Sideways in a Tesla Model 3 Performance with Track Mode

On a windswept airfield near Monterey, close to a decommissioned military site, a handful of Tesla Model 3s are parked up. Through the haze, an apparently random set of cones delineate a course that’s there for one reason only: to show off the Model 3’s handling. We’re talking sudden high-speed lane changes, slaloms, hard braking, and yes, drifting. Tesla has come a long way since the introduction of the Roadster back in 2008.

The boss, Elon Musk, is regularly characterised as part Tony Stark, part Bond villain, depending on what side of bed he’s climbed out of. Assuming he’s been to bed at all, if current reports are to be believed (Ambien is powerful stuff – Elon, step away from Twitter). But forget the cult of personality; the Model S and Model X have still upended the automotive world in a way few would have imagined possible a decade ago.

Meanwhile, the company has had a market cap greater than Ford and GM’s, despite having never made a profit (bar a small one in Q3 of 2016, when Tesla sold Zero Emission Vehicle Credits to other car manufacturers).