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

by Emily Nicholls | Updated: March 10th, 2024
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For Tesla Long Range AWD Model 3 owners, Tesla offers a nifty performance upgrade called the Acceleration Boost, which 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, 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 Model 3 with Acceleration Boost had a quarter-mile time of 11.9s, compared to 13.1s without.

The update is available on the Tesla website or through 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 on 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 going into the garage. 

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 mainly involves longer trips and you want to avoid unnecessary trips to the charging station, then the Performance model may not be for you. The Long Range version of Model 3 has an EPA combined range of 353 miles (568 km) while the Performance model has a range of 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 battery capacity. 

2019 Tesla Model 3 White
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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 called 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. 

If you are not looking for an Acceleration boost module, there are still ways to make 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 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 instead of just getting in and setting off immediately. 

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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 timing difference is notable and affects all the speeds, not just 0-60 mph. 

Conversely, 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 thing to remember 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 no particular time frame to do so, as it is just a software upgrade. Unlocking the Acceleration Boost is a straightforward process, whether you’re saving up for it or still undecided.

If you’re unsatisfied with your Tesla purchase, you have a right to a refund within 48 hours of the initial purchase, even though this refund policy is not marketed as a trial period.

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

author avatar
Emily Nicholls