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Tesla Model 3 Track Test Reveals ESP Intervention, "Squishy" Brake Pedal

When Tesla set out to develop the Model 3, the Palo Alto-based automaker didn’t put pen to paper with the purpose of creating a track car. It’s an electric vehicle with a desirable badge and industry-leading technology, and it’s adequately capable at carving corners, but it’s not a true sports sedan like the BMW M3.
One Lap in the Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor on The Race Track! 19 photos
Photo: One Lap on YouTube
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Kyle from One Lap had the opportunity to test a 2018 Model 3 with the dual-motor option at the track in bone-stock configuration, 19-inch wheels wrapped in the factory tires and all. The first thing that captured his attention is – of course – the acceleration off the line and how the powertrain comes into its own at 40 mph.

Approaching the first corner of the track, the Autopilot suite intervened much to the surprise of the man behind the wheel. Exiting the corner also revealed a fair bit of intrusiveness from the electronic stability control. As you may have already guessed, it can’t be turned off without modifying the ESP system’s software.

On the upside, the Model 3 Dual Motor is much obliged to wiggle a little thanks to lift-off. “Great transition” are two words that Kyle has also uttered, referring to the car’s balance in the twisties. Oh, and this car is obviously “fast” even though it’s not the full-fledged Performance version with the more aggressive tune.

“Model 3s are so capable. Are they fun? Not really,” he said. “But wow, I love it!” After completing the lap in 1 minute and 48 seconds, Kyle has also reported “the brake pedal going squishy.” First of all, those brakes aren’t designed for tracking but day-to-day driving. Secondly, Elon Musk admitted to “braking problems” for the Model 3 in May 2018 that have since been fixed by a firmware update.

Regarding the 1:48 lap time, the all-electric sedan is one second slower on the said track than the Model Y Performance but faster than the likes of the Volvo V60 Twin Engine T8 Polestar Engineered and Model X Performance.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
Mircea Panait profile photo

After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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