Tesla adds Track Mode for the Model S Plaid in 2021.44.30 [images, video]

By Nuno Cristovao

The Model 3 Performance model didn't include Track Mode when it was first introduced. Tesla added the initial offering of Track Mode in late 2018.

Track Mode in 2021.44.30
Track Mode in 2021.44.30
JbTeslaman/Twitter (Edited by Not a Tesla App)

Tesla later released Track Mode V2 as a software update.

The Model S Plaid was introduced in the summer of 2021. Similar to the Model 3, Track Mode wasn't available at launch.

With software update 2021.44.30, Tesla is rolling out Track Mode to the Model S Plaid.

Adjust Handling

Track Mode lets you fine-tune your vehicle's settings and disable or tone down certain features such as traction control.

Track Mode in the Model S offers similar capabilities to the Model 3. It lets you adjust handling, traction control, and regenerative braking.

The car will also make other adjustments. When Track Mode is enabled it will precondition the battery for peak performance and will increase brake cooling.

If the vehicle is unable to cool the brakes sufficiently, it will warn you with a 'critically high brake temperature' warning.

Track Mode in 2021.44.30
Track Mode in 2021.44.30
JbTeslaman/Twitter (Edited by Not a Tesla App)

Visualizations

When Track Mode has been enabled the visualizations in the instrument cluster will also change to display additional details about the car.

The visualization will show the internals of the car; similar to the charging screen. It'll display the chassis of the vehicle, the wheels, brakes, motors, and battery.

Each item in the visualization is colored to give you feedback for the specific item.

For example, the Model 3 Performance will turn each wheel green, yellow, or red depending on the wheel's traction.

There is also a visualization for G-forces that's similar to the Model 3. It'll display the direction and amount of G-forces.

Walk through the Track Mode menus

Lap Times and Recording

In addition to customizing how the vehicle handles, the increased performance cooling, and the visualizations, Track Mode also includes some additional features.

Track Mode will let you set start and finish markers on the map. When these markers are set, the car will automatically display lap timings and record each lap through the car's cameras.

The cameras used during track mode are the same ones that are available when using the Dashcam. However, when using Track Mode, the car will automatically save each lap as a separate video to your USB drive.

Presets

Track Mode in 2021.44.30
Track Mode in 2021.44.30
JbTeslaman/Twitter (Edited by Not a Tesla App)

When you customize the handling of the vehicle, you will also be able to save the settings and give them a name.

You can have up to 20 different presets for various conditions or events. The vehicle comes with two presets, one for racing and for drifting.

Here is a fantastic video of Track Mode in use on the Model 3 Performance.

Release Notes for Track Mode

The release notes for Track Mode in 2021.44.30 discuss some of the features available in Track Mode.

Optimize your Plaid configuration for dynamic driving exclusively on closed courses and experience the unmatched performance at many different venues. To enable, tap Controls > Pedals & Steering > Track Mode.

- Thermals: The heat pump system cools more aggressively, maximizing powertrain endurance and performance. Enable post-drive cooling to shorten wait times between sessions.

- Drive Systems: Torque vectoring authority is increased across the three motors, elevating the vehicle's agility and cornering capability. The accelerator pedal allows more precise torque control, and regenerative braking power is strengthened to recover more energy.

- Suspension: Adaptive damping reduces vehicle motions, improving handling and promoting driver confidence. Ride height is automatically set to 'Low' upon drive off.

- Display: A track-focused interface includes a lap timer, G-meter (real-time accelerometer), vehicle thermals monitor, Dashcam video capture, vehicle telemetry capture, and offers customization options.

Mysterious Covered Up Model 3 Raises Questions

By Kevin Armstrong
Several covered-up Model 3s have been found over the past of days
Several covered-up Model 3s have been found over the past of days
@omg_tesla & CloudWalking

If it isn’t the worst-looking LeBra ever made, then what is it? This oddly covered-up Model 3 appeared in the wild just days after Reuters reported Tesla was revamping the popular car. The plot thickens as Teslarati reports the license plates to indicate the vehicle is from Tesla. But what is the biggest secret under the horribly fitting covers?

Twitter user @omg_tesla spotted the car in a parking garage in Santa Cruz, California. Twitter users filled the replies with a lot of speculation. But of interest, the cabin of the car is wide open and visible. This eliminates a lot of conjecture that this is a revamped version. There is a belief the company is trying to cut costs to get the Model 3 under $55,000 to qualify for the US tax incentive in 2023. However, some cost savings will be found in the Model 3’s interior.

That would lead us to believe that the only secret things on this car are some design changes in the front and back. However, on close examination, it doesn’t appear to be different than the current Model 3. The headlights look the same if you follow the lining and the taillights look identical to what is in production as well.

Reddit user CloudWalking, found a different Model 3 similarly covered up a couple of days later.

Twitter user @Aiaddict1, who's a former Tesla employee, tweeted: Tesla policy requires employees who use certain eng fleet cars in public to always use a car cover when parked in public if the vehicle is equipped with hardware not known or available to the public. I know this as I used to drive the eng fleet prototypes. This looks to be one.

Whatever is under those odd covers remains a mystery. Reuters reported that the Tesla revamp, called Project Highland, would start to roll off production lines in the third quarter of 2023. They also quoted Ed Kim, president of AutoPacific Group, who said, “consumers still tend to equate visual changes with newness. Tesla knows visually tangible changes are in order. The upcoming changes that potential customers can see and feel will be very important in ensuring that EV customers still have Tesla at the top of their minds as truly excellent alternatives to Tesla are starting to flood the market.”

Nevertheless, Twitter "detectives" joked that this is the newest Tesla paint protection, bug screen or perhaps automotive underwear. Personally, I think if the covers were off, it would’ve drawn far less attention as there are a lot of Teslas in California, but none sporting these covers.

It's not clear what Tesla is testing with these vehicles, although it doesn't appear to be related to the "revamp" of the Model 3. However, it very likely includes some sort of changes that haven't been publicly announced yet.

Two Door Cybertruck is Unlikely Now, But May be on the Radar

By Kevin Armstrong
A sketch of a two-door Cybertruck can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum
A sketch of a two-door Cybertruck can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum
MissJilianne/Twitter

The Tesla crowd of enthusiasts has eyes everywhere. Twitter user @MissJilianne caused quite a stir after visiting the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, which recently opened a new Tesla exhibit. The Model S Plaid owner and FSD Beta tester posted a few pictures of her visit, including some artwork at the Cybertruck display.

The artistic design shows the Cybertruck in a two-door version. Miss Jilianne asks: Are we not going to talk about the beautiful artwork of a two door Cybertruck displayed at the @Petersen_Museum Tesla exhibit?

Her tweet generated discussion on social platforms and Tesla blogs, and it had mixed reactions. @KounisTou tweeted: It's not only that, but it has a totally different, dare I say better looking? A-pillar design with a wraparound windshield like early Semi prototype. Looks great. Except maybe that it looks a bit too much like a Lamborghini.

That may be the biggest clue to this spectacular piece of art. Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla's chief designer, is a huge fan of the “wedge” design. He grew up with Lamborghini Countach posters on his wall. Other responses to the picture believe it is the origin of the piece of art. It is likely an early sketch of what the Cybertruck could look like, and there were likely several. Given von Holzhausen’s love for the Countach, this is quite likely an early concept he was sketching out.

Elon Musk has publicly stated his support for a smaller truck. On November 24, 2019, he tweeted: Long term, it probably makes sense to build a smaller Cybertruck too.

However, the four-door version is due in 2023. CNBC interviewed von Holzhausen right in front of the Cybertruck. He stated, “Cybertruck will look, for all intents and purposes, just like the one behind us, maybe slightly smaller, a few percentages, but in general, this is what the truck will look like.”

Still, the designer did say something else during that interview that leaves the door open for a possible two-door Cybertruck. The creative mind behind the Model S, 3, X, Y, Semi and Cybertruck was asked to pick a favorite. His response was, "My favorite one is the one that is coming. I can't talk about (it).”

For a man that loves sports cars, it was believed that he was referring to the second-generation Roadster. Maybe he is referring to a smaller Cybertruck that looks a lot like those wedge cars that inspired him to become a car designer.

Tesla has a history of providing sketches to early reservation holders of their vehicles. It waits to be seen whether Tesla will do the same for the Cybertruck when deliveries start next year.

Below you'll find other sketches that Tesla provided to Model S, 3 and X reservation holders.

Model S Sketch

An early sketch of the Model S that was given to owners
An early sketch of the Model S that was given to owners
Electrek

Model 3 Sketch

A sketch of the Model 3 was given to owners who reserved the vehicle on the first night
A sketch of the Model 3 was given to owners who reserved the vehicle on the first night
Electrek

Model X Sketch

An early sketch of the Model X that was initially given to owners of the Model X
An early sketch of the Model X that was initially given to owners of the Model X
Not a Tesla App

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

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View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.44.2.

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Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

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