Tesla Model 3 Performance AWD Setup Deemed Rally Game-Changer


Following extensive testing, this rally car champion is blown away by the Tesla Model 3 Performance.

We’ve been quite impressed by the Tesla Model 3 Performance and its track prowess. Now, rally car champ Wyatt Knox says it could revolutionize the rally car circuit. We can’t say we’re overly surprised since the car is plenty quick, handles impeccably, and its dual motors and top-notch traction control offer first-rate grip. Not to mention the fact that it comes with Track Mode.

According to Teslarati, retired rally champ Knox spends his time at New Hampshire’s Team O’Neil Rally School as its special project director. As mentioned above, he’s most impressed with the car’s dual motors. He goes so far as to say that the setup far exceeds what “normal AWD” can do. It’s not easy to explain with few words, but put simply, this is because the dual electric motors and their sophisticated traction control technology are able achieve levels of traction and handling control variances that are unheard-of in the world of ICE cars. Knox elaborates (via Teslarati):

Because of the dual motors, (the Model 3 Performance) can infinitely vary the amount of drive to the front and rear however much it is programmed to, based on your steering angle, throttle position, brake position, yaw sensor, wheel speed sensors, (and) probably more that I’m not even aware of. A Subaru or an Audi or something with one engine driving a normal transmission and center diff cannot do that.

The Tesla dual motor (system) could theoretically be 100% front wheel drive, 100% rear wheel drive, or any mix of the two. That’s not how it’s really programmed to work, but that’s the tech it’s based on. That opens a LOT of really interesting doors. If you could plug in and ‘tune’ the system to your application, yeah, that would be would be a game changer.

Knox added that if Tesla eventually lets owners/rally drivers modify settings in these cars, the increased potential could prove infinite. As Teslarati recounts, Musk has already mentioned that this will eventually become a possibility with Track Mode. In an interview with Marques Brownlee (MKBHD), Musk referenced an Expert/Enhanced Mode in which drivers will have control over multiple settings, like being able to “overclock” the car.

Clearly, electric cars like the Model 3 have a solid place in the future of racing, and more specifically, the rally circuit. Beginning in 2022, the World Rally Championship will add some type of electrified component.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Source: Teslarati

Categories: Racing, Tesla

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7 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Performance AWD Setup Deemed Rally Game-Changer"

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Good stuff.

Making ICE melt away much faster is super fantastic.

really car champ
I think the improvements with user control would be finite. There would be a number of variations, but not all of them would be improvements. You would get to point where things can just not be tweaked anymore to get more from the car.
The important thing concerning user control is the ability to change setting based on the track or track conditions.

We already have variable center differentials, both mechanically and electronically controlled. Some varieties are capable of nearly 100:0 and 0:100 splits both ways.

I think what was meant is that they’re truly independent and can be driven at different speeds with different levels of torque independently of each other.

He’s right though, WRC teams have been spending huge sums of money to get this sort of control over their drive train. Now it comes as standard, provided the engineers know how to calibrate such a system effectively (or even want to).

Similar stuff with the ipaces reviews off-road, seems evs have another edge on ice.

There’s no need to overcomplicate it. Having two motors that drive one of the axles each makes it possible to precisely control exactly how much power is sent to each of the axles. Using electric motors gives a much faster and more precise response. Otherwise it’s the same as any other traction control — using the brake pads to brake one wheel (the one with least grip) to allow sending more power to the wheel that grips best when that is desirable. How much better this performs than a single ICE with center diff and diff brakes on all three differentials is much harder to say. It will depend on both the scenario (conditions, and what the traction control is attempting to achieve, such as catch oversteer, stop efficiently, accelerate in a straight line/while cornering, et cetera) and the implementation details. I can’t imagine any reason the Tesla AWD should perform any better with respect to very difficult terrain, where locking all differentials completely and send equal power everywhere is the best strategy. But it should be able to be nearly miraculously much better in situations that require changing the power distributed to each wheel very rapidly, such as catching… Read more »

Technically, it could go beyond 100% per axle, if you give the other a negative torque

While I am not a car tinkerer any more, I wouldn’t at all mind the ability to tweak my Model 3….