Tesla Model 3’s New Track Mode Makes It Faster Than A Ferrari On Willow Springs

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.

 

  • S3XY

    Track Mode: Burnin’ rubber, not gas.

    • gambit gamboa

      oh no, lil S3xy afraid of gas, he has to bring mommy with him cause dem big gas cars make scary noises. Nobody gives a shit about electric cars.

  • john1168

    A great achievement for sure but how many times can it go around the track at high speed until it goes into limp mode?

    • Axiom Ethos

      Agreed. They can tune the car all they want but at the end of the day it’s how many laps can someone enjoy doing the same thing. And nobody has yet to actually talk or confirm stats on this very aspect, at-least to my knowledge.

      • I’M CURIOUS HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE TAKEN YOUR CARS TO THE TRACK.

    • Com’on. Why can’t we just appreciate that a small family EV that’s a FRACTION of the price of a Ferrari is capable of providing fun for your average daddy? Normal people won’t go killing it on a track anyway, but having the ability to go a lap or two, and even overtaking supercars is an awesome achievement.

      • john1168

        Read the first five words in my comment again please.

  • Mr. EP9

    Ok, I looked up the time for the 458 and that was 15th place so that 1:21.49 puts Tesla in 10th place. A nice achievement. Surprisingly, the fastest thing around Willow Springs is a motorcycle. In fact, three of the top five lap times are held by motorcycles.

    • alexxx

      Which tells me straight line acceleration is more important then cornering on that track…and obviously it benefits model3…
      I could be wrong though…

  • karmat

    Pretty amazing considering it’s weight.

    • Bo Hanan

      But will the batteries overheat?

  • getoffme

    But nobody is going to look at you.

  • ALL IN A FIVE SEAT FAMILY CAR.
    YEAH, WE SHOULD ALL DEFINITELY WISH TESLA GOES OUT OF BUISNESS, THAT TERRIBLE COMPANY.

    • Along with Apple?

      • G82FS

        People will always hate on the best, just look at the Patriots and the Yankees. People still hate them now just because they were so good for so long.

  • sidewaysspin

    That’s incredible, how does he do it?

    • Bash

      He starts by doing a… side ways spin…
      But you already knows. lol

  • Astonman

    This is what I wrote about previously – the performance of these electric cars are approaching Exotic car
    territories. Yes it can only do a couple of laps right now but give it time. What separates an Exotic car from a normal car – Performance and design. Performance has always been difficult to build for most companies with ICE. Design is the easier part. Now that these Electric cars can put on killer designs at a lower price than exotics it will be interesting to see what will happen to the Exotic Market. Unfortunately the line that will deferientiate is slowly disintegrating.

    • WE DON’T KNOW YET HOW LAPS IT’S LIMITED TO.

      • Astonman

        Even if it did one lap, that is still impressive. I think battery technology will get better just like ICE did over time. There will be a time where it can do as much as an ICE. In two years Formula E has batteries designed by Wiliams Advanced Engineering, have progressed where they no longer have to do a car swap. So that means more power and better cooling. We’ll see results here cascade down to the regular electric cars just like we’ve seen from racing programs with ICE. At possibly at a faster rate since the technology we have today with super computers – we can move at a faster rate. It’s amazing, scary, sad – just a plethora of emotions on how the automotive industry is changing.

        • I WASN’T INSINUATING IT WONT BE ABLE TO JUST RESPONDING TO WHAT SEEMED LIKE DOUBT. I HAVEN’T SEEN A REVIEW YET AS IT’S TOO NEW A FEATURE.

    • Nick G

      When quartz watches were introduced, people assumed it was the death knell for watches with automatic movements… this has not proven to be the case, certainly not in the high end watch world. Your iwatch might be objectively ‘better’ than a Rolex, but to most Rolex buyers, it doesn’t matter. In time, EVs will = mass produced appliance, performance cars with ICE = engineering excellence, tradition, involvement, emotion, etc.

      • Astonman

        Yes they will have to rely on branding to set themselves apart from regular ICE cars. But they will have a much tougher time doing so.

  • Bash

    But is doesn’t look nice at all.

  • DR.FUNK

    In short order…EV’s could put weekend racing within financial reach of many more people than ICE ever could.

    • Matt

      Is that right? So explain all the track days with low-cost stripped and caged Civics etc.. people have been getting into ‘weekend racing’ a LOT cheaper than the cost of a Tesla since… forever.

      • DR.FUNK

        No doubt.
        I’m just thinking about all the new people who will get in because they can now focus more on the racing.And less on being a gearhead, I’m sure that’s part of the joy of it for you…but please just humor the new participants.

  • Some ol’ bloke

    Cool

  • Arthur Burnside

    JUst what the typical car owners needs – a car that drifts around the local 90 degree turn, hitting the curb and spinning out into the grocery store. Just how desperate is Tesla to sell highly priced compact cars? Model 3 Performance owners still have a few quarters until Jaguar produces their Performance I Pace that will out gun every Tesla ever made or will be made, including their outrageously priced sports car. That will be a BIG embarrassment for Tesla and their dopey owners. LOL

    • Scherpereel Clement

      you are forgeting Porsches that will obliterate everyone IMO

    • Finkployd

      looks like you’re eagerly waiting for Tesla to fail but they’ve been delivering compelling ev for a while now and no one s still able to compete with them.
      Ipace reviews so far are positive but range is plummetting on the highway, charging times on a regular socket of 40hours+ and no supercharger network available is quite limiting despite its potential

    • Karl

      Spoken like the true Tesla hater that you are! Let’s hope Jaguar/Land Rover remains in business long enough to accomplish such feat. Tesla is in business to sell cars in case that flew over your head.

    • INTERESTING PERSPECTIVE. THE THING ABOUT TESLA IS THAT THEY PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT PEOPLE SAY. SOMEONE WHINES ABOUT SOMETHING AND THEY COME UP WITH A WAY TO PROVE THEM WRONG. I PERSONALLY THINK THIS IS A SILLY FEATURE BUT NO ONE IS BEING FORCED TO USE IT. OH AND THE I PACE OR THE TAYCAN WOULDN’T BE HERE IF IT WEREN’T FOR TESLA. SO RATHER THAN HATE WHY NOT ENJOY THE SPOILS?

    • serge charles

      why do you people hate tesla so much? Its embarrassing. Youre on a car website arguing that performance is a bad thing? and then talk about how jaguar will out gun them?

  • Vassilis

    Some perspective is necessary regarding the lap time comparison which isn’t provided in the article. The 458 didn’t come with a set of sticky tyres. It used normal P Zeros. Which was a good tyre but definitely at least a couple of seconds slower than the Cup 2.

    • benT

      That is just simpleton and fatuous.
      I have a great big pile of steaming horsepoo you can have.

      • Vassilis

        1. Don’t be an idiot.
        2. It isn’t. If I fit a set of slicks on my car and lap a track as fast as a supercar on road tyres, does that make my achievement impressive? Context is always necessary when it comes to lap times.

        • benT

          not on your Toyota Corolla you won’t…
          One is a family sedan the other is built to do the job without peer and gets trashed by the family sedan.

          • Vassilis

            You’re seriously putting the Model 3 on the same level as a Corolla?

          • benT

            No. Your car. These supercars arrive with tyres VERY suitable for the track, as does the Ducati top level V4 Pagani. They have to in order to handle the types of power and the seriously track orientated delver mechanism, hey!

          • Vassilis

            LOL you have no idea what I drive.

            Supercars have only been equipped with Cup 2s or Trofeo Rs in the last few years. Not in 2009 when the 458 was first released. It was equipped with much tamer tyres. Later on you could get it with the Pilot Super Sports which is still nowhere near the Cup 2.

          • benT

            Mr Vaseline-o,
            Tesla 3 has only been available for 2 years at best.
            Best Regards
            b.

          • Vassilis

            What does that have to do with my previous reply? I didn’t say otherwise anywhere. You’re trying to be smart but you really aren’t and you’re embarrassing yourself so pay attention for a minute.

            The 458 Italia which came out in 2009 and was probably tested back then at that track did a 22.3 with a much slower tyre than the Cup 2. I’m not trying to knock the Model 3. A 21.5 is an impressive lap time. Comparing it with the 458’s though is stupid because we’re talking about completely different circumstances. That’s all I’m saying. It really isn’t so difficult to understand.

  • Trackhacker

    Doesn’t matter how fast it is…it still has no soul or driver connection. These cars are good for mainstream buyers, byt I’ll always prefer the raw feel of Japanese sports car.

    • Stephen G

      By “soul” I think you really mean history and image. Don’t forget image fades fast and history is soon forgotten. Remember the Stutz Bear Cat and Hudson Hornet?

  • Astonman

    That’s better than I expected. Thanks for the share

  • Nick G

    Like watching paint dry…

  • GobbleUp

    Pretty cool. Look how far we and Tesla have come.

    I love my Model S P90D…best car I have ever owned including recent Lambos and Ferrari’s. Sure, the latter two are brilliant exotics. But the Tesla is all around amazing.
    Cant wait to see what the next 5 years brings.

  • Still slower than that camera drone. );

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