Last summer, Tesla began rolling out a new infotainment computer called the MCU3 (no relation) in its high-end Model S and Model X vehicles. Not only did the new computer include a faster processor, enabling smoother navigation through the car’s menus, it also contains a dedicated graphics processing unit — enabling the sort of detailed rendering necessary to guide Geralt of Rivia through the Continent. Months later, Tesla gave the Model 3 and Model Y the same upgrade, but the cheaper cars show the true cost of all that computing power: Range.
New Model 3 buyers in Australia are being informed that their cars will ship with less range than advertised. The reduction isn’t huge, only about 13 miles less than the initial ratings, but it’s enough that some regulatory bodies require Tesla to get buyers’ consent before actually selling them the vehicle.
That WLTP acronym referenced in the photo is the EU’s emissions and range test cycle for new cars. certain Model 3 models have lost up to 3.5% of their range in that test due to the new computer, according to InsideEVs:
- Model 3 RWD (no changes)
18" wheels: 510 km (317 miles)
19" wheels: 491 km (305 miles)
- Model 3 LR AWD
18" wheels: 626 km (389 miles), down by 11 km or 1.7% from 637 km
19" wheels: 602 km (374 miles), down by 12 km or 2.0% from 614 km
- Model 3 Performance
20" wheels: 547 km (340 miles), down by 20 km or 3.5% from 567 km
- Model Y LR AWD
19" wheels: 565 km (351 miles), up by 28 km or 5.2% from 537 km
20" wheels: 533 km (331 miles), up by 26 km or 5.1% from 507 km
- Model Y Performance
21" wheels: 514 km (319 miles), up by 34 km or 7.1% from 480 km
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While the overall range changes aren’t catastrophic, they bring up questions about Tesla’s priorities in building EVs. Sacrificing range for the ability to play Witcher 3 is certainly an odd choice for a carmaker — surely, based on Elon Musk’s cybernetic augmentation dreams, Cyberpunk 2077 would be the more logical range-decreasing choice.