Tesla's Free Over-the-Air Software Update Increases Power and Performance

It's like getting a tune for your car, but for free, and also while you sleep.

PIERRE-HENRY DESHAYES—AFP/Getty Images

Tesla began pushing an over the air update to its range of vehicles, unlocking added power and performance with no additional effort from owners, the automaker confirmed Monday.

Some owners woke up to a message on their Model 3's 15-inch infotainment screen informing them that their total power output had been increased by five percent, improving acceleration and overall performance—something which most car owners could only dream of happening while they slept.

The update itself isn't a surprise, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted about the upcoming performance increase about two weeks ago, giving owners advanced notice to expect a jump in power in the near future. Musk also briefly addressed the update when announcing the release of the Standard Range Model 3 in an invitation-only press call, stating that the automaker felt comfortable allowing for increase battery storage and output after vigorous testing.

Model 3 Performance drivers will experience the largest gains, unlocking roughly 23 added horsepower and 24 pound-feet of torque—a number large enough for the good ol' butt dyno to feel an improvement. Additionally, the software update will allow Model 3 Performance drivers to accelerate all the way to 162 miles per hour.

One particular Reddit user found that his Model 3 Performance's zero to 60 sprints dropped from 3.5 seconds to just 3.2.

Just last week, Tesla pushed a separate update which increased the total range of all vehicles with a Long Range battery by 15 miles. This enables the rear-wheel-drive Long Range variant to travel up to 325 miles on a single charge.

One of the most exciting things about living in the connected car era is the ability for automakers to push updates to their customers which improve or otherwise increase the enjoyment of the products that they own. While a highly debatable topic, Tesla drivers continually rank among the most satisfied across all brands in repeat surveys.