While the wait for the Tesla Model 3 Performance is finally over, Track Mode hasn’t really been highlighted until now. Tesla teased its inclusion in the hotter version of the electric sedan, but everyone was left to speculate about what it meant. Now, the automaker has revealed exactly what it is and how it works.
What you really need to know is that Track Mode, which Tesla absolutely insists is not made for use on public roads, allows you to drift the Model 3 Performance. This isn’t done by turning off traction control, like on most modern cars, but instead drifting is facilitated by the vehicle dynamics controller.
Tesla claims even amateur racers will “feel superhuman on a track” thanks to this tech. Sounds great, right? Well, maybe. There’s a certain sense of accomplishment learning to do things without the assistance of a computer, like driving with a manual transmission. Sure, it might not be as efficient, but not everyone goes to track days for efficiency. This new tech could mean more inexperienced drivers taking big risks on tracks, something that might not end well.
Track Mode does a few other things. It increases regenerative braking for more battery energy, improved braking system endurance, and better performance. Powertrain cooling gets more aggressive. The open differential also acts somewhat like a limited slip differential, improving power while cornering.
Just like everything else onboard Teslas, Track Mode will be tweaked periodically through over-the-air updates, meaning it will only become better.