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Tesla Model 3 Gets Track Package and Revised Track Mode Software

Plus the ability to drift, as well as track data and video recording.

Amidst a flood of Geneva Motor Show-related car news—even though that show technically didn't actually occur—Tesla announced a couple of upgrades for the Tesla Model 3 Performance with the optional Performance Upgrade: A new Track package. Unlike the Geneva show and most previous Tesla upgrade announcements, the Track package isn't virtual or software-based!

So, what's in the Model 3 Performance Track package? It includes 20-inch "Zero-G Performance" wheels (which appear to draw inspiration from the wheels on the Tesla Roadster concept), Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires in 245/35ZR20 sizing, and "high-performance" brake pads of unknown brand and composition. Tesla even throws in some fresh lug nuts, TPMS sensors, and a bottle of track-focused brake fluid, with the total aim of delivering formidable track-day or canyon-road performance. Okay, there is one software adjustment in the package in the form of an updated Track Mode, which should allow more customization of the Model 3 Performance's drive modes. And drifting. See for yourself:

The video also affords us a good look at the new Track Mode interface on the 3's large control screen, showing sliders that adjust the power split between the front and rear electric motors, the stability control intervention level, and the amount of regenerative braking. This contrasts with the previous Track Mode, in which the car shuffled the power split, stability control, and so forth itself, essentially leaving the car in control but with a greater emphasis on performance than in regular Model 3s.

Turn the stability intervention and regen down, set the AWD bias rearward, and floor it while dialing in some steering angle, and the Model 3 will happily smoke the rear tires until its batteries run out of juice or the tires burn off their tread. That sounds like a lot of fun, but the ability to fine tune braking response and power split manually should also appeal to anyone looking to explore the Model 3's capabilities on a track, too.

If you're a data-logging track rat, you'll like what else the Track Mode V2 software brings to the table. It adds the ability to show temperature readouts for the drivetrain, battery, and tires; provides a G-force graphic; and includes lapping time logging and video recording. It even has a cool-down mode to keep the powertrain happy and healthy after a hot track session.

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The Track Package ain't free, however. Tesla wants $5,500 for it. You could certainly buy tires and brake pads yourself for less; a quick web search shows Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires in the same size as the Tesla's for around $345 each, or $1,376 total. Track pads from a specialist supplier are about $200 per axle, and there are probably off-the-shelf track pads from an outfit like Ferrodo that'd fit. It's the wheels that are the killer here, and if you examine the company's accessories and parts pages, you'll see that even at $5,500 this isn't a bad deal for legitimate Tesla hardware.

Keep in mind, though, that the Model 3 Performance with the upgrade option already rolls on 20-inch wheels shod in excellent Pilot Sport 4S tires. There's even a special acoustic foam in the Sport 4Ss made for Tesla, to reduce noise. But they're not as single-minded as the uncanny Sport Cup 2 tires, and while it's subjective, the Sport wheels aren't nearly as performance-y in appearance compared to the Zero-G wheels, which have a distinct BBS flavor.

There is no doubt you're paying a premium for the Track pack bits, but some of the value proposition is the official nature of the package, and even more of it is that the price includes installation at a Tesla Service Center. It's hard to put a dollar figure on the peace of mind of knowing that all this hardware and software has been developed and tested to work together seamlessly, too. Tesla is taking orders now and expects to start shipping parts in April. The Track Mode V2 is coming soon, although we don't have a firm release date.

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