Stripping the interior cut the sedan's weight, but the powertrain remained stock.
Chalk up one more accolade for the Tesla Model S because Elon Musk’s electric sedan can not only motor through a flooded tunnel but an example now holds the record for the fastest production electric vehicle at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. During this year’s event, driver Blake Fuller piloted a P90D up the 12.42-mile (19.99-kilometre) mountain course in 11 minutes and 48 seconds. The time crushed the previous production EV record of roughly 13 minutes set by a Zero motorcycle, according to Electrek.
Given that this was the production class, the modifications mostly amounted to safety upgrades. The team stripped the interior and fitted a custom roll cage. They also removed the airbags. Pulling out these parts helped cut the weight by over 800 pounds (363 kilograms), but the Model S still tipped the scales at around 4,000 pounds (1,814 kg), Electrek reported. The powertrain, however, remained stock.
Tesla never meant the Model S to be a race car, and the biggest hurdle for the GO Puck team at Pikes Peak was keeping the EV running cool for an entire blast up the mountain. The crew packed ice underneath the car to lower the temperatures, and clearly that tactic worked.
Setting a course record for its class was a major victory for the Model S. While we've seen it win drag races against sport bikes and performance cars in the past, this was an entirely different level of competition. This title is further proof of the sedan's amazing performance.