Electric Cars

Wait, what? A Tesla Model 3 time-attack car? Is that a thing??

Canadian tuner Mountain Pass Performance has designed and built a series of bolt-on performance parts that turn the Model 3 into a serious performance car.

Jay Lai (@jaylairacingguy) via Mountain Pass Performance

By now most people know that Teslas are quick in a straight line; all their electric torque almost guarantees it. But what do you do if you want your Muskwagen to carve up some corners? 

Well, if you've got a Model 3, you can call up Sasha Anis at Mountain Pass Performance in Canada. He's already turning out suspension and brake upgrades for a car that is only just getting to market in significant numbers, but is it any good to begin with or is it like trying to make an elephant rollerskate?

Actually, according to Sasha and the gents from Speed Academy, the Model 3 has an excellent chassis. Unfortunately, that chassis is hamstrung by low-grip tires, undersized brakes and stability control that (on track, anyway) is too eager to intervene. Mountain Pass has solutions for all of these problems, and you can see how well they work in Speed Academy's video above, which documents a test session with the car.

"What we've done with our sport suspension is sort of gone back to the early Model 3 suspension which was much stiffer, but we've reduced some of the damping and are controlling the car with the springs. Now the car rides more like a BMW M3," said Sasha Anis of Mountain Pass Performance.

As impressive as the testing video is, it's meaningless without context, and Mountain Pass provided plenty, with what's believed to be the Model 3's first win in a time-attack event, beating out the likes of a Porsche 981 Boxster and a Mazda RX-8, both notoriously sweet-handling cars on a track, as well as numerous Honda S2000s and more.

The Model 3 looks great on track and handled itself with aplomb, winning a time-attack event in Canada.

Jay Lai (@jaylairacingguy) via Mountain Pass Performance

The fact that the Tesla Model 3, which isn't really billed as a "performance car" can outdo built-to-purpose sports cars on a track in the wet with only wheels, tires, coilovers and brakes is fairly staggering, and it makes us wonder whether it's an extra motor and more power that its upcoming factory performance version really needs.

"We were testing last week and were able to get the biggest possible tires on the front of the car, and once we can dial in more camber with upper control arms, the car could easily be 3/4 of a second faster. It will be a monster," said Anis.

We're sold. Now we've just got to bug Mountain Pass Performance until it lets us come up to Canada and go for a rip around the track in its car.

Updated 7/12/18 5:08 P.M.: Updated with quotes from Sasha Anis, head of Mountain Pass Performance