Top 10 Surprising Cars a Tesla Model 3 Beats in a Drag Race » News

Top 10 Surprising Cars a Tesla Model 3 Beats in a Drag Race

Top 10 Surprising Cars a Tesla Model 3 Beats in a Drag Race

There was a time all-electric vehicles weren’t considered quick.

But that perception has changed quickly, especially when there are Tesla Model S sedans out there running 10-second quarter-mile times. The American automaker is finally delivering Model 3 to customers and many are going straight to the track to see how the Model 3 performs in the quarter mile.

Recently, someone claims to have set a world record in a Model 3, running a 13.330 @ 104.07 mph at Cecil County Dragway in Maryland. Just how quick is that? We decided to take a look at some of today’s sports cars to compare.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Tesla Model 3 Runs a 13-Second Quarter Mile

Now, quarter-mile times aren’t an exact science. There are plenty of variables that affect just how quick a car covers 1,320 feet. There are things to take into consideration such as the temperature, how close the track is to sea level, and even the driver behind the wheel. Since most automakers don’t tend to publish quarter-mile times, we used Car and Driver as our source to compare tested times to the Model 3’s current record of 13.330.

It’s worth mentioning that Car and Driver‘s Model 3 test turned in a 13.8 @ 101 mph time, which goes to show just how different drag times can be. But this does give us a relatively good idea of how quick the Model 3 really is.

10. Audi TT Coupe

2017 audi tt coupe

With a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood, the Audi TT turns in a 13.8 @ 99 mph quarter-mile time. Sure there are more powerful and quicker variants available, but the base model TT is pretty comparable in price to the long-range Model 3.

9. Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Coupe

2018 chevrolet camaro

It’s not quite the V8 Camaro, but the V6-powered 1LE model covers 1,320 feet in 13.8 seconds at 101 mph. That’s with 335 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque, while paired to a six-speed manual transmission. We expect a few Chevy Camaro owners might be surprised to see their sports cars get beaten by a Model 3.

8. Subaru WRX STI

2018 subaru wrx sti

All-wheel-drive performance with a turbocharged engine under the hood? Even the Subaru WRX wearing the STI badge would get beaten by the Model 3 in a drag race. The WRX STI tested at 13.8 @ 102 mph, which is a respectable time for a four-door sports car, but it’ll have a hard time keeping up with an all-electric sedan.

7. Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2018 ford mustang ecoboost

The latest Ford Mustang got rid of its V6 engine, and instead, there’s a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood. It’s good for a 13.7-second quarter-mile time at 102 mph. We totally get that this isn’t the V8 Mustang – which is much quicker – but it is still a Mustang.

6. Nissan 370Z

2018 nissan 370z heritage edition

Did you forget the Nissan 370Z even exists? One of the oldest sports cars available in today’s market, the Z still offers great performance for its price. With 332 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, the two-door hatchback manages to go down the quarter mile in 13.7 seconds @ 106 mph.

5. Infiniti Q50 3.0t Sport

2018 infiniti q50

Infiniti has really made a push towards the luxury performance sedan segment with its Red Sport 400 variants, but how quick is the Q50 3.0t Sport? With a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, the sedan manages to run the quarter mile in 13.6 seconds @ 103 mph. Not bad, but still slower than the Model 3.

4. Honda Civic Type R

2018 honda civic type-r

There was a lot of hype surrounding the Honda Civic Type R when it finally arrived in the U.S. Despite being front-wheel drive, it’s a competent hatch on and off the track with its 306-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 295 lb-ft of torque to boot. Still, with a tested time of 13.5 @ 108 mph, the Model 3 would edge out the Type R in a drag race.

3. Ford Focus RS

2017 ford focus rs

Like the Civic Type R, there was plenty of excitement when the Ford Focus RS finally arrived in the U.S. It’s undoubtedly quick with a 13.4 @ 104 mph time, which is actually quite close to the Model 3’s current record. Getting down to the final 3 on the list, it would really come down to who is behind the wheel to determine which car is quicker in a drag race. That being said, the Model 3 has one less variable when it comes to going down the quarter mile: it doesn’t have to manually shift gears.

2. Volkswagen Golf R

2018 volkswagen golf r

One of the more popular hot hatches available today, the Volkswagen Golf R would likely be door-to-door while going down the track against a Model 3. The Volkswagen Golf R with its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 292 hp manages to run a 13.4 @ 104 mph.

1. Jaguar F-Type S Coupe

jaguar f-type

Believe it or not, the Jaguar F-Type S with 380 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque manages a 13.4 @ 105 mph in the quarter mile. And that’s with a price tag that is nearly double the Model 3. But comparing the F-Type sports car to the Model 3 is like comparing apples to oranges. Still, we imagine an unsuspecting F-Type owner might be wondering what happened when a quiet Tesla Model 3 keeps up with it down the track.

Discuss this story on our Tesla Model 3 Forum

  • Arthur Burnside

    Putting powerfull electric motors, and instant, uncontrollable torque and non-grippy tires on a Model 3, which is guaranteed to incinerate its occupants when the driver (or its Autopilot) crashes into an immovable object makes about as much sense as handing a loaded gun to a three year old child. Musk has NO brains when it comes to safety. And he will soon pay

  • CSmith

    Not only is the Model 3 faster than these cars, but it handles better, too, That’s the opinion of nearly everyone who has taken the time to drive the Model 3. It’s low center of gravity and wide tires give it superior handling characteristics on curves with no over steer or under steer. It’s nearly impossible to roll this vehicle. If the safety rating of the Model S is any indication, the Model 3 is likely to be 5-star rated for safety, as well, when the independent test results are released.

  • xIVIx

    It handles better than every car in the list ?
    even the light Type R ?

  • NA_Lee

    Musk will certainly pay for his inability to run a car company but safety won’t be one of his downfalls. Both the Model S and X have some of the highest safety ratings by the NHSTA. The Model 3 will likely be the same.

    As for uncontrollable torque, the traction control for acceleration in all Teslas is top notch. It’s almost impossible to perform a burn out in a Tesla, even on ice. The traction control doesn’t allow it. As for grown adults not being able to handle a powerful car, are you saying that the people who drive the cars above listed in the article are just as dumb?

    You do know that Tesla has a menu option in all models, the 3 included, called Chill Mode that turns off the instant torque and slows the acceleration for daily drivers and soccer moms? Yeah, you probably didn’t know that.

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    I’d still rather have a Type R.

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    Comparing Tesla’s to “regular” cars was fun in the beginning… You have this thing that looks like a car and by definition is a car/suv, but in reality, it’s a completely different beast. If you understand how an electric motor gives 100% torque from a stand still, and if you also understand how Tesla likes to build it’s cars, the results aren’t surprising at all, and definitely not a fair comparison anymore. I like how Tesla has shaken up the industry and how much they’re doing to advance clean transportation, but at this stage in the game, I’d rather have a finely tuned gas car for the same price as a Tesla. I take my hat off to early adopters though.

  • James Watadza

    You sound like a naysayer-engineer round about the time steam trains were introduced; “Oh these infernal, noisy contraptions… you will most assuredly suffocate once they reach 50 miles per hour…”.
    Whatever challenges Musk is facing he is breaking down barriers to innovation and progress — something ICE manufacturers could have spearheaded but chose instead, to milk the consumer… people like you.
    What you fail to understand is that if people like you — the keyboard warriors who stay up all night shooting down people like Musk — were replaced by people who instead stay up all night posting suggestions, calculations and alternative approaches to the problems that one man and his team are facing… the world would a much better place. (read between the lines)

    Every single day people across the globe are dying because of pollution produced by gas guzzlers… maybe you too… don’t demonize the one corporate that is actually on your side! Jeez!

  • Jimny

    I can run faster than an EcoBoost Mustang

  • Tom610

    Not a fair comparison? lol someone’s butthurt.

  • Majapa

    Someone has an Elon crush…

  • hdude

    The article is in a “Drag Race”. There is no mention about it tracking ability. And besides, I’m sure it’s batteries in prolong track/aggressive driving would very quickly become an issue. And besides…the contest says it would be very close! Add to the fact that the Type R is an enthusiast car….there are many out there that can easily tune it to be even more powerful.

  • hdude

    I highly doubt it would hang with the track boys like the Type R or Focus RS on a real track. And even if it could….the batteries would eventually become a major issue.

  • hdude

    Would you consider it a “fair comparison” if this was tested on a road course or in a highly sustained aggressive driving situation? LOL.

  • hdude

    I guess it’s worth noting that C&D was the source for the quarter times. Their test time for the base Model 3 is quoted as “13.8” . Which is actually slower then many of the cars listed here. I may sound bias…but I know ppl in my car club (Type R) who have done low 13s in the 1/4. So the claim of 13.3 being the fastest base model Model 3 is just as valid as their claims.