Tesla Model 3 Performance: Racing at Laguna Seca

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Tesla Model 3 Performance
Tesla Model 3 Performance

While European luxury brands and Japanese sports car makers carve out their niches, Tesla holds its own in the electric vehicle (EV) arena.

Sure, Teslas might not exude the same opulence or raw speed, but their potential is undeniable. Battery weight and limitations are ongoing challenges, but the 2024 Model 3 Performance packs a punch with over 500 horsepower, making it a force to be reckoned with on the drag strip.

This capability extends to road courses as well. In an online community for automotive enthusiasts, a member named Steven documented his experience taking his 2024 Model 3 Performance to Laguna Seca.

The stock tires were the weak link, he noted, but battery heat management also presented a hurdle. Despite these limitations, Steven praised the new active dampers and aero package, which inspired confidence, especially at high speeds through turns.

Tesla Model 3 Performance
Tesla Model 3 Performance (Tesla)

He conquered the 2.238-mile circuit in 1:39.8, a respectable time compared to the record-setting Porsche Taycan driven by a professional driver (at a significantly higher price point).

Inspired by Steven’s feat, the author decided to virtually replicate it in Gran Turismo 7. After purchasing the in-game 2023 Model 3 Performance, the initial test runs revealed impressive straight-line acceleration but limitations in handling.

The first attempt clocked in at 1:41.309, surprisingly beating out cars like the Renault Megane RS and Mazda RX-7.

Aiming for a time closer to Steven’s, the author opted for the Chevrolet Corvette C8, eventually shaving off some time with a 1:39.805 lap on the controller.

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By Park-Shin Jung

I am Park-Shin Jung. I am a professional content writer for cars.

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