How Fast Is the Tesla Model 3 Quarter Mile Time?

The 2022 Tesla Model 3 can crack the quarter-mile mark in 11.5 seconds, but it’s not the fastest car on the road—in fact, it isn’t even the fastest Tesla.
Written by Matt Nightingale
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Aug 29, 2022
With over half a million units sold since 2016, the Tesla Model 3 the fastest-selling electric vehicle of all time—and with a quarter-mile time of 11.5 seconds, it’s pretty fast on the road, too.
Before Tesla, electric cars were looked at as something of a novelty preferred by hippies and nerds. The Model 3 changed all that. With its clean, futuristic styling and surprising performance, the Model 3 made electric cars cool.
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How fast is the Tesla Model 3 in the quarter mile?

The Tesla Model 3 is capable of reaching the quarter-mile mark in 11.5 seconds—if you have the right powertrain and battery combination. 
The Model 3 is available in three trim levels—Rear Wheel Drive, Long Distance, and Performance. Each has its own distinctive powertrain and battery setup, and those specs affect the vehicle’s performance.
The Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive features one rear-mounted electric motor and a lithium-ion battery with a 272-mile range. That model is capable of reaching the quarter-mile mark from a standstill in 15.2 seconds. Pretty average, but it gets better.
The Model 3 Long Range trim comes outfitted with dual electric motors, and a larger battery pack capable of traveling 358 miles on a single charge. The dual motor setup of the Model 3 Long Range is designed with a motor on each axle, providing all-wheel-drive performance. This upgrade allows the Long Range to reach a quarter mile in a surprising 12.2 seconds—three seconds faster than the entry-level Rear Wheel Drive.
The high-end Performance trim Model 3 is also furnished with a dual motor all-wheel drive configuration but features a smaller, lighter battery pack that generates 315 miles of range. The Model 3 Performance comes decked out with performance brakes and tires, and Track Mode, which allows the driver to toggle stability and traction settings for improved performance. All of these features help the Model 3 Performance scream to a quarter-mile in just 11.5 seconds.
That’s faster than the Model 3’s cousin the 2020 Tesla Model Y Performance, which crosses the quarter-mile line in 12.1 seconds. But, it’s not the fastest Tesla. No, that title belongs to the 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid which set one of the fastest quarter-mile record times ever seen—9.4 seconds.
When compared to its closest competitors, the Model 3 Performance’s 11.5-second quarter-mile is the fastest in its cohort. Here’s a look at the quarter-mile times of the Model 3’s rivals.
  • 2020 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD: 13.6 seconds
  • 2022 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron: 12.3 seconds
  • 2021 Chevrolet Bolt: 14.9 seconds
  • 2020 Ford Fusion Energi: 17.4 seconds
  • 2022 Jaguar I-Pace E 400 AWD: 12.8 seconds
  • 2022 Lexus ES 300h Hybrid: 16.4 seconds
  • 2021 Nissan Leaf SL Plus Hatchback: 15.4 seconds
  • 2019 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo: 12.6 seconds

How much horsepower does the Tesla Model 3 have?

The single motor in the Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive generates 258 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. The extra motor found on the mid-level Model 3 Long Range adds 88 ponies for 346 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque.  And of course, the Performance model tops them all with 450 horses under the hood and 471 pound-feet of torque.

What is the top speed of a Tesla Model 3?

If you’ve got the need for speed, the Tesla Model 3 might just be the car for you. The Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive model has a top speed of 140 mph. That’s 10 miles per hour faster than the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance’s 130 mph top end. 
As you might expect, top speed increases as you travel up the Model 3’s trim levels. The Long Range offers a top speed of 145 mph, while the Performance clocks in at 162 mph.

Can anything beat a Tesla Model 3?

While the Model 3 is fast, it’s not the fastest car in the world. In fact, it’s not even the fastest Tesla. That would be the Tesla Model S Plaid which has a top speed of 200 miles per hour and can reach a quarter-mile in 9.4 seconds.
Outside the Tesla family, only two cars are faster—the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport with a quarter-mile time of 9.1 seconds and the Rimac Nevera, which can hit a quarter-mile in an incredible 8.58 seconds.
But, that extra 0.52 seconds will cost you an additional $2.14 million. The Nevera is a limited-production EV that sells for $2.27 million, while the Tesla Plaid retails for a starting price of $127,590. Who’s to say if the extra speed is worth it?

Can a Tesla beat a Lamborghini?

Now the real question—can a Tesla beat a Lambo?
The Plaid sure can. The quickest Lamborghini currently available is the 2020 Huracán Evo, which can cruise to a quarter-mile in 10.4 seconds—a full second slower than the Tesla Model S Plaid. But the Model 3 Performance is more than a second slower than Huracán.

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