In brief: Tesla's new Track Mode is a nifty addition for enthusiasts that like to put their cars - and driving skills - to the test on a road course. If you've never been drifting, let me tell you, it's loads of fun!
Tesla has provided Model 3 owners with a new over-the-air update which is said to increase the on-track agility of their vehicle and - if an accompanying video is anything to go by - provide them with the means to get really quite sideways on its surfeit of usable torque. Unlike the on-off style switch of the BMW M5's all-wheel drive system, the Model 3 chooses to control the distribution of torque at the front and rear constantly, so after you've straightened up from a drift drive is reintroduced to the front axle. In line with this, Track Mode also allows the powertrain to get hotter than normal.
Finally, cooling. Track mode drops the temperature of the battery and the drive units to prepare for harder driving. Tesla's update also allows the vehicle to operate past standard powertrain temperatures and overclock the A/C compressor to increase refrigerant capacity.
Motor Trend's Randy Pobst recently logged a lap time of 1:21.49 in a Tesla Model 3 Performance with the finalized software and a set of 10mm-wider Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s and track-friendly Brembo brake pads.
The feature changes how the power control systems distribute energy between the front and rear motors, managing the torque split to increase or decrease the car's rotation in corners. Six weeks earlier, the best he could muster with prototype code and standard 235/35-20 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires was a 1:23.90. Tesla said it will also continuously update and improve Track mode in future over-the-air updates. This makes it impossible to determine the impact of the revised software on its own.