Formula E Driver Tests Electric GT Tesla Model S P100D

7 months ago by Motorsport.com 7

Electric GT Tested By Di Grassi

Di Grassi tests Electric GT Tesla

By: Scott Mitchell, Autosport Features Editor, Motorsport.com

Electric GT, Tesla Model S P100D

Formula E runner-up Lucas di Grassi has tested Electric GT’s development Tesla and thinks the final version has the potential to be the most powerful GT car in the world.

The Audi driver completed more than 20 laps over half a day’s running at Vallelunga in the Tesla Model S P85+ last Saturday.

Di Grassi has been a part of Formula E since its launch and is a keen supporter of the Roborace driverless racing car project.

“As with every other new technology I want to be involved and understand what they want to achieve,” di Grassi told Motorsport.com.

“Formula E is very complex and exotic technology, this is a commercial product – turning a road car into a race car by adding slicks and putting the roll cage in and stripping down extra weight.

“The car is very agile because most of the weight is at the bottom, the centre of gravity is very, very low and that’s what you need on a racing car.

“There’s very little downforce – it’s got a rear wing and a front spoiler – but the mechanical grip is quite impressive. Pirelli has made some very soft tyres.

“The problem is the car has thermal limitations. You can have a very fast car on a qualifying lap, then it goes back to nominal power for 15 or 16 laps.

“If you save the temperature you can peak it again. The challenge will be to drive as quickly as possible without overheating the motor.”

Note 0 to 62 MPH Times Of 2.1 Seconds – Image Via Electric GT Twitter

The P85+ is rear-wheel drive and has a peak power output of 380kW (509bhp), with the ‘nominal’ power – effectively race trim – around half that.

The four-wheel-drive P100LD the series wants to race with has peak power of 585kW (784bhp), while nominal power is 380kW.

Di Grassi says he “can guarantee the new car with its properties will be as quick as a GT3 car” and reckons it will have a similar power-to-weight ratio to LMP2 cars.

This would put Electric GT in the performance ballpark of Super GT’s GT500 cars, which were deemed the world’s fastest GT cars in an investigation by Autosport last year.

“The new car is much more suitable for the high-performance runs,” di Grassi added. “There is more cooling and everything is better dimensionally.

“It may be the fastest GT car out there over a single lap, but not for a race distance, you have to slow down cause of the thermal problem and battery management.

“They need a good downforce package – it has very little downforce at the moment.”

Di Grassi believes Electric GT and Formula E can easily co-exist because “one thing has nothing to do with another” and “it’s like comparing GTE and Formula 1, or LMP1”.

Electric GT Championship – Tesla Model S

He also said he would consider racing in the championship if Audi allowed him, adding: “It would be nice to be the first-ever winner of an electric formula race and then this series.”

What is Electric GT?

Electric GT is aiming to kick off in the second half of 2017, with a handful of races on European circuits such as Silverstone and the Nurburgring.

Its intended race weekend format is a 20-minute practice session, a one-hour qualifying session and two 60km races, one in the day and one at dusk.

The plan is for 10 two-car teams, though no entrants or drivers have been officially signed up.

A number of prospective competitors, including Alexandre Premat, Oliver Webb and Stefan Wilson, have been announced as part of a ‘drivers’ club’.

The likes of ex-Formula 1 drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Karun Chandhok have also tested the development car.

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7 responses to "Formula E Driver Tests Electric GT Tesla Model S P100D"

  1. Bacardi says:

    I see they say the new car has better cooling yet with battery tears downs the 100 isn’t exactly “superior” to the 85…Wonder if anyone could work with them to improve the cooling?

    1. Arpe says:

      Are people experiencing cooling problems in everyday life with their Tesla?
      or is it just in racing condition as these?

      If it is the last one Tesla have little to no reason to improve this anytime soon 🙂

      1. orinoco says:

        Not on roads with speed limit. But on German autobahns there is no general speed limit. So when you drive with your foot down to the floor you only get maximum speed for some time. Then the battery management limits the power output and speed to less than 200km/h / 120 mph. youtube videos show this. e.g.
        Tesla against Hellcat (german)
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLgJUmVChE8

        1. Koenigsegg says:

          I’m in California so I don’t give a single f**k about the Autobahn

    2. pjwood1 says:

      Part of the problem is the more robust the cooling, the more energy you’re allocating to it, and subsequently less energy you’re putting to the wheels. You also, at that point drop below 1KWh/mile. Inertia is such an EV enemy, in this environment. Slower, more technical courses, or ones known to be hard on brakes (like Sebring), are where these electric GTs will be sandbagging, to keep the heat down. Faster sweeping, purpose built, road courses will even things out.

    3. Josh Bryant says:

      The initial article I read about this series, improved cooling was one of the modifications planned. Maybe they haven’t found a way to completely solve it, yet.

      As pjwood stated about energy requirements for cooling, with the extra 15 kWh in the P100DL, there might be extra energy available to dedicate to cooling.

      It sounds like this driver only tested the modified P85+, not the modified P100DL (which probably doesn’t exist yet).

  2. unlucky says:

    I can’t see how this has the power to weight of an LMP2 car.

    Not even on its peak lap. An LMP2 is 930kg and 600HP.

    (see here)

    http://www.europeanlemansseries.com/en/elms/the-different-classes/4

    This is 25% more HP on a peak lap and will weigh at least 50% more.