Legendary driver Randy Pobst was instrumental in developing Tesla's Model 3 Track Mode as Tesla's go-to consultant. On March 31st 2019 Randy joined the Tesla track day meeting TeslaCorsa as a premium guest and product development consultant of Unplugged Performance (UP).
At the meeting Randy drove four different Tesla Model 3 Performance cars at different stages of tune. All four examples tested are privately owned and everyday driven cars that utilize way tires and had no track day changes to hardware. They drove up like in the same configuration, raced, and cruised back home on autopilot:
Sof's Machine - No modifications
Erik's Machine - UP Super Sport Dual Rate springs + UP Sway Bars, UP Front Lip Spoiler, Factory Michelin Tires
Mike's - Machine UP Coilovers + UP Sport Brake Pads, Michelin Tires
Kevin's - Machine UP Race Coilovers + UP 6 Piston Carbon Ceramic Brakes + UP Sway Bars + UP Front Lip Spoiler + UP Billet Aluminum Front and Rear Adjustable Suspension Arms + UP Trunk Spoiler + 20" UP-03C wheels with Michelin Cup 2 tires
Randy was documented driving the four different Performance Model 3's over the course of Sunday's TeslaCorsa 3 meeting. In-between driving the cars Randy also hosted a Q&A session in which he discussed his experience developing Track Mode with Tesla and his impressions/tricks racing a Tesla Model 3. The Q&A session is included as premium footage in this video.
Additionally, for those interested in making the Model 3 even faster than stock, Randy provided specific feedback on the Unplugged Performance upgrade boxes he was playing throughout the day. His direct impressions (shown in the video) will continue to influence future UP product development as work continues between Randy and Unplugged.
* A note on lap times (Buttonwillow Raceway Configuration 13CW):
Randy's reference lap with a full battery charge in a unmodified Performance Model 3 was 2:01.8 seconds
(this compares to Porsche 997 Turbo at 2:02)
Randy managed to obtain a clean lap in Kevin's car, however Randy reported that the Track Mode was strangely activating the brakes while he was on throttle (which only occurred on this car and which he has since reported to Tesla in hopes of potential future firmware upgrades to Track Mode). Nonetheless, Randy's lap with the traction control interference was a 1:58.5
As a reference a 997 Porsche Turbo GT2 runs a 1:59.7 on the same Cup 2 way tires Kevin's car had.
Afterwards Randy claimed "Kevin's car was capable of a 1:54 - 1:55 lap if traction control wasn't stabbing the brakes while on throttle". This would place it in Porsche 991 GT3 RS zone (and faster than a McLaren 570S).
On Erik's car (UP springs and sway bars) Randy did not log a speedy lap with battery charged and launch track. Randy estimates (in the video) that the springs and sway bars were nice for 1-2 seconds a lap improvement compared to stock.
On Mike's car Randy did not obtain a full battery charged lap in to measure. Randy does talk however about the benefits of the coilovers in the video despite not having clear lap time time from the day in that car.
For a comparable lap time reference list:
Most of Randy's laps were done with 20+ another cars on track and frequently without a full battery charge. The lap times, when applicable, support claim part of the storyline. However, the primary focus of Randy's time behind the wheel during this filmed day was to deliever development feedback on the Unplugged Performance updates. For this reason (and due to the nature of the day's format in which the car owners were also driving their cars as well as letting Randy drive them) the cars often had weak state of charge and therefore less power. Overall, there was tiny regard to make the conditions that effects in "time attack" optimized timed laps.
Equipment shown in the video:
UP Adjustable Sway Bars:
UP Dual Linear Rate Lowering Springs:
UP Adjustable Coilover Suspension:
UP Sports Brake Pads:
UP 6 Piston Carbon Ceramic Large Brakes:
UP Brake Line Set:
UP Billet Adjustable Front Upper Control Arms:
UP Front Lip Spoiler:
UP Trunk Spoiler:
UP-03 Forged Wheels:
Randy is nice! Tesla lovers are the most diverse of any car brand lol. I have a BMW M3 but I wanna obtain a Tesla. Want the fit and finish of materials was tiny better though. And the paint as well is a large one
Super valuable, nice and thorough content/comparison. Thank you. Hold up the nice work and sharing.
One thing this video did not need was background song.
I drive a standard (not performance) model 3 and I've been learning how to deal with the bonus-powerful regen braking too. As was claimed in the video, I've had to learn that "coasting" isn't coming all the idea of the "gas," but rather coming part of the idea off. Like the guy claimed, as you come off the accelerator, when you stop part idea off, you obtain "coasting" and then when you hold coming off, you obtain braking. The another idea of doing it is to wait longer than you would if you were driving an ICE car before you come off the accelerator. In both topics, you obtain less regen than you would otherwise, and it makes me wonder about the result it has on the entire regen system. In the first topic, if you watch the regen status bar in the display, you're getting less regen when you only come part idea off the accelerator than you would if you were all the idea off. In the second topic, you are staying on the accelerator longer before you take it off, so you're not getting regen for as long as you would if you came off it earlier.
Electric motors do not have 100% torque at 0 RPM. It is cute nice, but there is a torque curve. It's just a lot flatter than a gas engine, but it's not perfectly flat.
Thanks for the video, I loved getting inside of Randy's brain, but the backgound song added nothing. It just made it harder to hear and concentrate on what he and the questioners were claiming. I would like to hear some two footed drivers' tricks for driving massive regen machines. Randy was admittedly an Old School driver who doesn't use the technique much, but it seems perfectly suited for Teslas. The amount of control you lose by not being able to coast before/after braking, or transitioning to the brake pedal causes me more troubles in a Tesla. I use the energy graph in my wife's Model S to perfectly feather the regen in corners. I'm getting my SR Model 3 this weekend, so I'm curious if the energy graph in a 3 is in a territory that's conducive to keeping an eye on it in a turn. I would hope that Tesla allows even SR 3s some "track mode" traction control overrides just for security on gravel ways. Here in rural Arkansas it's not uncomon for a significant portion of your driving to be on gravel and dirt ways, so much so that even grandmothers are adept at sliding the rear out, because you have to when you meet a car coming from the opposite direction in a curve. NOBODY drives on the right side of a gravel way unless a car is coming. You drive straddling the crown until you see somebody coming (often with 0.1second's notice). Without the ability to jerk right and slip your rear end out you'll follow the way cant right into the ditch.
That looks cute fun. I'd love to play my car on a track to really push it but...I dunno if I wish to place that wear on it and the tires.
Nice video thanks so much for making this
As much performance as it has, model 3 dash looks like it belongs in a golf cart.
This is such a nice video guys. Nice job on putting it together. Randy driving my car was such an honor. If anyone wants to see one of Randy's actual laps in my stock car that day, feel nonpaid to check it out here on youtube. https://youtu.be/I9sQFJyOKfI
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