To see how much fun our Tesla Model 3 could deliver, we took it to an ice autocross held on Ross Lake in rural northern Michigan. One problem: Unlike the Model 3 Performance, the stability control can’t be disabled on lesser Model 3s, making for zero fun on slippery surfaces.
Cue the aftermarket. Mountain Pass Performance, which sells all manner of go-fast bits for Teslas, developed an add-on electronic module it calls a Party Box ($920) to fool the Model 3 into impressive tail-out buffoonery. It’s an easy install to tap into 12-volt power under the dash and plug the Party Box into the Model 3’s stock wiring harness.
We then went with our favorite winter tire, Nokian Hakkapeliitta, mounting a set of its brand-new R5 EV (the “EV” designates a foam layer to quell noise). Nokian says the R5s have grip crystals that “work like built-in studs.”
In the few short spots on the 1.9-mile course where we were pointed straight, it sure felt like it, the Model 3 accelerating quicker than we thought possible in these ultra-slippery conditions, clawing its way to peak speeds of 60 mph. The Party Box allowed us to hang the Model 3’s tail out in big, beautiful slip angles—so big, in fact, that we worried the car might keep going all the way around. But we never did, as Mountain Pass has done a masterful job of dialing in the balance.
Each of the four timed runs used about 5 percent of the battery, leaving us plenty of energy to get to the nearest Supercharger for a top-off before the couple-hour drive back home.
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