Tesla's Upcoming 'Track Mode' Only Available With Mandatory $5,000 Performance Upgrade

The minimum cost for a Model 3 Performance with the Performance Upgrades Package is $69,000.

James Lipman/Tesla

Tesla is taking another hit from Model 3 Performance buyers this morning, as current and potential clients took their displeasure to social media when they found out that their vehicles will not be receiving Tesla's upcoming "track mode" feature unless they're equipped with the additional $5,000 Performance Upgrade Package (PUP).

According to Tesla, the upcoming Track Mode will enable owners to squeeze a little bit more juice out of their Model 3 Performance by tweaking certain environmental variables of the car to tighten up the suspension and change overall power delivery of the car. Apparently, Track Mode was believed by many to be included with the pricier Performance variant of the Model 3.

Many individuals report that they were sold the Model 3 Performance, which is one-second faster from zero-to-60 than the Long Range All-Wheel-Drive model, by being told that track mode would be part of the vehicle's default package options. However, given the information sent via Twitter from Tesla, this appears to not be the case. At the time of writing, nearly all of the comments on the thread are slamming the automaker for the decision.

Upgrading from the all-wheel-drive model to the Performance variant raises the cost of the vehicle an additional $10,000, and purchasing the PUP is an additional $5,000. The PUP is only available when purchasing the Performance trim and, per Tesla's site, includes an increased top speed from 145mph to 155mph, 20-inch wheels, performance brakes, lowered suspension, a carbon fiber spoiler, and aluminum alloy pedals. Presumably, since Track Mode is not yet released, it has not been listed as a PUP-only upgrade.

A contrasting consideration for Tesla's reasoning could be the brakes offered alongside the Performance Upgrade Package versus the brakes which are standard among the other variants in the lineup. Though the assistance of regenerative braking can slow down the Model 3 and offset the workload required by the braking system, the larger Brembo units may be more appropriate for a play-day on the track.

Tesla may also be requiring the upgraded brakes to ensure customers have the ability to control their cars a bit better while track mode is active, thus protecting the image of its brand. The electric automaker has a history of being innovative and deploying features that other automakers have not, such as Autopilot. This has resulted in Tesla being the center of much more press coverage focusing on accidents or other negative aspects caused by the new technology.

Tesla is typically very receptive to its customer's feedback, especially on Twitter, so only time will tell how the details will play out. At the time of writing, Tesla has not responded to The Drive's request for comment.