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Model 3 Super Sport (a proposal)

IraB

Member
Apr 27, 2019
86
136
Camas, WA
I will start off by saying that I definitely enjoy my M3P and have no regrets about purchasing it. However, after a year and a few months of driving it, I have had some thoughts that I would like to share.

As background, I have previously owned an AMG C63 with the 6.2l engine, an AMG C63s with the twin turbo 4l engine, and a BMW M4. I enjoyed each of these cars to varying degrees and I will spend a moment describing their pluses and minuses. The 6.2l C63 was a classic AMG hot rod. The engine was amazing, but the chassis and particularly the comparatively skinny tires made for lots of drifting and burn out action, but only modest corner grip. Nonetheless,a really fun car for its day. The M4 handled pretty well, but at the cost of a fairly harsh ride (which I did not mind, but others have complained). The engine was nice, but definitely not amazing. The big downside was the traction / stability control. Literally, if it sensed even the slightest risk of slip it would intervene so forcefully you might think someone had pulled the emergency brake. Defeating the stability control overcame this problem, but I like a safety net, so I rarely resorted to this. Finally, the C63s also has a remarkable engine. While a huge leap forward compared to the previous generation C63 chassis, the car was still a bit heavy and the tires still too skinny. The car was predictable, and handled well within its limits, but those limits were a bit low. To its credit, the stability control was set up perfectly, both in terms of waiting until there was really a problem and in gentle and minimal intervention.

This brings us to the M3P. As others have mentioned, the interior is not really up to the quality of the above competitors, but it is comfortable enough for me and the M3P's lower price and higher performance certainly make up for any interior shortcomings for me. I am amazed that Tesla can currently sell an M3P for about $55,000 that outperforms those other cars on the street and on the track when they cost between $75,000 and $85,000.

I will say that for me, there is a bit less of a sense of excitement when driving the M3 at least compared to the 2 AMGs. Those cars felt less isolated from the road and gave more overall feedback. On the other hand, the M3 is considerably more relaxing to drive and much better suited for long road trips, particularly when using auto pilot even without FSD. Also, unlike the M4, I have not experienced an overactive stability control system in the M3P.

Sorry for all the prologue, but here is my thinking and proposal. Many car magazines have been reporting the imminent arrival of a new and improved BMW M3/M4 duo that will eventually include all wheel drive variants and that are reputed to have kicked up the horsepower from the low to mid 400 range up to 503. This suggests that BMW is serious about beating the M3P at the track and retaking the sport sedan crown. While less has been written about future AMG vehicles, I am certain AMG will respond in kind.

Based on all of the above, I think Tesla should offer a Super Sport (or Ludicrous or whatever) version of the M3P to stay ahead in the sport sedan race and to offer greater driving excitement. What would this include you ask (and I'll tell you even if you didn't ask ;-).

* Higher capacity battery - with advancing battery technology, Tesla should now have access to batteries with higher capacity than the current M3P battery, and, importantly, these new batteries should weigh no more and preferably less than the current battery.

* Higher capacity / power drive motors and circuitry - with more battery capacity (and higher current capacity) the rest of the drive system should also get beefed up to provide quicker acceleration and perhaps less fall off at higher speeds.

* More sophisticated suspension - In a world where Camaros, Mustangs and Corvettes have fancy computer controlled shocks and suspensions that provide comfortable ride, reduced brake dive, better weight transfer for acceleration, and flatter cornering, it is time for Tesla to step up and offer something comparable. Tesla can also implement variable ride height as it has with the Model S to improve highway range and high speed cornering.

* Better brakes - the M3P brakes are fine for the street, but given the range of higher performance aftermarket offerings, there is clearly room for improvement for cars that may see occasional or frequent track duty.

* True lightweight forged wheels - When I wanted a second set of wheels so I could have dedicated winter wheels / tires, I splurged for the T-Sportline forged wheels. The weight difference really is at least 10 lbs per wheel and you can feel the difference in front end response, turn-in and a generally more nimble feel. Forged wheels are also stronger, so other than cost, there is no downside here.

Given that the current C63s costs north of $80,000 in any reasonable configuration and that the new BMW M3/M4 will likely be in the same ballpark, Tesla has lots of price headroom to implement all of the above improvements and more while still undercutting its competitors' prices.

Perhaps the only thing holding Tesla back in this regard is a desire to keep the Model 3 performance below that of the flagship Model S. However, when the Plaid Model S arrives, that obstacle should disappear.

Well, that is my proposal. I will say that if Tesla takes me up on it and succeeds as I expect, I will line up for a trade-in.

I welcome all constructive feedback.

Peace
 

dsgerbc

Member
Jun 4, 2019
503
349
Michigan
Higher capacity battery etc is more weight, necessitating even wider tires to handle remotely well. And there isn't much room for those tires to begin with. T-sportline has only one forged set, and those are in 20x8.5", which are just for looks.

A super-sport 3 would be good enough with the same battery, decent 9.5-10" wide 18-19" rims, 265-275-wide rubber, and a ton more front camber. I'm quite enjoying the street handling with a tad over 2 degrees of camber up front. A good set of fixed shocks would also do wonders for handling. I wouldn't mind magneride though.
 
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1.21GW

Member
Jul 23, 2018
746
1,191
Michigan
I am holding out for a tri-motor plaid Powertrain model 3. Its highly unlikely, but also would be amazing.

In addition, I am certain Tesla will keep progressing. There is no reason for them to offer a faster Powertrain at the moment. It is already far ahead of anything in its class. Once BMW and Mercedes release their cars, I’m willing to bet Tesla responds. We know that Elon wants to remove the Halo effect of these powerful ICE vehicles.
 
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Rachmaninov

Supporting Member
Jul 17, 2019
220
144
NJ
I think Tesla’s plate is overflowing already considering all the already announced new models.

I wonder though if it would be worth the logistics and liability issues for Tesla to create a performance parts division to sell (+ install?) upgraded parts for specific needs. Obviously the aftermarket could provide these types of parts but I believe a lot of people would pay an up charge to use a Tesla part they knew would work.
 
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Zoomit

Active Member
Sep 1, 2015
2,220
4,213
SoCal
The next set of Model 3 updates was going to come out last last July (2019) in concert with the Model S Plenum reveal. That was apparently going to include the adaptive air suspension, Track Mode V2, and 235/35R20 & 275/30R20 PS4S tires on 20x8.5 & 20x10 wheels. That didn’t happen but the Track Mode V2 and the square 20x9.0 Zero-G Track Package, with 245/35R20 Cup 2 tires, did come out this past March.

We can speculate why the Track Package has that size wheels and tires, but Michelin has sold T0-spec 275/30R20 PS4S tires for something like 2 years now (thread). My guess is that Tesla is saving the wider tire option for when a battery upgrade will allow higher power output. It’s clear the rear tire well was sized for 275 tires.

As far as the adaptive air suspension, Elon said in Feb on twitter: “No air suspension planned for 3/Y. Only S/X & Cybertruck have/will have air suspension.”. That seems pretty definitive, at least in the near-term.
 

Perscitus

Member
Jan 29, 2019
866
554
New York
Good points OP. All with due time. 2-4x faster 0-20-80 SoC charging, smaller lighter batteries with higher charge densities, jump to 24 or 48V electronics, solar panel integration, offline AI, LIDaR, etc.

The 'sport' sedan race, especially in the ICE rank and file, is long dead. Has been for at least 5-10 (some feel 20-30+) years. Especially now with CAFE and EURO6/7, sad power to weight ratios in the name of 'safety' (really pushing more sheet metal and composites, rehashed subassemblies, over-engineered and over-complicated planned obsolecense parts, glitchy electronics) with pervasive nanny systems and meh styling.
 

bpobill

Member
Feb 2, 2018
333
224
USA
Op I think your issue is what other Tesla owners hate about the car. Basically no ability to mod it to make it faster. Ludicrous mode is cool but conditioning the battery for 20+ minutes sucks. It also takes zero skill to drive. I love my model 3 but there are many things I miss about performance gas cars.
 
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Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,296
6,858
Canyon Lake,CA
Agree that there would be a market for a premium PLAID 3 motor option for Model 3.

Hard to make a business case for that right now, as it really would not sell that many more Model 3s. They are still battery constrained with their current configurations, but imagine they will be produced at some time.

I imagine that their current plan would be to finally release the New Coupe into this ready market. With the higher pricing and superior tech, they would destroy the type of cars you used to cherish.
 

IraB

Member
Apr 27, 2019
86
136
Camas, WA
Agree that there would be a market for a premium PLAID 3 motor option for Model 3.

Hard to make a business case for that right now, as it really would not sell that many more Model 3s. They are still battery constrained with their current configurations, but imagine they will be produced at some time.

I imagine that their current plan would be to finally release the New Coupe into this ready market. With the higher pricing and superior tech, they would destroy the type of cars you used to cherish.

If you are talking about the new Tesla sports car, then hardly an apples to apples thing. None of the ICE sport sedans break $100K let alone $200K. That is Porsche Turbo S and maybe even low end Ferrari money. The new Tesla sports car may well embarrass them, but that is not the pool in which I swim ;-).
 

zhu-

custom title
Oct 24, 2018
920
770
NJ
I also came from a 2012 C63, 2016 C300 and had 2019 C43 on order but was delayed which made me go with the Model 3. For me, I have more than enough range so my wishlist would be the following:
  • Better steering. Some type of dynamic steering where it's soft at low speeds but tightens up at higher speeds (this could be all software). Also Mercedes had some rebound damping on their steering which seemed to make low speed maneuvering so much more effortless.
  • Better noise insulation. Noise insulation is very poor in my 2018 Model 3. Maybe it's better now but I can hear environment noise everywhere. It might be from all the glass but my previous Mercedes had pano roof too and was never this loud.
  • Better suspension. Model 3's have a strange stiff but boaty ride at the same time and not in a good way. I don't have enough knowledge about suspensions to know what needs to be changed but it's neither comfortable or sporty.
 

TMThree

Active Member
Mar 28, 2019
1,116
1,614
USA
Given that the current C63s costs north of $80,000 in any reasonable configuration and that the new BMW M3/M4 will likely be in the same ballpark, Tesla has lots of price headroom to implement all of the above improvements and more while still undercutting its competitors' prices.

Tesla already makes the vehicle you're describing. It's called model S.

The model 3 is their budget vehicle, it would render the S useless if they boosted it as you described.
 
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Mash

Supporting Member
Nov 10, 2019
962
701
Prague
Model 3 is in the BMW 3 class, Model S is BMW 5. Those 2 classes are very distinct. Class 5/S is comfort premium ride with high power, not agility. You don't make dual use BMW5 - there is M2/M3 for that.

At the same time, Tesla is rather small company despite market value. They can't do everything. Any company would need full focus to bring new platform in 3-5 years.

I think we will get faster refreshed Model S this year. I think they have to deliver CyberTruck next. I think they have to focus on FSD rewrite release. And they need halo car as Roadster afterwards. That's enough. I don't see Model 3 changing much until end of 2022.

I will trade-in Model 3 for Roadster. And that would be next year at best.

Although I agree they can do simple stuff:
1. KW/Ohlins suspension
2. 275 19 CUP2
3. Higher class calipers, pads, brake fluid and 2x heavier rotors with better vents.
4. Brake venting scoops with ducts.
5. Model Y radiator, heat pump and compressor.
6. More aggressive front and adjustable rear splitters to eliminate lift.
7. Proper rear diffuser with fins.
8. 300kW (as much as battery can afford at particular SoC) Regen in track mode.
9. Carbon here and there for marketing.

That would worth +20K. I'm realistic that this can be mostly outsourced by Tesla and would end up being +10K net profit per car with a lot of M3P trade-ins and even stronger destruction of compact sport sedan in ICE. Power train and battery - I don't see that.

And noise - every month they do it better, it's not for super sport version. Just takes time.
 

Msjulie

Active Member
Jun 26, 2016
2,431
1,742
Monterey Bay Peninsula
Ideally my bank account would support the maybe-2021 Roadster but sadly that's not happening so.. I like your idea, I also like the notion (comes and goes on various forums) of a shorter 2 door Coupe Model 3 Performance with more zoom fun.

Hear me out :) It could be the same skateboard but a 2 door body with rear hatch and more coupe-like shape; bodywork mods to have shorter overhangs, adding to the appearance of a more nimble playfull car but using a lot of existing bits, or updated bits as improved for Y, whatever works. Should be somewhat lighter? The 2+2 nature makes is acceptable to the family as it can support backseaters if needed and room for the 4 legged sort which are more often the chauffeured lot in this household.

I've seen the Model 2 renderings teased about, but given the state of things it feels that if it ever does get built, coming to the USA would be an unrealistic expectation. Also it seemed that car's mission is more city attack ninja, which is cool, but I'm eager for performance and range for the highway 5 slogs that occur (the Roaster would be way cool for rapid-ish non-stop travel from north to south Ca). A girl can dream.

Sorry for the thread derailment tangent
 

cochran

Member
Jul 31, 2019
97
28
USA
Would be nice if we could get a Ludicrous mode option via an OTA update for $4-5k. Not sure if the current battery of the M3P is capable of more output but Elon did promise a few years ago that the performance would have a Ludicrous option...
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,296
6,858
Canyon Lake,CA
Those German premium higher performance speciality models (AMG, M,) are seeing their demand dropping rapidly. The high maintenance and general disapproval from the public seeing those drivers rampaging around city streets are giving them some push back.

Their loud exhausts draw unwelcome Police attention, lowered stances scrape over driveways and speed bumps, the uber expensive low profile tires wear quickly and the expensive light weight alloy wheels can't handle the ever present pot holes. Those highly tuned engines swill high test gasoline at rapid rates when driven with enthusiasm. Their volume days are gone. They will be missed...but go extinct.

Insurance rates are also putting pressure on those boy racer models with the very high HP/weight ratios.

Tesla is showing the true way to performance with quiet, smooth and eco sensitive drive systems.

A huge number of those highly tuned speciality models have now been trading them in droves to move up to the superior performance electric drive options.
 
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Mash

Supporting Member
Nov 10, 2019
962
701
Prague
We can wish many things. I'm only talking about logic what is probable considering that companies need to have strategic priorities, time to market and always limited in resources. EU has a need for smaller cars than Model 3 - compact hatch, but I doubt that Tesla going to have time to make it any time soon.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,602
3,271
Maine
You could always shop some after-market performance kit like from MountainPassPerformance, or UnpluggedPerformance.
 

Mash

Supporting Member
Nov 10, 2019
962
701
Prague
You could always shop some after-market performance kit like from MountainPassPerformance, or UnpluggedPerformance.
But there is still a huge difference of OEM level and aftermarket in average. Somebody just need to become professional enough to be bought by Tesla, like AMG did before. Maybe @MountainPass should step up, think bigger and look for investment to become AMG one day? :)

Also, some things are crazy to change to aftermarket, like full power regen. But they are relatively cheap for Tesla to do.
 

T3SLAROD

Member
May 14, 2019
751
670
SoCal
Op I think your issue is what other Tesla owners hate about the car. Basically no ability to mod it to make it faster. Ludicrous mode is cool but conditioning the battery for 20+ minutes sucks. It also takes zero skill to drive. I love my model 3 but there are many things I miss about performance gas cars.

This.
 

Watts_Up

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
3,427
2,333
In a galaxy far, far away
A Model 3 Super Sport is an interesting option but represent a limited market.

What a larger number of customers are looking for, especially in Asia and in Europe,
is a Model 3 Super Compact, about one or two foot shorter tan a Model 3 with four doors,
a hatchback, RWD or AWD, and a 50 kWh battery for a $25,000 starting price.
 

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