Does the Tesla Model Y really brake worse than the Model 3?

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A topic has been on the web for a few weeks. Since the summer of 2022, the Tesla Model Y Performance is delivered with new rear brakes, unlike the Model 3 that has not undergone this change. The problem is that these don’t seem to work any better. Some are even convinced otherwise. We take stock of the situation.

Tesla Model Y Performance, Midnight Cherry Red

One of Tesla’s arguments in favor of the Performance versions of its Model 3 and Model Y is the presence of more powerful brakes, called “Performance Brakes” in the online configurator. The American company does not give more details, but we know a little more thanks to the work of the forum. tesla motor club.

Tesla Model 3 performance: c’est simple

In the Tesla Model 3, the situation is simple. On the Performance version we were able to test, the front calipers (fixed with four pistons) are painted red. In the other versions, they are grey. In both cases, these are Brembo brand brake calipers. He however, the discs are larger in the Performance version than in the other versions (355 against 320 mm) even if their thickness is identical. They are also in two parts in the Performance version.

He the brake pads are also slightly different as can be seen in the Tesla manual. They have the same dimensions, but the Performance versions have a different maintenance limit in terms of thickness, which allows us to conclude that they are not the same as the Long Range and Propulsion versions.

The Tesla Model 3 Track Pack

At the rear, braking is provided by a Mando caliper painted in gray for the less powerful versions, compared to Brembo calipers painted in red for the Performance version. Both are single-piston floating, but of different design, like the Brembo is lighter and the disc is in two parts.. The latter have the same diameter in the three versions (335 mm) and have the same thickness, but the the pads are thicker on the Performance version.

As you can see, it is especially the front brakes that are modified in the Performance version, to ensure a better bite. And that is normal, since it is the front calipers that work the most during sudden braking. Remember that to go further, Tesla offers a track pack, which in particular allows you to change the brake pads to move to “high performance” models.

Tesla Model Y: A stash of aluminum misery?

Now let’s move on to the Tesla Model Y, which has been the focus of all the attention in recent weeks. In question: a change made in the summer of 2022 to the braking system of the Tesla Model Y Performance as reported Drive Tesla Canada at the time. Indeed, the electric car from Elon Musk’s firm has abandoned the red Brembo rear calipers for Mando. The brand found on non-performance versions of the Model 3! But this change seems more cosmetic than technical.

This is because it’s still a single-piston floating caliper and the disc size hasn’t changed, at 335mm. But in fact, it is indeed the caliper of the Propulsion and Grande Autonomie versions on which Tesla has placed a red aluminum cover. Will this affect stopping power and bite? Hard to say, but we have some doubts about it.

As can be seen in the Tesla Model Y manual, the Performance version is distinguished by the thickness of its pickupsfront and rear, as well as the thickness of your discs front and back. While in the Tesla Model 3, the thickness of the discs is identical in all versions.

Finally, the last little quirks of the Tesla Model Y: on the Propulsion and Long Range versions, the front calipers are similar to the Performance version, but painted gray and not red. Likewise, the diameter of the discs is identical in all versions. Which means the braking of the non-performance Model Y is pretty similar to that of the upgraded version.

Does the new Tesla Model Y really brake worse?

But in reality, what really changes? It’s hard to say without a head-to-head test of two Tesla Model Y Performances, one equipped with the old rear caliper and the second equipped with the new caliper. But it’s a safe bet that if there is a difference, it will be minor or even imperceptible.

As we have just seen, the improved braking of the Performance version is not only based on different calipers, but also on reinforced discs and pads. And Tesla didn’t make any changes to this whole part.

Note also that Tesla doesn’t see the Model Y as a truly sports car: it had to wait many years before receiving Track mode (a software feature), and the American brand doesn’t currently offer the famous track package (an evolution material), reserved for Model 3.

However, we would like to understand the reasons that pushed Tesla to make the change, on the sly. We suspect cost cutting must have something to do with it. But why not do the same with the Tesla Model 3 Performance?

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