This is how it works

One of the coolest advantages of electric powertrains over internal combustion engines is that power and torque are available instantly. And this is one of the reasons why the Tesla Model S is the quickest production car with a 0-to-60 benchmark of only 2.5 seconds. Now, Tesla wants to put the Model 3’s instant torque to good use on the race track through a new driving mode. It’s called Track Mode and turns the compact sedan into a drift machine.

The Goal

Having already put million-dollar supercars to shame in terms of acceleration with the Model S, Tesla now wants to use "the same motor power and torque to make cornering on the track feel just as natural as forward acceleration."

This feature comes with the dual-motor, AWD version of the Model 3 and its main function is to control whether torque goes to the front or the rear wheels.

Track Mode also works in conjunction with Tesla’s new Vehicle Dynamics Controller, a software that replaces the traditional stability control system. Actually, this system acts as a stability control device when needed, but enhanced performance on the race track.

What Changes?

Tesla Launches "Track Mode," Turns Model 3 Into Drift Machine
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When you switch Track Mode on, the Vehicle Dynamics Controller constantly monitors the vehicle and your inputs to determine your intention and anticipate the rotation of the car.

If the rotation is not sufficient when cornering, the system sends torque to the rear wheels. In case rotation is excessive, torque is sent to the front wheels.

This mode also enables heavy regenerative braking. Tesla says it has several key advantages, as it gives you more authority with a single pedal, improves the endurance of the braking system, and sends more energy back into the battery.

Cooling parameters also change in Track Mode. Since the higher output power required to drift generates a lot of heat, the system drops the temperatures of the battery and the motors lower than usual. The system also continues to cool them down between drive sessions and allows operation of the powertrain beyond typical thermal limits by overclocking the AC compressor into higher speed ranges.

Finally, Track Mode enhances cornering power by simultaneously applying brake and torque to produce a net increase in tractive force while cornering. It’s similar to how a limited slip differential works, except when using the brakes, the differential can be optimized for various driving conditions.

Will We Get it in Other Cars?

Tesla Launches "Track Mode," Turns Model 3 Into Drift Machine Exterior
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Tesla said nothing about it, but it’s not out of the question to find it in the Model S too at some point. However, I think that Tesla is actually using the Model 3 as a test model for an even more efficient Track Mode for the upcoming Roadster. A higher performance model, the Roadster will probably be the first Tesla to be developed into a track-only car too. It only makes sense to have a Track Mode.

Further Reading

Tesla Launches "Track Mode," Turns Model 3 Into Drift Machine Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.

Next-Gen Tesla Model S Rendering has us Hopeful for the Future!
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Read our speculative review on the 2022 Tesla Model S.

2020 Tesla Roadster
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7,376 pound-feet of torque

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster 2.0.

Source: Tesla

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