Will a Free Tesla Software Update Make a Model 3 Quicker Than a Hellcat or AMG? Thrifty 3 Ep. 3

Which will win: Electricity, supercharging or turbocharging?

Time for another episode with our Tesla Model 3. This time it is all about performance. Tesla recently released a software update that is supposed to improve the car’s performance by a commendable 5%. Better yet, this is a free update, available for download over the air.

Free Software Update?

The process of updating was fairly simple. Just park the car somewhere with cell service, wait for the data to download and within 30 minutes, the Tesla had been upgraded. But what sort of effects did this have on performance? Thankfully, Tommy ran a 0-60 test before the update to see how the car performs in stock configuration. The claimed 0-60 time from Tesla is 4.5 seconds. However, these times are usually in near-perfect conditions. That said, we saw a pretty similar time of 4.59 seconds.

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Tesla has increased Model 3 production, and needs to continue to do so in order to thrive. [Photo: Tesla]

Mad Gains, Bro

After the update, we ran another test and, to our pleasant surprise, the car did get quicker. A 5% increase in performance means we should have gotten a time of 4.3 seconds. Tommy managed to pull off a 4.42. This works out to a performance bump of roughly 3.7%. Not the full 5%, but for free, you can’t complain too much.

Time to take on the big dogs

One of the most fun parts about owning a Tesla is the ability to embarass high-performance cars on a whim. So, we brought over 1,000 horsepowers worth of AMG and Hellcat to see what sort of tom foolery the Tesla could pull off. Under the hood of the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLS 53 is a mild-hybrid, turbocharged straight-six that makes 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. The Hellcat, of course, has a massive 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 making 707 raging ponies. Certainly, these are two tough opponents for the Model 3. Though, altitude will affect the dino-slurping gas engines, where the Tesla (as we have already established) loses no performance due to altitude.

I’m not going to spoil the winner in this post, though. To see what happens, you’re going to have to watch the entire video! Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for the latest news, views & real-worl reviews and more fun tests with our Tesla Model 3.