- Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 claims unofficial EV street class record with 1:52.8 lap time at Buttonwillow Raceway.
- All-electric Model 3 Performance sedan features minimal upgrades, including Titan 7 wheels, KW coilovers, and Voltex rear wing.
- Next, the Evasive Model 3 will be preparing for the 99th running of Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 27, 2021.
EV AIN’T GOING ANYWHERE
Electric cars are the future, whether you like it or not, and Tesla is spearheading the way with its Model 3. Through December 2020, Tesla has sold more than 800,000 Model 3s worldwide, making it the best-selling electric car in history. The Performance model is the one we care about, though, with a dual electric motor, all-wheel-drive output that’s equivalent to 450hp and 471 lb-ft of torque. Despite weighing over 4,000 pounds, it keeps up with the likes of a McLaren 570S and Aston Martin Vantage with a low 3-seconds time in the 0-60mph dash. Yes, we’re talking about a family sedan with supercar-like acceleration that’s half the price and an extended range of more than 300 miles. The pros are all there, however, the cons are also evident if you grew up as a petrol head. Having no combustion, no sound, no exhaust fumes… It all sounds a bit sacrilegious if you ask me. For years I felt this way, and the folks over at Evasive Motorsports did too, having campaigned many time attack S2000s and Evos, not to mention having just conquered last year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with a 2JZ-powered Toyota 86 piloted by Dai Yoshihara. We’re born with race fuel in our blood. However, we also can’t ignore the inevitable — the importance and widespread adoption of electric cars. Top researchers believe more than 60-percent of new car sales by 2040 will be electric. Manufacturers like General Motors have pledged to stop making gasoline-powered passenger cars, vans, and trucks by 2035. While many of us hate the notion, the expansion of EV can’t be stopped, which is why the team at Evasive have decided to start now rather than later, by making this Tesla Model 3 Performance their latest test mule and track toy.
HOW TO MAKE A TESLA FASTER
Let’s get the obvious question out of the way first, “how do you make more power out of a Tesla?” and the answer is, “it’s complicated,” at least for now. There are available upgrades (and hacks) to bolster base models to top-of-the-line performance and aftermarket modules that can quicken throttle response. Beyond that, it would take a genius of some sort to tack on more battery power and safely reconfigure Tesla’s complex software. With that said, the most effective formula to tune a Tesla is by addressing its suspension, brakes, aero, and tires.
Starting with the chassis, the stock suspension was ditched for an off-the-shelf set of KW Suspension V3 coilovers while new arms allow for camber and toe adjustment. The Model 3 Performance comes with a bigger brake upgrade already — 355mm, two-piece rotors all around with Brembo calipers (four-piston in front). However, Evasive swapped out to more aggressive pads and fluid for the track.
The wheels are a funny story. They are the same exact 18×10.5-inch gold Titan 7 rear wheels used on Dai Yoshihara’s competition Formula DRIFT Subaru BRZ (yes, same bolt pattern and offset!). 295/35R18 tires supply a very meaty fitment that looks surprisingly boss on the Model 3.
When it comes to the exterior, an Artisan Spirits lip kit sharpens the Tesla’s style, but it’s the Voltex Type 12 GT wing that makes the big difference. During a previous testing day, the Model 3 tended to oversteer and lose grip. The added downforce of the Voltex wing would remedy this.
Inside, notice everything that wasn’t vital to the car running was stripped out, including the door panels, rear bench, and passenger seat. All that’s left is the Bride Xero driver seat, OEM dash, and center console. You might be asking why there’s a MoTec display. That’s purely for data logging, which helps monitor any unexpected hiccups in power delivery and battery performance.
SETTING A RECORD IN RECORD TIME
The Evasive Model 3 had already undergone two shakedowns, the last of them recording a 1:54.5 lap time on Buttonwillow Raceway’s CW13 course. During that test, the sedan didn’t have its rear wing, utilized semi-worn tires, and showed up with half a charge (rumored that torque is reduced as the battery depletes). The new goal was to arrive fully charged and break into the 1:53 or 1:52 mark, which would unofficially solidify the Evasive Model 3 as the fastest electric-powered production vehicle on street tires at Buttonwillow.
Making things perhaps more difficult was the challenge that there was only a 15-minute window for team driver Dai Yoshihara to have the whole track clear to himself. Turns out Dai only needed one hot lap as he was able to beat the record on his first try clocking a 1:52.8. To put that into context, that’s right in the middle of the pack for Global Time Attack’s Street Class, which competes against full-blown, aero-equipped Subaru STIs, Toyota Supras, and Chevy Corvettes — cars that also have no limitations on power. The Evasive Model 3 achieved its lightning-fast time with only a handful of mods. Quite honestly proving Teslas are more than just vehicles for tech nerds who worship Elon Musk. There’s performance potential there, and Evasive Motorsports is well on its way to solidifying this notion into the history books.
PIKES PEAK ON THE HORIZON
Setting an unofficial lap record at Buttonwillow is only the beginning for the Evasive crew and Dai Yoshihara, as sights are set at bringing the Model 3 to Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. There, the Model 3 will attempt to set another EV record by maneuvering 156 turns and keeping a strong battery charge for 12.42 miles. From now until June 27, the Tesla will be under the knife with a new aero package on the way. Plus, a custom roll cage, KW Suspension motorsport-spec coilovers, and cooling upgrades will be installed to ensure the Tesla ascends 14,155 ft to the finish line. It’s an exciting time, not just for Evasive Motorsports, but for the industry, as the boundaries of dad’s Model 3 will be pushed to the limit at one of the world’s most dangerous races.
Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Performance
|KW Suspension V3 coilovers; upgraded suspension arms
|18x10.5-inch +25 Titan 7 "Dai Edition" forged wheels
|Artisan Spirits Sports Line Black Label front lip spoiler, side skirts, rear diffuser, trunk spoiler; Voltex Type 12 1440mm GT wing
|Bride Xero driver seat; Planted Technology seat brackets; MoTeC C127 dash; stripped seats and panels