Proving there is no slow news day for Tesla, the American all-electric carmaker has dropped a trim level of the Model 3. At the same time, it simultaneously increased the car’s power output.
There is a lot to unpack here. But let’s start with that increased power.
Recently, Tesla sent out an over-the-air software update (2019.8.2) for Model 3 vehicles. Following that update, 22mark took to Reddit to post an image of his Model 3’s screen with a message that reads, “Your vehicle’s peak power has been increased by approximately 5%, improving acceleration and performance.”
The five-percent peak power output increase applies across the Model 3 line, including the entry-level up to the Performance trim. There’s no official word on how the upgrade affects 0-60 mile-per-hour runs. But the Performance trim now, following the power increase, boasts a 162-mph top speed.
Below the peak power output upgrade sentence, the Model 3’s on-screen message includes a note about the car’s summon feature, and how to operate it. Further down, the message details the new Sentry Mode, which uses the car’s exterior cameras to “continuously monitors your car’s surroundings.” Sentry mode alerts the driver if it detects any potential threats.
The Universe Requires Balance, Give And Take
At the same time that it quietly upped the power for its entry-level model, Tesla quietly removed the ‘Mid Range’ trim level from the Model 3 online configurator. This leaves just three variants: Standard Range, Standard Range Plus, and Long Range.
Mid Range was added late last year in order to incentivize would-be Standard Range (entry-level) pre-order customers to purchase a car by the end of the year, before Tesla’s $7,500 federal tax incentive credits expired.
Now that those credits are long gone, and the EV car maker is looking to find ways to simplify its production process, the move makes sense. Slashing trim levels, which decreases production complexity, is an easy way to streamline what has been a real headache for Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk: making the cars they promised.
Let’s circle back to the power output increase for a second. It is certainly cool to have a quicker car without doing anything. However, from where I stand, the power output upgrade sort of flies in the face of the entry-level electric car.
Think about it: outputting more power slashes remaining range, as it dumps as much juice as possible into the motor and out to the wheels. Range anxiety is still a real thing. So why would you want to find a way to release more electricity faster?
Don’t get me wrong, though. I definitely love performance electric cars, and the intoxicating torque they offer. That said, if it were my car, I’d prefer Tesla find a way to make the car more efficient and make it go further on a single charge rather than simply tune it to make the electrons disappear more quickly.
Regardless of my feelings, however, the Model 3 can now go faster with the throttle pedal buried in the carpet. Just be careful with all your extra power, Model 3 owners. Hopefully Sentry Mode can also spot the cops before they ticket you.