The automaker's passenger car range is being pushed to its limit in the pursuit of durability and handling improvements.
Tesla has shared a video on Twitter showing its passenger car lineup being subjected to the icy cold weather of New Zealand.
In the short clip, the quartet of electric vehicles is put to the test in treacherous conditions in order to improve handling and roll out future updates. But, according to Tesla employees, it's the Model Y that is benefitting most from these icy evaluations. "We're out here in New Zealand working on Model Y Track Mode, a new development for the performance package," explains the company's J.D Price.
This update has since been introduced to the Model Y in the 2022 Holiday Update, which brings a host of other features and improvements.
Price explains the Model Y's Track Mode should prove to be a hit with performance-minded drivers. "All of your drifter guys are going to love this setting. As soon as you tip out, you can just rotate the car around and do some pretty wild maneuvers."
You may wonder why Tesla is going to such great lengths to ensure a vehicle like the Model Y is capable of sliding about in the snow but, as another team member explains, it's essential for customer safety. "I think there's a saying: the customer is going to do it, so we have to do it first."
It's remarkable to see how vehicle testing is changing. Thanks to over-the-air (OTA) updates, vehicles (even those as old as the Model S) can be constantly modernized and upgraded to keep them feeling fresh.
"It's super cool to talk to people in California, send that update halfway across the world, [and] you go [to] the top of a mountain and test their update. That's something I've never experienced before," explains another Tesla employee.
Extreme weather testing is something every manufacturer does, but it's particularly important for EVs to be tested in icy conditions. Electric cars tend to suffer from lengthier charging times and reduced travel range in colder climates, so it's important that these vehicles can be used in a variety of conditions without significant changes.
It's very possible that the team could also have been testing the updated Model 3 for cold weather performance in New Zealand. Soon, we expect to see the Cybertruck subjected to the same harsh conditions, as it's expected to enter production in late 2023.