Tesla recently increased vehicle performance by ~ 5% through an over-the-air update, and today we have a video confirming the improvement with some side-by-side testing.
The video was posted on youtube by Tesla owner Jenny Walsh, and was posted on two identical Model 3s performance, one with the update and one without.
Both cars had their batteries in the same charging state – 190 miles in range meters – and their tires were inflated to the same psi. Both cars were running with the windows down. The owners are good friends and have driven their cars against each other before, and always ended up with pretty close races.
However, the cars differed in weight ̵[ads1]1; the red car without the passenger had a passenger, while the white car with the update did. But Walsh said: "I (the passenger) weighs just 115 pounds and the driver in the red car also weighs less than the white driver."
The difference in the weight of the coating (<115 pounds) probably accounts for ~ 2% of the weight of a ~ 4,000 lb model 3, which is less than the 5% power difference promised by Tesla's update.
So this was not a perfect scientific test, but the three tests show a clear winner:
In all three, the updated white Tesla draws significantly ahead, and shows an increase in power.
Others have tried to put the power increase to the test and have shown improved results as we like. Reddit user 22 marks released results from Dragy, a GPS-based performance monitor. He found that the update resulted in about a tenth of a second improvement in 0-60 times.
Tesla was able to increase power delivery because they found engine control optimizations, which meant they were able to increase both range and power delivery for all fleet vehicles. This update started rolling out a couple of weeks ago.
Tesla has promised that the update will further improve the performance of the Model S after a drag race test appeared and showed that Taycan beat the Model S Ludicrous. Some Tesla fans pointed out that the test for drag race may have been an anomalous result, as the Model S performed worse than expected.
We would like to see the last couple differences taken away and have a test with really similar cars, including the same weight load inside them. Maybe you change car drivers, make a few more attempts in the opposite direction, and so on.
But this is the first side by side we have seen, and it is clear that there was a significant difference between the two cars, probably more than can be explained by the small weight difference.
In addition, the white car even managed to overcome the red car's natural advantage of being painted red. As we all know, the reds go faster.
This just shows that Tesla's software advantage is a very big deal. Not only can Tesla update UI elements, but sometimes they will even improve performance through a simple, free, airy update.
No other manufacturer does this type of over-the-air update yet, and the concept of giving customers free power seems like the type of traditional manufacturers would not do. They are more likely to sell a new year model with slightly less performance improvement than give existing customers something free.
But we would like to be proven wrong.
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