What If Tesla Built A Le Mans Prototype Racer?


Tesla should probably sort out the Model 3's production issues first.

Having already built an SUV and a high-performance sedan, Tesla is continuing to diversify its EV range with the forthcoming reveal of the company's first all-electric semi-truck. Tesla is even considering launching an electric pickup. It therefore isn't too hard to imagine Tesla building a thoroughbred, all-electric racecar. Robocar is already building a self-driving race car designed to compete in Formula E, but you can imagine Tesla having higher ambitions – like building a Le Mans Prototype racer to compete in the grueling 24 hour endurance race.

It's unlikely to happen, but render artists Jeroen Claus and Fabian Brees have shown us what a potential Tesla Le Mans prototype could look like in 2030. The futuristic prototype render was designed as part of the Michelin Design Challenge 2017 and looks unlike any other LMP1 race car. Despite being designed for the year 2030 and looking like a spaceship from some angles, the car still sports some traditional aero design elements used on contemporary racecars and a shape evoking the classic Porsche 917. Claus and Brees have even come up with a fictional backstory that sounds like a narrative for a futuristic racing game.

Before Tesla entered Le Mans in 2030, the rise of autonomous road cars led to electrification being embraced in the world of endurance racing, resulting in morphing tires and robotic pit stops being introduced as well as a Charging Lane installed on the Hunaudieres Straight that allows electric racers to recharge wirelessly while racing." As for Tesla's endurance racer, the render artists say it will be driven by former and current F1 racing drivers like Fernando Alonso, Verstappen, Sebastien Vettel, Jensen Button, Mark Webber and two generations of Raikkonen. The racecar would be capable of thundering down the Mulsanne Straight at 281 mph.

With the driver safely cocooned inside, an augmented reality system would broadcast the driver's view to spectators watching at home on virtual reality devices. This all sounds promising, but Tesla will probably want to sort out the Model 3's production issues before entering the world of endurance racing.

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