Tesla Model 3 gets new Track Mode


Tesla has provided Model 3 owners with a new over-the-air update which is said to increase the on-track agility of their car and - if an accompanying video is anything to go by - provide them with the means to get really quite sideways on its surfeit of usable torque. Using the car's existing hardware, the new software essentially ups the reactivity of the the car's twin-motor, all-wheel drive powertrain, which, as you'll know, is really rather reactive to start with.

In Track Mode, if the driver asks for more steering angle while accelerating hard - aka they want to slide - the car can shuffle more drive to the rear motor, making the Model 3 temporarily rear-wheel drive. Unlike the on-off style switch of the BMW M5's all-wheel drive system, the Model 3 chooses to control the distribution of torque at the front and rear constantly, so after you've straightened up from a drift drive is reintroduced to the front axle.

Additionally, the brakes also come into play more often through the bends, enhancing the 3's ability to push more torque to the loaded side by applying even more braking force on the inside. This obviously simulates the effects of a limited-slip diff and is therefore primarily an aid to traction - unless, of course, you tell the car you want to get sideways again. Then it abandons this plan entirely.

Also turned up in Track Mode is the car's regenerative braking capability, as Tesla reckons you'll want maximum deceleration on track when the anchors are on. Thus you get improved stopping performance, and the car claws back as much battery life as possible (handy when it will be evaporating at huge rate from everywhere else).

Of course, electric powertrains have a habit of getting quite hot when you ask so much from them. So to preventing your Model 3 going into meltdown, Tesla's new software update enables the cooling systems to work overtime. Tesla said the system will also work for longer when the car's parked to bring the temperatures lower than it normally would, leaving you with more time before things start to overheat. In line with this, Track Mode also allows the powertrain to get hotter than normal. Cue "never been in Track Mode" lines on used Model 3 adverts...

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Comments (169) Join the discussion on the forum

  • dvs_dave 6 days ago

    That’s pretty cool. Especially as it’s all through a software update.

    Although I’m not so sure the author understands what an LSD does/how it works. The braking of the inside wheel is primarily a cheap way to get torque vectoring. Additional traction gained through limiting unloaded tyre slip by braking that wheel is the secondary function. This is a simulated LSD function, however it’s more similar to just plain old traction control.

  • tr3a 6 days ago

    Tesla is developing its cars at breakneck speed, through software. New software can transform brakes, acceleration, handling, everything, and it's all rolled out over the air to customers as soon as it's ready. You don't need to wait for a new model car and buy it to get all the goodies. You get into your Tesla one morning and it's a better car. Free. So far, no other carmaker is doing this and that's baffling to me. The dinosaurs just keep doing what they've been doing for the last century, as if nothing is happening. It's also baffling journalists.

  • AmosMoses 6 days ago

    Fair play to tesla on this one, Musk delivers on a promise from once!

    I really like the model 3, think its everything you need in a daily driver, would love to get my mitts on one.

  • Zajda 6 days ago

    Oh, and I thought that this mode will be used to limit power to a sustainable level, in order to not overheat the battery pack under prolonged high load. Silly me.

  • Cupramax 6 days ago

    tr3a said:
    Tesla is developing its cars at breakneck speed, through software. New software can transform brakes, acceleration, handling, everything, and it's all rolled out over the air to customers as soon as it's ready. You don't need to wait for a new model car and buy it to get all the goodies. You get into your Tesla one morning and it's a better car. Free. So far, no other carmaker is doing this and that's baffling to me. The dinosaurs just keep doing what they've been doing for the last century, as if nothing is happening. It's also baffling journalists.
    Until they realise they can get away with charging you for it laugh

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