Skip to main content

Tesla brings track mode to Model 3 Performance


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.

How Track Mode Works

— Tesla (@Tesla) November 8, 2018

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.

Editors' Recommendations

AJ Dellinger
AJ Dellinger is a freelance reporter from Madison, Wisconsin with an affinity for all things tech. He has been published by…
Tesla Model 3 vs. Tesla Model Y: Bigger or cheaper?
A Tesla 3 sits parked beside an urban waterfront.

Tesla has a bit of a head start on the competition. Say what you will about panel gaps and its CEO, there's no denying that Tesla made the electric car cool -- and all in the pursuit of making them affordable enough to mass produce. And, while its lowest-priced cars aren't cheap, Tesla largely achieved that goal. The Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are its most affordable cars right now, and they offer that unmistakable Tesla design, with good battery and charging tech, plus a focus on a high-tech infotainment system.

But which of the two cars is actually better? Or, if neither is better, which is right for your needs? We put the two head-to-head.
Tesla uses a relatively uniform design language across its lineup, and the result is that the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y look very similar. In fact, the Model Y looks exactly like what it is: a larger version of the Model 3.

Read more
Volkswagen ID.4 vs Tesla Model Y
volkswagen id4 vs tesla model y 2021 id 4 blue charging

The electric car world is seriously heating up, with a number of high-end electric crossovers now available, albeit still at a higher price than comparable gas-powered cars. The Tesla Model Y is one of the first of these, offering the Tesla design, a high-tech software experience, and more. But another one of the older of these models is the Volkswagen ID.4, which was first released in 2021 and also offers among the better electric car experiences out there.

Can the ID.4 compete with one of the best-selling electric cars out there? We put the two head-to-head to find out.
The first thing to compare between these two cars is design, and they take a slightly different approach.

Read more
The Tesla Model Y is far from my favorite EV, but I’m pretty close to buying one
Tesla Model Y One Millionth Car

I may finally be on my way toward buying my first EV. Sure, I've tested dozens of electric car models over the years, but despite that (or perhaps because of it), I have yet to buy one. But my family is growing, and my wife and I aren't so sure about carting our future kids around in an aging car that lacks the safety features of modern vehicles.

Because of the fact that we're expecting our kid in January, we have a bit of a deadline. So what are we leaning toward? Well, despite the fact that it's far from my favorite EV, we may actually end up just getting a Model Y.
Timing makes a difference
If the baby was coming along in a year's time, things might be completely different. There are a few reasons for that.

Read more