Randy Pobst Takes the 2019 Tesla Model 3 to the Track; How Does it Perform?
MotorTrend’s Randy Pobst throws the smallest and cheapest Tesla around a circuit and loves itby Andrei Nedelea, on
Randy Pobst is the racing driver employed by MotorTrend to test the highest performance cars on track, gauge their talents, and attempt to post consistent lap times. But Randy also worked for Tesla during the development of the new Model 3, more specifically that car’s track mode, so if there’s a person who could put it through its paces, then it has to be him. So, how did it perform?
Tesla is very clearly not selling the Model 3 as a track day car in any of the versions it is offered in, even the dual-motor. However, that’s not to say a Model 3 isn’t good around a track because it apparently is. According to Randy, “nothing comes out of a corner like a Tesla,” and since the Model 3 is the smallest and lightest one out there, we can assume it’s also the best one to throw around a circuit.
Sure, taking it to a track day you might feel a bit strange among noisy cars in your completely silent Tesla, yet there’s nothing to complain about when it comes to how it actually performs.
The dual-motor Model 3 is especially grippy and has the ability to launch itself out of corners with absolutely zero drama - all you feel is the strong surge of acceleration and the increasing level of wind noise as speed builds.
And it builds speed quickly in the top tier Model 3.
It does look like the car is prone to leaning during vigorous cornering, so maybe some stiffer aftermarket springs would go a long way to making it a proper track weapon.
If you’d manage to eliminate most of that body roll, the car would be even faster, putting its power down better and allowing the driver to get on the power even sooner with minimal drama.
The owner said he was having carbon ceramic brakes fitted to the car the very next day after this video was shot, but according to Randy, the car’s standard steel rotors with regular non-performance track pads did an admirable job of providing consistent stopping power on a track. Next, he could look at suspension and, if this hasn’t been addressed, grippier performance tires as well.
Tesla doesn’t sell its cars with the suggestion that you should take them to the track, but it’s nice to know that the company’s cheapest and smallest offering is just fine at doing it. In fact, it’s better than just fine, and it may not seem especially fast because of the lack of engine noise, but make no mistake: it is really fast, faster than you might think.
Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.