Tesla's Model S strikes the ideal balance between a sensible electric vehicle and a speedy performance sedan, but it's no race car... right? The backers of the Electric GT World Series would beg to differ.
Electric GT is a new racing series that will debut in 2017, and the 10 initial teams will all use the same ride: the Tesla Model S P85+, which has since been discontinued in favour of the P90. Tesla apparently isn't in on the promotion, but Electric GT Holdings wanted to use an electric car that's already on the road. And the Model S was the obvious pick there.
"It is the best zero emissions car on the road capable of racing on world class circuits in the GT category,” said Agustin Payá, Electric GT co-founder and technical director, to Transport Evolved. "In its production version, it accelerates faster and provides better lap times than many combustion GT cars. We chose the Tesla Model S simply because it is one of the best cars ever made, and certainly one of the best 100% electric cars."
Payá says that the Model S P85+'s rear-wheel drive design makes it a perfect fit for GT courses, with testing already taking place on the Barcelona Catalunya F1 Circuit and Madrid Jarama circuit, although they are making small modifications to make it even better suited for racing.
"We are making only small changes to the production Model S P85+, such as improved braking and aerodynamics to increase high speed grip. We will strengthen suspension, braking cooling and steering as well as reducing overall weight," says Payá. "The rest - powertrain, battery, programming - everything is original."
Electric GT intends to visit racing circuits around the world, and future seasons may welcome additional high-performance electric cars as they're released. Formula E is already making strides in electric car competitions, but that league's single-seat vehicles and short-lived batteries mean that Electric GT has a chance to really set itself apart with the Tesla-centric debut next year.