This happened a few days ago at the selective Laguna Seca circuit (California) where we see more Porsches, Ferraris, Ford GTs or Corvettes than electric cars. However, a Tesla was there to break a record and it did it in the most beautiful way by pulverizing the previous time set by a Lucid Air, a brand that aims to ride on the broken American electric champion.
With a time of 1'30''30 which beats that of the Lucid Air Performance (1'33''00) still in prototype state, Tesla is engaging in a singular game for an electric car manufacturer who does not is not expected at the turn. We rather see it working in cities or urbanized areas with small or compact cars and reasonable performance to preserve autonomy.
None of that, therefore, with this version which even shows the McLaren P1, the hybrid supercar from Woking (1'30''71). This new version called "Plaid" is powered by three electric motors for a total power of 1,115 hp obtained in the best shape of its batteries.
It could repeat a 0-100 km / h a number of times in less than 2.1 seconds and even hope to reach 320 km / h, a performance that it will not be able to last very long unlike a thermal car which can go really fast and long enough before needing to refuel, within three or four minutes. However, the S Plaid does not take a nap and supplants the previous record held by the Lucid Air and its performance derived from two engines of 1,080 hp (2.5 seconds and 270 km / h).
End of the rider alone
Why indulge in this childish little game when Lucid Air does not yet have a real existence? The sole rider that Elon Musk has done on the electric for ten years is now contested by new players, stammering in the automotive field such as the Americans Faraday, Fisker and Lucid Air or the Chinese Byd or X -Peng.
The latter annoyed Elon Musk a lot by tracing his website before the summer and, according to him, by plundering a number of ideas that he implemented on his cars. But above all, the introduction of Chinese on the stock market in late August raised $ 1.5 billion from Wall Street investors, which deeply disconcerted Elon Musk. But that's not his only cause for concern.
His Laguna Seca record is also due to the competition which is climbing in the United States where Lucid Air does not miss an opportunity to refer to Tesla, "only better". For good reason, Paul Rawlinson who created the brand in Silicon Valley comes from the house next door where he led the development of the Tesla S ten years ago. He therefore accumulated knowledge, experience and attracted high-level engineers who were equally educated since they were recruited in Palo Alto.
However, the most acute threat does not come from these new automobile players, but on the contrary from the most established ones, those of old Europe. And Mercedes, Porsche, Audi, BMW are beginning to disturb Elon Musk's peace of mind. He even went to Germany a few days ago to try a more modest ID 3 at Volkswagen. He came out sufficiently impressed to announce the launch of a more popular Tesla at the price of the Volkswagen in its next entry-level version, ie 32,000 euros.
Taking into account the logistics and customs costs, the performance would be interesting if the promise was only made at the end of three years. And we know what these promises are since, in March 2016, Tesla announced the 3 for $ 35,000. In reality, it costs nearly 50,000 euros today in Europe for the most modest version, that is to say the most basic in presentation and finish – the Achilles heel of Tesla – and equipped with the small drums. Count 15,000 euros more for the best equipped and the battery with great autonomy and performance. Tesla has a long way to go to become more competitive now that it is no longer alone.