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Tesla 3 Performance v. Porsche 911 4S

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by pnoble, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. pnoble

    pnoble Member

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    #1 pnoble, Mar 26, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2020
    I have driven a silver 911 C4S for 16 years, models: 997.1, 997.2, 991.1, 991.2 and two weeks ago I switched to a Tesla 3 Performance. I had wondered what to expect but couldn't find any posts anywhere on making the change; only YouTube 911/Tesla 3P drag race videos!

    So, for anyone considering the move and for Tesla 3 Performance owners wondering if they made the right choice (they did!) or what they might be missing (not a whole lot in IMHO!), here are some initial thoughts.

    Firstly my own profile since that obviously colors my perspective: I am strictly an on-road driver. I have never been on a race track. I am a pretty aggressive, disciplined, reasonably responsible driver with a Valentine 1 who never exceeds 100 mph but is often driving over 80 mph on the highway and spends a fair amount of time navigating around my fellow NJ drivers! I have been ticket-free for the past ten years or so. I love to drive. I have never used cruise control, ever.

    I loved my 911s for all the obvious reasons.They are beautiful sensual cars, especially from the back, exquisitely made and far, far in excess, at least roadholding performance-wise, of anything I ever put them through. My first and second were stick-shift and there was something wonderful about the experience of moving through the exquisite gear box. When they added a seventh gear I gave up and switched to PDK which was wonderful. I never once used the paddles. I kept my 911 in sports mode, always.

    I leased all four cars and persuaded myself I wasn't actually paying for all the options. Of course, I was! The sumptuous leather interior, the fantastic Burmester sound system, the PASM, the auto leveling, the four wheel steering in the last one.....everything is extra in a Porsche. Everything.

    I never got the sports exhaust which, as someone who despises Harley riders assaulting my ears, I thought was totally obnoxious. And not once did I try launch control. I couldn't imagine sitting at the traffic light gunning my engine to 4,000 RPM with the other foot on the brake. And, honestly, everything about the car was probably a bit obnoxious for anyone looking at mine, especially when I passed them in the right lane at 90. Even driving at 30 mph in our no-sidewalk neighborhood, people walking their dogs would wag their finger at me because although I was not driving fast my car always sounded fast.

    Anyhow, the lease was nearly up on my 991.2 and my dealer was asking when I was going to order the 992. With the options I was used to, nothing crazy but this is a 911, the list on it was close to $140K and the lease payment was going to be in the range of $2,200 a month.

    And so.....with five clicks (including a double click for the deposit) I ordered and bought a Tesla 3 Performance! (Fun fact: ordering my Apple Watch took ten clicks on their web site!)

    So here is my take on the car in comparison to the 911.

    OK. It's not as pretty! But it certainly isn't ugly. The S design, to my eye, is one of the finest sedan designs ever. The 3 not as much so, but its just fine. Coupes are easier to design. The new Roadster should be stunning.

    Any other minuses versus a $140K 911 from my POV? Of course all the interior 'craftsmanship'. The roadholding on a racetrack where I never took it. Sex appeal?

    So what about the plusses compared with a 911?

    Performance! OMG. No contest. At least below 110 mph (see above!)
    And quiet, no noise, no drama, instantly available acceleration.

    Regenerative braking: what a wonderful way to drive.

    Drive quality: definitely better than my last 911 with its refined air ride, self leveling, yada-ya. Tesla - better.

    Steering quality: excellent. Just right for me in sports mode. Not in any way a letdown from the 911. Road feel? A 911 is also drive by wire these days.

    Practicality: space, seating, storage, etc., obviously no comparison.

    Automation: amazing! Phone key, auto garage door opening, connectivity.......

    Sound system: to my ear at least as good and maybe better (and without the engine noise, much better) than a Bermester which cost close to $6,000 more(!) than the Bose system which was in turn a premium over the standard sound system. You get killed with options. It's the Porsche way.

    Call quality: way, way better. Ditto navigation and voice navigation.

    UI/UX: OK, I'm still mourning the absence of CarPlay, but wow, what a terrific user experience on balance.

    Fun to drive? Different but I love the Tesla.

    And this is before the really important stuff: a total change in the driving paradigm. No fossil fuel, automatic updating of features and functionality.

    And all for under $60K delivered.

    If I'd waited another week to write this I don't think I'd have even bothered. It's already hard to look back. Driving a Tesla changes how you think about driving. It is so obviously the future, as of course is autonomy and eventually cars as a service.

    One final thought: when I went to return my 911, the dealer had a shiny new black Taycan Turbo recharging at the entrance. Very lightly optioned it was around $170,000 before tax. Even folding mirrors ($330) would be extra as would the premium Bermester audio ($5,810). A well optioned standard Turbo would be closer to $180K. But it did have one option listed:
    • Porsche Electric Sport Sound
    And that to me said it all! Vroom-vroom.

    How things have changed!
     
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  2. XLR82XS

    XLR82XS D M C

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    Agreed - 1 pedal driving is AWESOME!
    I own a Porsche with Burmester and compared to the Model 3 with immersive sound, it's very close. Burmester has more punch and is louder but it is $3000+ and has 1000 watts. (newer systems 1400-1500 watts) For the small price for premium in the Tesla it really is a phenomenal sound system.

    Congrats on your Tesla and enjoy in great health!
     
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  3. BuckSteed

    BuckSteed Member

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    Great, detailed post. I struggled between my childhood dream of owning a slightly used 911, probably a 4s varient and the model 3. I already own a beautifully built, stage 2 tuned Audi S5 and doubted the M3P could be much better. Sure, the overall interior quality does not match the Audi or the 911 for that matter but I just can't overstate how happy I am that I made the switch to the M3P. I still have the Audi and thought I would drive both but honestly the Audi has not been out of the garage since the Tesla arrived. Simple things like shifting drive me crazy now even though the Audi has a tuned 7 speed DSG that I once thought brilliant. Whats better than a 200ms upshift... no shift and instant power.

    If you are reading this post trying to decide if you want to take the plunge I highly recommend making the switch. The Tesla is vehicle #76 for me so I do have a lot of time in a vehicles from most manufacturers and nothing really compares to the complete change in driving dynamics that Tesla brings. Plus, I just got my first software update and poof new features and bug fixes. Brilliant.
     
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  4. pnoble

    pnoble Member

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    Thank you!
     
  5. Ritz

    Ritz Member

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    I agree with the original poster. I've had a number of AWD German sports cars and luxury cruisers. Some of them were tuned to 500+hp. After a few days in the M3P, I could never go back. The only nit is the fit and finish aspect, but the performance delta is so striking that I can live with it. Very happy with the Tesla. I even got my first firmware update on day 2. Easy peasy. Also tickled that I won't be changing oil, plugs, timing belts, trans fluid, etc again. :)
     
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  6. holmgang

    holmgang Member

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    So you're the guy passing people on the right lane at 90
     
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  7. Dan203

    Dan203 Active Member

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    In the US you have to do that sometimes because morons will camp in the left lane going 5mph over the speed limit. We have zero lane discipline here.
     
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  8. pnoble

    pnoble Member

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    Guilty as charged! But at least now I do it in a quiet and understated way. Much less provocative. Not showing them a hot Germanic booty! Just a modest sedan.
     
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  9. Apprunner

    Apprunner Member

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    Standard practice in a lot of the US. Prius hang out in the left lane going 65 mph.
     
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  10. pnoble

    pnoble Member

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    I never even mentioned the almost total lack of maintenance. They say one should replace the brake fluid every 2-4 years. I don't even use the brake. And from my POV, I'm sure the panel gaps on a Porsche are more perfectly aligned, but that never turned me on and I have seen nothing objectionable on my 3P in the fit and finish department.

    The only thing that concerned me a bit was that Tesla Mobile came to install the garage door opener and had to disassemble half the car to do it. What a bloody waste of time and added risk for probably $20 worth of electronics that they could just as easily preinstall and initialize over the air if they really want to charge extra for it. It had to have been at least a $100 truck role and I'm guessing at least 50% of their customers order (or should). And the fellow set it up in the garage because it was raining outside and so it didn't even work automatically until I reset it outside, location wise.
     
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  11. pnoble

    pnoble Member

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    I have noticed that Tesla drivers (we have a great many in my area) tend to drive rather slowly (as in strictly within the speed limit) but considerately, in the right lane. Corvettes too, I've noticed. While yahoos in jacked up trucks always seem to drive in the left lane. At least in NJ. I'm the only aggressive Tesla driver I've seen! Not sure why. They are an absolute blast to drive. As in drive fast!
     
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  12. Dan203

    Dan203 Active Member

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    I'm usually a pretty aggressive driver. But I find that having automatic cruise control makes me a bit complacent and I don't always notice I'm going slower than I want if the transition is gradual. So maybe all the courteous Tesla drivers you're seeing are just using autopilot and not paying as much attention to their speeds as they might have if they were the ones controlling the pedal.
     
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  13. Apprunner

    Apprunner Member

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    I don't find that many aggressive Tesla drivers too. Mostly BMW and Hondas (for some reason). The only Tesla drivers that I find are aggressive are the Performance drivers. I found a couple to play with....great fun.
     
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  14. pnoble

    pnoble Member

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    That’s probably why! Thanks for the explanation.
     
  15. pnoble

    pnoble Member

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    There is surely a personality profile by brand and model, as in Honda Civic! And Tesla 3 Performance!
     
  16. Knightshade

    Knightshade Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is homelinks license requires Tesla to pay them for every car the HW is installed in. Regardless of if it's ever activated.

    Tesla already knew what % of the 3 fleet actually used it when they made the decision to move it to an after-purchase option (it used to be in every car)- so clearly they found it's cheaper for them this way.
     
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  17. Bodyhauler

    Bodyhauler Member

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    If you like the look of the Model S, why not get one instead of the Model 3? It's still $40-50k less than your $140k Porsche. Plus longer range.
     
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  18. Apprunner

    Apprunner Member

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    Big difference in handling feel. I'd give up some speed for better handling balance anyday.
     
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  19. SurfcasterPE

    SurfcasterPE Member

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    I'd be curious to see your list of the other 75 sir! I've drooled over 911's since childhood, but never been in a place to own one. Had a few other german rides that I appreciated, but other than an old school VW bug, nothing particularly special... Our 3 is by far the fastest and coolest vehicle I've ever owned.
     
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  20. pnoble

    pnoble Member

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    Honestly, I'm not comfortable with a larger car. It's why I never got a Panamera. Before my run of 911s I had an M5 (E39). Pre-Bangle. And everything I've read suggests that the 3 is the best handling Tesla.
     
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