Tesla brings track mode to Model 3 Performance

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cdorobek/Flickr

Being behind the wheel of a Tesla can make you feel like you’re ready to race. It’s probably for the best to not pursue those urges while you’re on public streets, but the electric car company introduced a new feature that will let you live out your high-speed ambitions. The new Track Mode is designed to get the most out of your car when you’re on roads designed for speed and precision.

According to Tesla, Track Mode is designed specifically to be used while driving on closed autocross circuit courses and race tracks. When you find yourself in that situation, switch on the mode and your Tesla will tap into the motor power and torque available to it on demand because of its electric powertrains to make cornering on the track feel as easy and as smooth as standard, forward acceleration.

Here’s how the whole thing works: Track Mode determines where torque goes in order to give you better control over the vehicle. Torque applied to the rear wheels allows the car to rotate rather than turn — think of a car drifting and you’ll get the idea. When torque is applied to the front wheels, it reduces the car’s ability to turn. Track Mode closely manages where torque is exerted to give drivers more control when taking tight corners and driving in situations that require technical precision.

There’s a system on the Tesla that would normally counteract any sort of change of balance in the car. It’s called stability control. In most driving situations, stability control is important to ensure the safety of the drivers and passengers. It applies brakes to the tires in a way that prevents the car from spinning out of control. Typically, it’s meant to be responsive and predictive of any sort of emergency situation. But when you’re on a track, you aren’t driving the same way you would on the road, and some maneuvers that would otherwise be unsafe are necessary.

While in Track Mode, stability control is replaced by Vehicle Dynamics Controller, which is software designed specifically for Tesla vehicles that maintains the necessary stability of the vehicle while also allowing the driver to continue performing dynamic maneuvers and turns on the track without interference.

Tesla’s Track Mode is available on the Tesla Model 3 Performance. It’s available to cars via an over-the-air update.

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