Now in its second official year, the FIA’s Formula E Championship has put all-electric race cars on the world’s stage, and in a big way. The series isn’t without its critics however, who may take fault with its relatively short race durations, mid race car-swaps, or street circuits in place of more pedigreed tracks.
If you find yourself amongst those dissenters, well… there’s soon to be another all-electric racing series, and it’s to be called the Electric GT World Series.
Scheduled to begin in 2017, the series will pit 10 teams and 20 drivers against one another, and each will do battle on track behind the wheel of the now-discontinued Tesla Model S P85+ sedans. Skeptical? There’s a lot to like about the new series.
According to Transport Evolved, the series chose the Tesla Model S P85+ over its more powerful P90D successor for its simplicity, rear-wheel drive setup, and its still-sizable battery capacity.
From a racing standpoint, tail-happy electric GT cars ought to make for more excitement than their all-wheel drive siblings, especially with 416 horsepower on tap. And though the P85+ won’t net its road-worthy 265 miles of range on track, it should be able to complete a longer race distance than the comparable Formula E cars, which are limited to just 28 kWh.
Interestingly, race-prep changes to the cars are said to be fairly minimal and will include improvements for braking, steering, and weight reduction. “The rest,” says series technical director Agustin Payá, “powertrain, battery, programming — everything is original.”
In an interview with Transport Evolved, co-founder and CEO of Electric GT Holdings, Mark Gemmell, told the site the idea for the series truly began coming together at last year’s Monte Carlo e-Prix. Since then, the organization has reached out to (and is currently in talks with) a number of well-known racing circuits to stage the events, including the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Donnington Park, Mugello Autodromo, and the Nürburgring’s GP circuit.
The promoters even say that while the inaugural 2017 season will be limited to just Tesla Model S GT cars, they hope to open the field to other electric vehicles in the coming years—perhaps this could mean Porsche’s Mission E, or even the new Rimac Concept One. That could make for quite a show.