Tesla's new 'Track Mode' on Model 3 Performance put through its paces
The 2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance is one heck of a quick car. Thanks to its dual motor configuration and instant torque, the vehicle can sprint from 0-60mph (0-97kmh/h) in just 3.5 seconds (officially, though tests have proven quicker).
While sheer straight line performance may be the headline that is most often associated with the Model 3 Performance, the package also contains some track-oriented items. These include somewhat stickier Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, a set of Tesla-branded Brembo brakes, a sport suspension and carbon-fiber trunk lid spoiler. But, it seems that the U.S carmaker was not done playing around with the Performance Upgrade package. According to CNET, the new Track mode software is still in the works to complement the beefed-up hardware.
The Track Mode builds on the swift dual-motor acceleration of the Model 3 and its Performance Upgrade package. It uses a few carefully chosen software tweaks that are designed to optimize the performance and engagement of the vehicle on the race track. In a nutshell, the package aims to make the Model 3 even more fun.
It does this by shuffling power between the front and rear motors in dynamic track situations more freely, allowing the EV to rotate dynamically. With the newly acquired mode, it's possible to even drift the car with ease. Furthermore, the software is also constantly monitoring the traction between both axles and is able to instantly add torque to either motor, all in order to keep the drift from becoming a spin, and eventually, a crash.
Tesla Model 3 Performance
Additionally, putting the Model 3 through its paces on the track uses a lot of energy. Hence, the Track Mode increases the braking regeneration in order to reclaim the maximum energy when slowing or cornering. While the effect may be dramatic deacceleration (which is definitely a good thing), it also helps keep the standard brakes on the car cooler during extended sessions. In turn, this negates any possible braking fade. Finally, the dynamic braking aids in cornering stability, as the regenerative braking system biases the regen-braking power between the front and rear ends in mid-corner.
However, the standard Brembo brake system also plays a key role in both braking and dynamic stability. It not only shaves off impressive amounts of speed during those fast & hard corner entries but also improves the car's mid-corner stability control. The standard brakes allow the dual motors' open differentials to operate like brake-based limited slips. In turn, this allows for much more precise power delivery when accelerating out of the corner, making for faster turn exits and allowing for more speed in dynamic track conditions.
The final improvement of the Track Mode is the powertrain cooling. With this, the powertrain cooling is kicked into overdrive, allowing the Model 3 Performance to be thrashed on the track more, by allowing a more efficient use of the battery pack's charge and the electric motors. You can even pre-cool the system if you activate it sometime before your track session, but also, continue cooling your powertrain on the way home.
Just a few days ago, as part of the Monterey Car Week, the journalists from the magazine got to witness this upgraded Performance Upgrade package firsthand. Even though this was a pre-release version of the Track Mode, the impressions garnered by the publication on an autocross cone course were impressive.
You can read the full report on the Tesla Model 3 Performance Track Mode right here.
Source: CNET Road Show