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Drag race video shows huge acceleration gains after Tesla’s new Model 3 software update

Published Nov 11th, 2019 10:06PM EST
Tesla Performance
Image: Ena/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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During Tesla’s earnings conference call a few weeks ago, Elon Musk teased an impending over-the-air software update that he said would improve performance across the entirety of Tesla’s vehicular lineup.

After discussing how much range users can eek out of the Model S, Musk said that the software update in question might see the range on the Model S go from 373 miles to 380 miles.

“And there are some software improvements that we think will make that even better,” Musk explained. “I forgot to mention, we’re also expecting there’s going to be an over-the-air improvement that will improve the power of the Model S, X, and 3.”

“It should be in the order of 5 percent power improvement due to improved firmware,” Musk added.

The update in question started rolling out to some Tesla owners last week and is expected to eventually arrive on all Tesla vehicles soon. In the interim, a video uploaded to YouTube yesterday features a race involving two identical Tesla Model 3 vehicles, one with the new update and one without. Notably, the host notes that drag races between the two cars — before the update — always ended up being even.

So, did the software update make much a difference? The answer is unequivocally yes. As evidenced below, a Model 3 with the performance update boasts improved acceleration and seems like a different car:

In addition to boosting performance by 5%, the update also includes a feature dubbed Automatic Navigation which sets your travel destination based on your current location and previous trips.

Tesla describes the feature as follows:

Automatic Navigation routes you to locations associated with upcoming calendar events, to Work when leaving Home in the morning (Monday through Friday) and Home when leaving Work in the afternoon or evening (Monday through Friday).

Say what you will about Tesla, but the company’s ability to add new features to a car years after the point of sale is truly remarkable.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.