Tesla's Model 3 gets quicker cornering with 'Track Mode'

Irving Hamilton
November 10, 2018

Tesla has also begun selling a new Model 3 key fob on its website for a steep $150.

Motor Trend tested the Model 3 Performance with an early version of Track Mode a few months ago, and, to the distress of Tesla's engineers, beat it with an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. The VDC replaces the standard stability control system, which typically only gives a vehicle the option to fully engage driver safety nets, reduce them, or turn them off. Tesla's solution still integrates stability control, but it gradually hands over more control to the driver. The "Vehicle Dynamics Controller" works out what the driver is trying to achieve, and plays with the bias between the front and rear motors as it sees fit.

The feature changes how the power control systems distribute energy between the front and rear motors, managing the torque split to increase or decrease the car's rotation in corners. Cue "never been in Track Mode" lines on used Model 3 adverts.

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Additionally, Track mode increases the electric car's regenerative braking. This obviously simulates the effects of a limited-slip diff and is therefore primarily an aid to traction - unless, of course, you tell the auto you want to get sideways again. It does so by using motor limit torque on the inside tires to keep them from spinning.

Finally, cooling. Track mode drops the temperature of the battery and the drive units to prepare for harder driving. There's even the ability to increase the refrigerant system capacity by "overclocking the AC compressor into higher speed ranges".

Tesla - which this week announced Robyn Denholm as its new chair of the board - said that it will "continue to improve and enhance Track Mode over time with future over-the-air updates".

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