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#15 2019 Tesla Model 3

(This blog is part of a series looking at cars that I have had on track. It does not encompass all of the ones I've had the privilege to drive but these were the ones that stood out for one reason or another)

For me, this one was a complete surprise to me. I had driven Teslas before and knew how quick they were in a straight line but did not expect them to handle very well due to the high weight of the batteries. While the placement of the batteries low in the chassis obviously makes for a low center of gravity, very desirable for handling, but with a weight in the neighborhood of 4000 pounds, I thought for sure that cornering would be affected.

Much to my surprise, the car handled surprising well even in serpentine turns where weight transfer from side to side was the highest.

We hit the straight and the electric motors came into their own, throwing me back in the seat and quickly accelerating above 110 MPH on the half mile straight by the time we reached the braking zone.

The first couple of laps the brakes grabbed as they should although the Tesla was nearly constantly warning of brake temperatures as they slowed the massive weight of the car. I was still being conservative going down the straight and starting my braking very early at the first marker, about 500 feet prior to the turn.

On Lap 3 the Tesla decided it had had enough. As I hit the brakes at the first corner marker, the brakes immediately felt spongy as the overheated brakes giving me massive fade. Thankfully having been so conservative, I was able to scrub off enough speed to get through the turn.

Having been warned, I created a new braking point about 100 feet further away from the corner and the car behaved for subsequent laps.

Overall, I thought the car handled well and was quick, however, braking was definitely the limitation when pushing it to the limit.

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