Well, that didn’t last long. Dyno Mode was recently discovered by Tesla owners through an EPA finding that made it public. This is a hidden feature that will allow the driver to disable traction control, stability control, and automatic emergency braking to test a Tesla on a dynamometer.
However, owners like me ended up using this feature quite regularly to explore the limits of handling in Tesla vehicles. The reality is that more driving enthusiasts are purchasing Tesla vehicles. Their instant torque is intoxicating and the Model 3 is actually quite a great performer when tossing it around the bends.
Many high-performance cars such as BMW M cars or Mercedes-AMG have three or more levels of traction control so the driver can dial the car into the desired slip level. Thankfully, Tesla has taken it a step farther with Track Mode V2. This software allows almost limitless handling customization options and is truly useful for drivers who want the most adjustability out of their car. I did a full Track Mode V2 review on the Out of Spec Motoring YouTube channel. If you haven't watched it, check it out here. In the meantime, we've included a clip below:
There is a problem though. Track Mode V2 is only available on the top trim Model 3, the Model 3 Performance. It is not available in Model Y or any other version of Model 3. This means if you’re a keen driver, you are stuck with the factory system constantly holding you back from exploring the true limits of grip in these cars.
The workaround has been to activate Dyno Mode. Through a series of secret steps, you’d be able to disable most of the safety nannies and have full control over the vehicle. This allows drivers that are in a safe, private area, such as a race track, to push the vehicle to the actual limits. You can see me trying out Dyno Mode in Model Y, actually coercing the vehicle to hang the tail out, in our full review of Model Y on the InsideEVs YouTube channel. See below:
Starting in software 2020.8.1, Tesla has limited the functionality of Dyno Mode to null. The first indication that something has changed is that now there are big red letters across the center display reading “DYNO MODE”. The car now accelerates with less power than when in Chill Mode. It is true that often the cars get better with software updates, but they can also get worse. We tested the nerfed Dyno Mode, as you can see below:
I suspect the reason this feature was nerfed was due to the full control it let for drivers. We’ve seen many Model 3 owners using this feature on the streets unsafely. Some of these have even led to crashes from unskilled drivers. Electric vehicles have a ton of torque, and that torque is dispensed at the exact moment you put your foot down. This means when the ESP nannies are switched off, you have to be on your game with proper pedal and steering control to hold the car near or on the edge of grip. It seems too many owners were not ready for this level of responsibility and could have potentially ruined the fun and usefulness for the rest of us.
For many, this may seem an unimportant or silly problem to have, but for true drivers, this could be a make or break buying decision. It will either lead to more enthusiasts purchasing Model 3 Performance vehicles, which would be great, or it could lead to them skipping over Tesla entirely and buying another brand of car. Let us know what you think in the comments below.