If only EVs and endurance races went together.
Electric cars are getting better with each passing day, with stratospheric power outputs and accelerative abilities that leave conventional sports cars thoroughly outclassed. Now that EVs have also proven themselves on track, can we start envisioning a future where they can compete in endurance races like 24 Hours of Le Mans?
It would pose a massive challenge for EVs that can't simply be refueled in a few seconds, but need time to recharge their batteries. Well, Hakosan Design on Instagram has put the practicalities aside for now and come up with the Tesla LM. Based on the second-generation Tesla Roadster, which isn't available yet, the designer envisioned a road-going version of the Tesla that could morph into a Le Mans racer.
The freelance graphic designer's car looks to be far broader than the Tesla Roadster. It's got a much larger front splitter and a vented hood, along with racing wheels and tires. The aerodynamic enhancements are even more dramatic at the back, with most of the rear aspect being blacked-out and one of the largest ever rear wings, a look that one commenter likened to the Porsche GT1 Evo. Naturally, there are no exhaust pipes, but that gigantic rear diffuser takes up every inch of space at the back.
The top view shows what looks to be a fixed carbon-fiber roof. Visually, it looks fantastic, and with some more upgrades for endurance racing, we can see this battling the likes of the Porsche 919 Hybrid and Audi R18 e-tron quattro, two of the more recent victors at Le Mans.
As mentioned, it would take some effort for an EV to compete in an endurance race. Models like the new Tesla Model S Plaid have only just surpassed a range of 500 miles, and that isn't when being driven hard. Even Mercedes' latest EQXX - promised to have the longest electric car range in the world - will only max out at around 750 miles on a single charge.
Considering that Le Mans entrants can cover over 3,000 miles in 24 hours, EVs are clearly some way off from being able to compete. But based on its appearance alone, this road-going Tesla LM makes it hard not to dream about the possibility.