Tesla has just released an over the air update for Model 3 All Wheel Drive Long Range owners that promises to improve 0-60mph times by 0.5 seconds for $2,000. Some owners were ecstatic at the option of improving their car’s performance, especially after the 5% power boost update from a few weeks ago that was absolutely free.
Of course, Tesla’s biggest critics and trolls were out complaining about how early adopters were being taken advantage of or if $2,000 is too much for “just a software update”.
This got us thinking about what it would take to take any of Tesla’s competitors off the lot and try to improve their 0-60mph times by 0.5 seconds.
There are wild differences between the bone dry standard trim of a car model and its high performance variant. But is the gain in performance always worth the increase in price?
We’re going to comparing the following cars:
- Audi A3 Saloon
- Mercedes C-Class
- BMW 3-Series
- Alfa Romeo Giulia
- Tesla Model 3
The figures we’re taking into account are as follows:
- Top speed
The goal is to understand the cost per second to improve car acceleration performance across these luxury sedans to better understand the value that Tesla is providing us with over the air software updates.
Audi A3 Sedan
The Audi has a wide range of variants split into three main tiers of performance: A, S, and RS. We’ll be comparing the A variant to the RS, as these denote the very bottom and top of the model. Specifically, we’ll be focussing on the saloon version of the A3 which is a closer comparison to the rest of the cars being compared here.
|Audi A3||Base Spec||Top Spec||Difference|
|0-60 mph (secs)||9.6||4.1||57.29%|
|Top Speed (mph)||139||155||11%|
Cost Per Second Decrease: $4,867.64
In other words, it costs $4,867.64 to decrease the 0-60 mph time for an Audi A3 by one second.
Like the Audi, the Mercedes C-Class has a distinct high performance variant under the AMG name. We’ll be focussing on the saloon variants again to make a more suitable comparison.
|Merc C-Class||Base Spec||Top Spec||Difference|
|0-60 mph (secs)||7.9||3.7||53.16%|
|Top Speed (mph)||140||180||28.57%|
Cost Per Second Decrease: $15,157.86
In other words, it costs $15,157.86 to decrease the 0-60 mph time for a Mercedes C-Class by one second.
BMW 3 Series
Rounding off our three German saloons, the BMW 3 Series separates its bottom spec and top spec by the addition of an M badge. Again, it’s available as a saloon so that’s what we’re going to be using as a comparison.
|BMW 3 Series||Base Spec||Top Spec||Difference|
|0-60 mph (secs)||6.9||3.9||43.48%|
|Top Speed (mph)||146||174||19.18%|
Cost Per Second Decrease: $10,125
In other words, it costs $10,125 to decrease the 0-60 mph time for a BMW 3 Series by one second.
Alfa Romeo Giulia
Italy’s entrant into the saloon market was fierce, but unfortunately low sales have meant the Giulia won’t be around for much longer. Its performance spec was named the Quadrifoglio, and it was brilliant.
|Giulia||Base Spec||Top Spec||Difference|
|0-60 mph (secs)||6.4||3.8||40.63%|
|Top Speed (mph)||146||191||30.82%|
Cost Per Second Decrease: $15,302.69
In other words, it costs $15,302.69 to decrease the 0-60 mph time for an Alfa Romeo Giulia by one second.
Tesla Model 3
This one’s special thanks to a new update from Tesla that gives it an OTA (over the air) boost in power and performance. We’ll be comparing the very bottom spec of the Model 3 with the Performance version, then compare that to the Dual Motor variant with the additional power boost upgrade.
|Tesla Model 3||Base Spec||Top Spec||Difference|
|0-60 mph (secs)||5.3||3.2||-39.62%|
|Top Speed (mph)||140||155||10.71%|
Cost Per Second Decrease: $8095.24
In other words, it costs $8,095.24 to decrease the 0-60 mph time for a Tesla Model 3 by one second.
Acceleration Boost Upgrade
|Tesla Model 3 LR AWD||LR AWD||LR AWD w/Boost||Difference|
|0-60 mph (secs)||4.4||3.9||-13.64%|
Cost Per Second Decrease: $4,000
In other words, it costs $4,000 to decrease the 0-60 mph time for a Tesla Model 3 by one second.
Being that this update is a reality and it shaved off 0.5 seconds for Tesla’s middle offering version, here’s a list of real costs if the other luxury makers would charge to shave the same 0.5 seconds off their times:
- Tesla Model 3 LR AWD Acceleration Boost: $2,000
- Audi A3: $2,434
- Tesla Model 3: $4047.62
- Mercedes C-Class: $7,579
- BMW 3 Series: $5,063
- Alfa Romeo Giulia: $7,651
Obviously, the Audi A3’s base model is far and away the slowest model in this comparison, which helps them from a mathematical standpoint, and the Model 3 Standard Range Plus’ relatively fast base model hinders them in the same way.
At the end of the day, this was just an exercise in putting into context the amazing value Tesla is providing with these over the air update options.
Honestly, how much money would it take to drop a luxury sedan that is already running in the 4 seconds for 0-60 mph another half a second?
How else can we compare these vehicles? Let us know in the comments below.