Tesla brings track mode to Model 3 Performance

tesla model 3 performance track mode 8500990700 15769e509b o

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.


600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.
Smart Home

Tired of running outdoors? Check out the best treadmills of 2018

Running can burn up to 900 calories per hour, melting away fat and strengthening your muscles.  Compared to running outdoors, you're safer staying indoors on a cushioned track. We've rounded up the best treadmills on the market

Crush your next workout with the best Fitbit for every activity

Fitbits are amazingly helpful tools for setting fitness goals and tracking progress. However, different activities require different metrics. We've gathered a list of the best Fitbits for running, swimming, biking, and other activities.

Waymo becomes the first company to charge for rides in self-driving cars

Waymo has launched a commercial ridesharing service using self-driving cars in the Phoenix area. It's the first U.S. company to generate revenue by putting passengers in autonomous cars. Waymo One is only available to a select group of…

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.