Tesla Model 3 ‘Go-Kart’ Is an Electric Deathtrap That’ll Do 0-60 in 2.4 Seconds

Safety, rigidity? Never heard of ’em.

byLewin Day|
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The Bugatti Veyron was a standout machine at launch, with its mighty X16 engine boasting four turbos and a lofty 1,000 horsepower. That immense powerplant propelled it from zero to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds. As it turns out, you can match that time simply by turning your Tesla Model 3 into a deathtrap.

As covered by CarScoops, Chris Steinbacher of YouTube channel B is for Build wanted to see just how quick a Tesla Model 3 Performance could be. To achieve this feat, Steinbacher decided to strip as much weight off the electric sedan as possible. The simple reality is that at a given power level, a lighter vehicle accelerates more rapidly. Thus, by eschewing silly luxuries like passenger seats, carpets, and a roof, one can improve a car's acceleration significantly.

Stripping out a Tesla for faster times on the drag strip is nothing new, of course. We've seen it done before. However, where Steinbacher's project differs is that he is willing to go further than most. Starting with a salvage-titled Tesla, he started by removing panels like the doors, trunk, and frunk, along with everything else that could be taken off with a socket wrench. All the glass was then removed to save more weight.

Finally, in the most irreversible step of all, he busted out the power tools and cut away huge sections of the Model 3's bodywork. It's dangerous work, with Steinbacher careful to avoid both the bright orange high-voltage lines and the airbags installed around the chassis.

The result is a mere husk of a Model 3 that nonetheless boasts some impressive figures. Before the "mods," the car hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds when tested by Steinbacher. After the hack job, the stripped car achieved the same in just 2.46 seconds. That's on par with a Bugatti Veyron, and not far off a Chiron.

The video doesn't go into detail on how much weight was actually removed from the Model 3. Regardless, with almost the entire interior gone along with the roof and doors, we'd estimate a 30% reduction at the least.

Sadly, the hacked-up Model 3 likely doesn't have long to live. Cutting off the roof ruins the rigidity of the chassis, something of particular concern in a car with so much torque. Driving it is similarly dangerous with the sole occupant entirely unprotected in the event of an accident—not that this stops Steinbacher from taking it out on the road for the laughs. The video includes a visit to the local drive-thru, as is now de rigueur for these kinds of things.

Projects like this demonstrate the benefits of weight reduction in an extreme sense. Obviously, if you go too far, you'll find it difficult to drive on the road and most reputable race tracks. Keep that in mind before you bust out the power saw on your own ride.

Got a tip? Let the author know: lewin@thedrive.com

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