There’s a new racing series in the works in Europe, and it’s going to be the world’s first zero-emissions, all-electric racing contest based on road-going cars. The Electric GT World Series, debuting next year, will see an entire 20-car grid full of Tesla Motors’ four-door Model S.
The Electric GT World Series will use the now-discontinued, rear-wheel-drive Model S P85+, which develops 310kW and 600Nm of torque from zero RPM — and despite weighing a hefty two tonnes, the car’s incredible power from a standstill makes it extremely tail-happy on road tyres at low speeds when traction control is turned off. Rear-wheel drive is almost universally preferred by enthusiast and professional drivers for trackwork because of its superior weight distribution and better feel under power; there’s only one problem — the P85+ has been superseded by several new dual-motor Model Ses.
It’s likely that the World Series will use a new short production run of the P85+, ordered bespoke from Tesla — especially since the cars don’t need any interiors, and significant changes to the aerodynamics, suspension and brakes will be needed to get the Model S ready for sustained track driving. Model S owners generally report limited power output after several laps under racing conditions, so better cooling for the electric motors, brakes and battery pack are likely necessary.
Speaking to Transport Evolved, Agustin Payá — a former racing driver, engineer and promoter of the Electric GT World Series, said that the Model S was a natural choice for the series — its 85kWh battery pack is three times larger than the one used in Formula E, for example. “Although it is a luxurious super tourer it seems to be made for racing. Its weight distribution and astonishing low centre of gravity, despite its considerable mass—more than two tons unmodified—allows unbelievable cornering speed, not forgetting its unending torque, which all add up to a great racing car.” [Transport Evolved]