What would happen if Tesla added a second powertrain to the Model S? If the car had two electric motors and the batteries needed to power everything properly? If the drag coefficient was improved, making the already sleek Model S even more slippery? If the chassis was tuned for improved performance and sticky tires added? Tesla would have a supercar on its hands.
A person can dream, but Tesla could be on the verge of announcing such a Model S with a wicked amount of power. We hear it’s the vehicle Elon Musk teased in a tweet and image (above) Wednesday afternoon.
The bones are already there. The Model S is already surprisingly fast thanks to the nature of electric power. The Signature Performance Model S variant can do 0-60 in 4.2 seconds.
Tesla has long been rumored to release such a beast along with a more pedestrian version of the Model S with AWD. The company had to develop an AWD for the upcoming Model X AWD SUV so it was always highly likely Tesla would bring the goods to its sedan as well.
A ultra-high performance Model S would likely satisfy a niche market of buyers and fans alike. The Tesla Roadster is long gone and the Model S is getting a bit stale. As countless car makers before it, Tesla could extend the Model S’ shelf life by simply offering more exclusive editions.
Tesla could stuff an additional motor into the front boot of the Model S. I suspect Tesla would employ two of its smaller Model S engines in favor of less weight. Still, even with two of Tesla’s smallest motors, the output would be north of 600 hp. Additional batteries would likely be added to compensate for increased power draw.
Tesla then could look to others for additional modifications.
Saleen recently announced its tuned version of the Model S. Along with some body mods, the company essentially left the vehicle alone but tuned the powertrain’s gear ratio, allowing it to sprint to 60 MPH a bit quicker. The tuning company also improved the cooling system and, thankfully, added a cup holder. Tesla would likely employ similar enhancements.
However, adding a second motor and additional batteries would add weight to the vehicle. The Model S is already a heavy car — it’s about 300 lbs heavier than a BMW M5. But adding an additional motor would significantly increase its power to weight ratio, more than compensating for the added heft.
The Model S’s electric motor weighs about 350 lbs. If we assume everything else weighs the same on the so-called super Model S, and just an additional motor was added, the power to weight ratio of 11.4 decrease to 7.85, which is on par with the BMW M5’s 7.78 horsepower to 1 lb ratio. It’s a significant jump in power moving it to supercar performance territory.
Despite a slumping stock price, Tesla is still riding high. It doesn’t need a supercar, but such a model would act like its Corvette or Viper. A halo car. Tesla needs something new to draw shoppers into showrooms and to parade around auto shows that isn’t a family hauler.
Tesla is growing up and needs to keep the energy alive around the brand. Nothing excites more than a supercar. And cup holders. Please, Elon, put some damn cup holders in your cars.