For a normal car to go faster on the track, you can add quick components like a turbocharger or better fuel, or improve handling components such as brakes and tires. Car manufacturers can also take a dizzying amount of software adjustments ranging from stability and traction control systems to gas mapping to the amount of fuel injected into the engine.
But with an electric car, the software is the star of the show. The code controls everything. That's why Tesla can introduce track mode into the Model 3 with a software download, thus unlocking new features designed to allow the electric sports sedan to track a track faster than before.
On something like the BMW M5, placing the car in sport mode adjusts the dizzying parameters of response to the throttle, transmission, chassis, steering, stability control and determines whether the car operates in AWD or rear.
With an electric car like the model 3, a brand new box of mischief is unleashed. As the Ludicrous mode did for straight line launches – maximizing everything in the Tesla arsenal for pure performance from zero to 60% – the Track mode does it for the first time. autocross and circuit driving.
Among other things, the Model 3 Performance can steer the front and rear engines individually, by determining the driver's intentions and the vehicle's condition, to help control the rotation of the car. If the car needs to turn more, the model 3 will favor torque towards the rear. If the rotation of the car is "excessive" – that is, it turns too much – it will opt for a forward-focused couple.
In other words, he uses the transmission to help turn the car. This is not new technology, of course. Other builders have long used differentials and braking to help transfer power to different wheels. But an electric car, with separate electric motors, opens up a whole new world of possibilities that we are just beginning to examine.
Tesla engineers also improved the regenerative braking characteristics of the vehicle. The release of the accelerator will now control the maximum regenerative braking – that is, the car will start charging the batteries as much as it can by slowing the car, as soon as the pedal will be lifted. This saves the brakes (one of the major limitations of a track day) and also charges the battery.
Talking about the battery, Tesla is also changing the temperature of the huge package of cells under the floor, optimizing it for track driving. Instead of heating up the batteries as much as to maximize the speed in a straight line with the Ludicrous mode, the Model 3 will lower the temperature of the battery and the drive. This leaves enough room for the battery and engines to warm up while driving on the track. The powertrain will also operate beyond normal temperature limits and will "overclock" the air conditioning compressor to make it run faster.
Model 3 does not have a limited slip differential on the wheels, which would send different amounts of torque to each wheel. Instead, it has an open differential, which sends equal amounts of torque to each wheel. This is fine for normal driving, but not ideal for walking as fast as you can on a track. In this situation, you will want different amounts of torque to be sent to the inside and outside wheels.
They can not install a limited slip diff on the car, but Tesla engineers have duplicated it by simultaneously applying braking force on one wheel and increased engine torque. The net result is similar to that of the diff limited slip, using only the brakes to get there.
When it comes to electric cars, all that Tesla has done is perfectly logical. But that shows how much potential remains to be exploited in electric cars. As Porsche approaches the exit of its Taycan / Mission E electric car and specialized performance brands such as Koenigsegg who are rethinking their plans for the future thanks to the Tesla Roadster, we have made that touch what EV sports cars can do.