Is The Tesla Model 3 Acceleration Boost Worth It? (Our Analysis)

by Emily Nicholls | Posted On: May 9th, 2022
Blue Tesla model 3 - Voys

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For Tesla Long Range AWD Model 3 owners, Tesla offers a nifty performance upgrade called the Acceleration Boost that offers greater acceleration capabilities. But, is the upgrade worth it?

The Acceleration Boost is a performance upgrade available for $2,000 for Tesla’s Long Range AWD Model 3 cars. The Model 3 Performance can go from 0 to 60 mph (96.5 kph) in just 3.1 seconds. The Long Range variant has a timing of 4.2 seconds without the Acceleration Boost. However, by installing the Acceleration Boost update, the timing is reduced to approximately 3.8 seconds. 

The upgrade, which was originally introduced in December 2019 initially claimed its Acceleration Boost package for Long Range Model 3 vehicles would reduce the 0-60 time from 4.4s to 3.9s, a .5s reduction. Although it didn’t infringe on the Performance Model 3’s 0-60 mph capabilities, it offered a good middle-ground alternative. The quarter-mile time results for the Model 3 with Acceleration Boost were also notable, with some drivers clocking in at 11.9s, compared to the 13.1s without the Acceleration Boost. 

The update can be accessed through the website or on the Tesla app. Once purchased, the Tesla vehicle should instantly receive more power when accelerating becoming noticeably faster.

This isn’t the first time Tesla has upgraded the power on the Model 3, with the company announcing a 5% improvement in power via OTA (over the air) earlier in 2019. Tesla stated that the upgrade would apply to all Tesla Model 3 vehicles and that the Model S and X would also get a 3% power improvement.

The Acceleration boost is just one of Tesla’s ways to keep customers engaged with OTA updates to existing vehicles. Typically a new Tesla vehicle might perform at around 70-80% of its hardware capacity, with the rest unlocked by buying upgrades. The upgrades help customers tap into new potential with their vehicles without having to go into the garage. 

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Model 3 Long Range Vs Performance

One of the key selling points for the Acceleration Boost is that it gets the Long Range closer to Performance speed capabilities without paying the extra ~$7k for the Performance model. However, if your lifestyle is mainly taking longer trips and wanting to avoid unnecessary trips to the charging station then the Performance model may not be for you. The Model 3 Long Range is currently rated at 353 miles (568 km) of EPA Combined range compared to the Performance Model 315 miles (507 km). 

The Performance model has larger diameter wheels with wider lower-profile tires, larger brake discs and calipers, and a lowered and stiffened suspension. However, the differences in acceleration and top speed are purely down to software, although Tesla claims the Performance model has a slightly larger capacity battery. 

2019 Tesla Model 3 White
Photo by ae_works licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Performance model has a top speed of 162 mph (261 km/h) compared to the Long Range’s top speed of 144.8 mph (233 km/h). However, the Acceleration Boost for the Long Range will only change the Acceleration capabilities, not the top speed. 

What Are The Other Options? 

For those who do not want to fork out the $2,000 for the Tesla Acceleration Boost upgrade, there are a few aftermarket companies that offer an off-label modification package at a cheaper price. While it isn’t the official Boost upgrade, they can offer a similar level of performance. 

Ingenext, founded by a Canadian Tesla mechanic, sells a plug-and-play performance improvement module “Boost 50”. Boost 50 claims to offer the same extra 50 horsepower as Tesla’s acceleration upgrade. It also includes drift mode and other perks for only $1,100. 

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If you are not looking for an Acceleration boost module, there are still ways you can improve the Model 3 faster and improve performance. Reducing the overall weight of the car can add a little extra speed. Taking out the back seat or any other interior pieces may improve things a little.

 Keeping the battery fully charged or when the stage of charge (SoC) is higher can also give you better peak acceleration numbers. Warming up the vehicle and the battery before driving it can also give you a little performance boost as opposed to just getting in and setting off straight away. 

Blue Tesla model 3 - Voys
Photo by Mark Vletter licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

So, Is The Acceleration Boost For You?

While $2,000 is quite a costly upgrade feature, particularly for a software-based one, the Acceleration Boost upgrade certainly gets the acceleration capabilities to close that of Model 3 Performances. One of the key selling points of the upgrade is that it is targeted at those who were torn between the Performance model and the Long Range Model, but ended up purchasing the latter. It gives a bit extra to those who went with the Long Range Model.

The actual acceleration timings difference is quite notable and affects all the speeds, not just 0-60 mph. 

On the flipside, fast acceleration in your Model 3 will mean faster tire wear. It could also potentially translate to lower efficiency and possibly higher battery degradation. So one of the things to bear in mind is that getting through tires and lower efficiency will mean more costs in the long run.

One of the benefits of the Acceleration Boost is that if you aren’t sure whether to upgrade, there is not a particular time frame to do so as it is just a software upgrade. Whether you are saving up to buy it or are just undecided, unlocking the Acceleration Boost is a simple process. 

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If you are still undecided, although not officially advertised as a trial period, Tesla does give you the option to receive a refund from your initial purchase within the first 48 hours following purchase. This is a one-time deal and it is not possible to then purchase the Acceleration Boost upgrade at a later date and apply for a refund again. 

charging tesla

For some, the Acceleration Boost is a welcome upgrade and well worth the money spent. The car noticeably accelerates quicker and it functions as a good alternative for those who don’t want to go for the Performance model.

However, for others, it is not enough of a step up towards the Performance model which comes with other features like Track Mode and bigger brakes. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preferences based on budget, needs, and other factors.  

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