Tesla has started rolling out a new ‘Track Mode’ for the range-topping Model 3 Dual Motor Performance, in a bid to outline the sporty credentials of the compact electric car.
This mode basically replaces the standard stability control software with a new, in-house developed ‘Vehicle Dynamics Controller’ that acts both as a stability control system and a performance upgrade for track driving.
When engaged, the ‘Track Mode’ software tunes the whole car for more aggressive driving, taking advantage of the electric powertrain’s flexibility; Tesla has programmed the software to use the torque from the front and rear motors in order to better control the car’s rotation, meaning it can kill understeer by cutting the front motor’s torque and vice versa.
Tesla says that their latest software can judge when the driver wants the car more or less sideways and direct torque to the rear or front wheels, regulating traction intuitively. The new driving mode also enables for heavier regenerative braking, giving the driver more control with just the gas pedal on track, which also improves the endurance of the braking system.
How about powertrain temperatures? Well, the Palo Alto-based EV manufacturer says that the new mode proactively cools the battery and motors before track driving and in between drive sessions, with the software allowing operation beyond the normal thermal limits, enabled by an “overclocked” AC compressor. The hot electric motors also use the battery pack as a huge heatsink to cool down.
Finally, the software mimics the operation of a locking differential by simultaneously applying brake and motor torque to the wheels for greater traction and control.
The Model 3 Dual Motor Performance can do 0-60mph in 3.3 seconds, courtesy of having one electric motor at each axle, which effectively makes it all-wheel drive. The combined output of the two motors is set at 450hp and 471lb-ft of torque, according to Motor Trend.
Tesla’s new Track mode was developed with the help of Randy Pobst, who apparently lapped a Model 3 Dual Motor Performance fitted with the new Track mode around Willow Springs in 1:21.49, which is faster than what a Ferrari 458 Italia did on the same track (1:22.30). This particular car was fitted with a set of Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and Brembo brake pads, but that doesn’t take anything away from Tesla’s tremendous achievement.