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Does anyone know why Model S was not tested in Car and Driver's Lightning Lap 2015?

I just received my October 2015 Car and Driver, in which they test about 18 cars on Virginia International Raceway, and it seems strange to me the Model S has never been tested for their comparative time test. They have a nice curve graph of cost and track time, showing that for the most part, you get what you pay for.

I am no race car driver, but when I tested my Model S 85 at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on their autocross course, I found the car had lots of understeer, which was surprising and disappointing. It handles so well in normal street driving.
 
I am no race car driver, but when I tested my Model S 85 at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on their autocross course, I found the car had lots of understeer, which was surprising and disappointing. It handles so well in normal street driving.

That is indeed odd. A RWD MS 85 should rarely exhibit understeering as the front wheels are doing the steering and the power is only going to the rear wheels. RWD cars in general tend not to understeer. That being said, applying throttle into the apex will create understeer for sure. At medium or low speeds, understeer on a corner entry can also be reduced by increasing the castor angle and/or increasing toe-out. Understandably, you probably don't want to do these on a road vehicle.
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,159
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NJ
Because it would outperform all the other vehicles. And i am sure that all the other car companies paid a lot of money to Car and Driver, not to include the model S in the test. Sadly, oil money still rules.

Ouch, I hurt my head with how hard my eyeballs rolled reading that.

It was probably a combination of factors, with the primary one being that the Model S is not a track car. It tends to overheat before finishing a lap on any reasonably sized track.

They also request the cars from the OEM, so its possible even if they wanted to Tesla didn't provide one.

The test is also a massive logistical problem with only a few days to do the test, and 18 cars that all need to be learned, fresh tires installed, warmed up, and then hot lapped. Adding in the hassle of trying to keep the S at a full charge and cooled wouldn't have been easy.


As for how the S would have done... it would have been an embarrassment. At Laguna Seca the P85 was on par with a Focus ST. The P90D would be better, but VIR is like twice as long as Laguna Seca, and the power would have been severely curtailed in the second half of the lap as the P90D overheated.
 
I had the same thought. I wish they had put a P85D in the mix. It certainly would not have outperformed all the other cars, as it was not designed for track use. As Jag9000 said, they tend to understeer pretty bad with the stock suspension tune (most cars do for safety reasons) and the factory tires are not borderline race tires like some of the other cars in the test. If the battery lasted long enough to get a few laps in to heat up the tires, and it still had enough juice to do a hot lap (which I assume it would), then I think it probably could have finished in the top 10. There's no way it would lap faster than the Corvette, the McLaren, or the Lambo. After that though, it would be very interesting to see where it fell. I'd be especially interested to see if it could equal or best the GT3. Tune the suspension for the track and put some track worthy tires on it and it might start getting close. A shame we don't get to see though... Edit - I didn't realize they overheated on the track. That's too bad. I wonder if they will in the future make serious performance oriented models with more robust battery cooling.
 
Because it would outperform all the other vehicles. And i am sure that all the other car companies paid a lot of money to Car and Driver, not to include the model S in the test. Sadly, oil money still rules.

The only two vehicles it outperformed at Laguna Seca was a 6 year old Mazda and a 9 year old Honda civic. Maybe Mazda and Honda didn't pay enough money to Motor Trend?

2013 Tesla Model S P85+112.16
2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata 112.18
2006 Honda Civic Si 114.99

 
The only two vehicles it outperformed at Laguna Seca was a 6 year old Mazda and a 9 year old Honda civic. Maybe Mazda and Honda didn't pay enough money to Motor Trend?
2013 Tesla Model S P85+112.16
2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata 112.18
2006 Honda Civic Si 114.99

Right. And VIR is 30%+ longer than Laguna, with bigger straights. Honestly, I'd be very surprised if it even kept up with something like the WRX STI. The Model S is an impressive vehicle, but it's not a great track car. Regardless, it IS pretty fun to drive it on the track. I almost managed to crack 2 minutes at Laguna with traffic. I had fun.
 

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