PS4 is going to overheat and wear very quickly on track, but it will be at optimum temperature almost immediately.
The PS4S will wear better but the shoulder of the tyre will wear out quickly if you don't have additional camber on the car. They will reach optimum temperature quickly and will last longer than the PS4 before overheating.
The Cup 2 starts out with less tread than the PS4S but will wear much better on track as it's designed to cope with the lateral loads better. It will take longer to reach optimum temperature (1-2 laps of a short track) but won't be easy to overheat.

If the track is cold and wet, the PS4S would be my choice.
If the track is dry and warm, I'd use the Cup 2.

Tyres are a compromise. There isn't one tyre that's good for all situations. If you will be driving to and from the track on the same tyres in unpredictable weather conditions, then it's even more of a compromise.

If you are only doing 2-3 trackdays a year and don't want to change wheels you might be best off sticking with the PS4S, but without knowing more information it's difficult to give good advice.
 
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dfwatt

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Interesting. I always thought, that the tires on the M3P with the 20" wheels are the ones who are grippy and better for track instead of the LR tires. In my opinion (from what I have seen so far) they are also not good for street performance as they get really hard and brittle when it is not hot enough outside. If you are living in a colder climate, you can only use them for a couple of months every year.
So what are those PS4S tires good for? Nothing?

Do you have an example which tires are good for track?

I am currently deciding between LR and P for 2-3 trackdays a year and I do not want to change wheels and other setup before trackdays. I want to experience my street car as it is and push it harder on a track to get experience for the street when something is not goind well. Let`s say your car under/oversteers suddenly or breaks out. I want to learn on how to handle this on a track, to have the experience how this feels in the real world.

There are some complexities to the question of what is appropriate for the track. And the most important one doesn't have to do with tires per se but with your suspension setup.

First of all the biggest problem with the car is that without running very significantly more negative camber at the front on the order of at least two and a half degrees you will destroy the outer edge of just about any Tire in Fairly short order. The softer the compound the quicker it will get chewed up. In that sense the problem with the Pilot Sport 4S is not that it's a poor track tire it's that it's pretty soft on the Outer Edge and it gets shredded quickly especially if it's hot, and the thermal stresses on the tread while you're doing hot laps on the track are really something else.. This means that in four or five hot laps you might have to replace your tires at least at the front. That makes them very expensive laps given the cost of that tire.

You can mitigate this by getting significantly more front camber but that requires replacing the front upper control arm and probably also the rear camber arms with an adjustable aftermarket arm. This combination allows you to get to at least two and a half degrees all around. Some of the serious track guys are running more than that in the front. In any case, there were a number of highly rated trackable tires (typically called 'Extreme Performance' in the Tire Rack lexicon. The previous overall favorite was the Bridgestone re71r. But to drive them on the road was not fun. Rough riding, noisy and they throw stones at your body work like a juvenile delinquent. Currently the favorite track tire is probably the Yokohama a052 which has better ride and even better grip than the re71 although perhaps not as great steering feedback but there are probably some folks running the Michelin Cup 2 Tire particularly in its latest iteration the Connect cup 2. I would agree with the other poster who says that if it's cold and rainy the Pilot Sport 4S is a great tire . . . so is the Goodyear supercar tire although it is not very pleasant to ride in. The cup 2 in the rain on the other hand is frankly a little bit treacherous in my opinion. Check out some of the track threads and you'll hear all about this stuff. Although people think that if they are infrequent trackers they don't need to go with the front control arm setup what they save in tire costs in a year pays for the cost of the upper control arm.
 
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