Tesla Model 3 Performance Track Mode Rushes Past Ferrari And Alfa Romeo

Tesla Model 3 Performance - Midnight Silver Tarmac Motion


Tesla vastly improves Model 3 Track Mode prior to its rollout

About one month ago, Motor Trend took an early version of the Tesla Model 3 Performance Track Mode software to the track. They put the Model 3 up against an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and a Jaguar I-Pace. The speed of the Tesla was impressive. It set a a street legal production-car EV record on the Streets of Willow track. However, handling was not up to snuff.

Racer Randy Pobst had issues with the two all electric contenders. The I-Pace and the Model 3 both ended up off the track. Randy said of the Model 3:

It’s very easy to get understeer, the car’s handling is sometimes inconsistent, and there’s something weird happening when I lift off the brake.


It turns in quickly, especially with throttle lift, but there’s not a ton of feel from the front end. Get to the power too early, and the handling just devolves into massive understeer.

Naturally, Tesla engineers were not pleased with this outcome. They immediately got back to work on improving Track Mode. Going so far as to reach out to Randy and bring him in to assist with tuning. During testing one of the engineers was actually sitting in the Model 3 with him, typing away on his laptop while Randy tested adjustments on the fly.

It was fascinating to have that engineer sitting next to me, hanging on for dear life, holding a laptop and actually typing into it while I’m driving at speed.

So what did they change?

In order to improve Track Mode, Tesla made several adjustments after consulting with Randy. The updated software reduces regenerative braking at lower speeds and makes other tweaks to help improve under steering. Tesla also swapped the stock tires for Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s and improved Brembo brake pads.

After these modifications were complete, Randy put it to the test yet again. This time the Model 3 clocked in at 1:21.49, a significant improvement over the car’s previous 1:23.90. This beats the time set by the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio of 1:22.78 from the previous month. It even bests the time set by the 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia (1:22.30) and matches the time of the 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4.

This makes the Model 3 Performance with Track Mode engaged the quickest sport sedan around according to Motor Trend. But of course, Elon Musk begs to differ:

Source: Motor Trend

Categories: Tesla

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40 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Performance Track Mode Rushes Past Ferrari And Alfa Romeo"

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A model3 on par with a Ferrari and a Porsche around the track! Great!

Note that it is a Model 3 Performance version!. Not your garden variety …still kudos to Tesla for hands-on tuning on the track …

The Model 3 Performance is in the same class and price range as the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and BMW M3. It’s actually cheaper now that Tesla has included the performance package into the base Performance version price.

It would truly be revolutionary if the standard LR Model 3 at $50k could beat an ultra light two-seat track oriented Porsche Cayman GT!

Whoa, not so fast. A Model 3P will only be able to beat an old 2016 Cayman GT4 if Porsche lets it be the case. A Cayman GT4 is restricted in many ways to conform to its purpose on track, being at the bottom of the rung in Porsche’s hierarchy.


Sore loser hall of fame comment.

And it’s a sedan that seats 5 adults comfortably with two trunks, one that is massive!

Wrap our heads around that, car guys…Then tie it up with a bow when you realize you’ll never put gas in it or see smoke belching from four exhaust pipes as it sits in your garage!

No Ferrari, Porsche or Alpha today gives you 100% punch from 0 or whatever rpm you tend to be at. With my non Performance 3, I’m literally one hit of the go pedal away from INSTANT TESLA SMILE.

It depends a lot of who drives each car. On the Model 3 was a pro, though.

Bear in mind, all of these vehicles are riding on essentially the same tires. The Model 3’s performance is amazing, but it’s also about a thousand pounds heavier than the Ferrari and Porsche. Tires get hotter with more weight and begin to lose adhesion. In a longer race, the Model 3 would suffer. Nonetheless, it’s a impressive to see an electric four-door sedan holding its own against traditional high performance machines.

I think Elon had to make the comment about the Model S versus the Model 3. By all indications the Model 3 is just the better car in Tesla’s line-up. The problem is it isn’t suppose to be the better car in the Tesla line-up. It just shows the Model S is getting a bit old. The only reason to get an S over a 3 is more storage, polarizing interior of the 3 or you want the best 0-60 times possible.

The 7 series isn’t faster than an m3 round a track. I’d expect a model S refresh soon.

Yeah. I think the Model S branding should focus on luxury, comfort and range over the Model 3. And keep doing what the other car companies aren’t which is to at least provide a performance metric for the larger luxury sedan that is better than the cheaper but smaller sports sedan. The Model S might not be more nimble and faster around a track over the Model 3P like the 7 series isn’t faster than an M3 but the Model S still has superior straight line acceleration over the 3P. The same can’t be said for cars like the 7 series.

Well, Model S… Could…. Offer an “L” version, for more ultra Luxury, similar to how they offer a “P” version, for Performance!

Future Tesla Blog Post:
Welcome the “Newly Designed Model S LP130D! Luxury “AND Performance, in ONE Vehicle!

Range? 400+ ‘American’ Miles!

Range Anxiety? No Chance!

Acceleration? Hello, Plaid: Here’s Looking at you: 0-60 in 2.1 Seconds, Optional Autopilot Launch, 0-60 in 1.95 Seconds!

Luxury? Rolls Royce Called! They Swore at us! They can’t accept us selling this Luxurious Interior and Handling at this Price!

Performance? We got a Summons! We had to Prove Our Numbers to the Department of Justice! (But we recognized certain European Performance Car Makers CEO’s and Engineers watching!) Nurburgring? We can handle the Heat Now! We had to sign a statement, not to publish the Numbers! Try it yourself!

All this, for the Discriminating Buyer, at a Price Too Too Low to Publish! Available only to Existing New Roadster Owners, that also need to take the Family along!

For now!

Contact Tesla Now for how to sign your NDA, and ordering Information!

That would be some Blog Posting from Tesla!

Had to thumbs up you for creativity.

The Bentley, Maserati and Maybach market is there, albeit small. When you get to those people, price isn’t necessarily in question, only luxury and status. Model S borders on such status as it outsells S Class and 7 Series.

The jump to Bentley is a big one. Tesla may be best served with a new body placed upon the existing S platform, differentiating it further from the doctor or lawyer’s Model S. Bentley or Maybach owners such as sports stars or billionaire trust fund babies tend to like it on in the luxe and image departments.

Tesla L may need better branding. Try Tesla Prestige, for example. I think you are off on the Performance angle as a P100DL already has no match in luxury mini limos. Just a bit more substance in hand crafted exclusivity. The Chinese market also has a nice niche for higher end detail craftsmanship, i.e. – those high margins Tesla needs now to usher in the elusive $35,000 everyman 3.

Back seat with bar, comfy reclining buckets, power sunshades and telecommunications to run a small empire. Hand-stitched and plush.

and what is your idea of luxury that needs to be added?

Thanks, Robert! Very entertaining; that’s the most chuckle-worthy post I’ve read in a long time! 😀

He just said the P100D is faster…

Point. There is a huge difference between a “fast” car and a “quick” car.

Did Elon mean the P100D would be faster around the track than the model 3 performance or just faster in a straight line drag race?

The Model S is always going to have a hard time keeping up with the lighter Model 3 on the track. It’s not just a matter of the Model S getting old. A lighter car will be more nimble on the track, even if the larger car can beat it on the drag strip.

I think most veteran Model S owners know this already and some have either traded in for or bought themselves an additional Model III P.

Re the Model S: Or more passenger space. Or a liftback cargo hatch instead of a sedan trunk. Or a much more elegant, “sexy” body style. Or a more comfortable, smoother ride. Or an instrument cluster placed in the driver’s eyeline instead of to the side.

There are lots of reasons to prefer the Model S to the Model 3. Yes, the powertrain on the Model 3 has Tesla’s latest cutting-edge tech, and the Model S won’t until it is refreshed. But not everybody is willing to sacrifice comfort, luxury, utility, and roominess to get a smaller, more “sporty” sedan.

As a D motor 3 owner and of middle age, I was fortunate to have a 2018 75D loaner for 10 days. I The family, the wife and my associates all loved the S and I didn’t want to give it back. They could stretch out in the back seat, the laquered black wood finishes were superb and the car, while being very heavy, handled like a dream. Takeaways were easier ingress/egress for a guy who no longer rides his bicycle 25 miles per day. The seat height adjustment and Easy Entry plus the higher ride height makes getting out if the car less of a grunt. The center console on the S just works. Cavernous and so handy. No running out to find aftermarket appliques to cure the scratch and fingerprint hassles. I’d gotten used to (sort of) the constant right glancing to the 3’s readouts. Tbe 3’s goofy wiper controls and a couple others (such as the awful Auto dimmer) or fiddling with music constantly tear your eyes from the driving business at hand. The S is more conventional and having the info behind the steering wheel with fingertip controls on the wheel = so much better intuitiveness.… Read more »

Love our X and 3

Wow! Good bye ICE!

It was fascinating to have that engineer sitting next to me, hanging on for dear life, holding a laptop and actually typing into it while I’m driving at speed.
I love this quote!!!! props to the software engineer!

I’ve been that guy, but never at high speeds. Normally I’m in a vehicle travelling 5-10MPH down a dirt road. Boy what I wouldn’t give to be that engineer in a Model 3 racing around a track, piloted by a professional driver!

They left out the most interesting part of that quote though: that engineer wasn’t just taking notes — he was actually adjusting the software on the go!

@Wade Malone:

it’s = it is

its = belonging to it

Your grammar is usually pretty good, but you are falling prey to this rather common error. #GrammarNazi

Same error in the teaser blurb for this article.

True, for a noun, posession would be ‘s. For its this is not the case.


Because English is a mess of a language and can’t make up its mind. 😉 Fixed.

Re “A mess of a language”: Yup. I doubt there is a single rule for English that doesn’t have any exceptions.

I was astonished when I took Spanish in school, and learned that aside from some of the most commonly used verbs, all their verb tenses have been regularized! That helps make Español much easier to learn.

Great times after the adjustments, love it!

I really hope Tesla offers a standard range performance model.

Unlikely. For best performance, you need a big battery. And someone willing to pay the huge premium for the performance variant, surely should be willing to pay for the bigger battery, too…

So now it does indeed beat everything in it’s price class, as promised 🙂

If Model 3 did the lap in under 1.22 it really is fast.. https://fastestlaps.com/tracks/willow-springs

Agreed, it’s Streets of Willow, same track just different section of it with a total length of 1.6 miles vs full track is 2.5 miles.

The Model 3 is a bargain as it is half the cost of the X and S. History making vehicle. Amazing how a new car company out of the blue can make all these cars that blow sway the competition at affordable new tech.

Start doing laps at Nurburgring.
A Teslal is still the car for people who like big touch screen.Dont jump into conclusions that I hate EVs, but I hate the Tesla’s ways of doing things.I still feel that EVs has the potential to be an amazing drivers car, but Tesla has no clue about it and they should be honest with themselves and admit that they are making cars for tech savvy people(the diaspora who put cars in the same category as consumer electronics).