The Tesla Model S P100D is considered by many to be the “quickest production car” on the planet, capable of blasting from 0 to 60 MPH in just 2.5 seconds. Despite this ludicrous acceleration, however, the Model S has not seen much racing duty outside of the drag strip. The minds behind the Electric GT racing championship want to change that, however.
The enterprising all-electric racing series has tapped the Tesla P100D to serve as the primary race car for the Electric GT, shelving plans to use the slower and older P85+. Dubbed the Electric GT V2.0, the modified Model S will benefit from a stronger suspension, improved brake cooling and steering, as well as adding FIA safety features that include a race-ready rollcage.
Despite these additional features, Electric GT says it is shaving off as much as 500 kg/1,100 pounds from the Tesla’s excessive curb weight. The series has begun testing its electric racers, as well as releasing details about the series setup.
10 teams with 2 drivers each will take part in save races during the first season, with 20-minute practice sessions and 60-minute qualifiers leading to two 6 0km/40 mile races. One of the races will be during the day, and the other at night, presumptively to allow the cars to recharge and rest their batteries.
One thing Electric GT has not detailed is how it plans to keep the Tesla battery packs from going into “limp mode” after the first few laps. The Electric GT Racing is quite protective of its battery, and driving flat out will see the Model S sidelined after just a few minutes. Tesla owners have tried, and failed, to make it around the 13.1-mile Nurburgring without going into limp mode, and I’m not sure how the organizers plan to tackle this obstacle to extended racing.
I must be getting old, because as awesome as this sounds on the surface, I can’t help but have some serious reservations. After all, there’s a reason nobody has tried using a Tesla Model S for racing, beyond it being a heavy luxury sedan that was never intended for, you know, racing.
That’s not to say that exciting all-electric can’t be done, as the Formula E series has easily proven. But can it be done with Teslas? We’ll find out in 2017.