Tesla Model S Puts Slicks on for Some Very Serious 1/8 Mile Drag Racing

Tesla Model S Raven drag racing 6 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
Tesla Model S Raven drag racingTesla Model S Raven drag racingTesla Model S Raven drag racingTesla Model S Raven drag racingTesla Model S Raven drag racing
Grip is important in any type of racing because grip gives you traction, and traction means the power generated by the car's propulsion system isn't going to waste.
You can have the biggest engine with the biggest supercharger on top - if the tires aren't up for it, the only thing you'll get is a pair of black marks behind your car and a very poor result as you eventually cross the finish line. A good car is a balanced car, and tires play a big role.

Anyone who's ever seen a Formula One slick tire knows what they look like - no profile whatsoever, just a big chunk of smooth rubber. The purpose of that is to maximize the tire patch and, with it, the grip available to the driver. Drag racing builds have a similar approach, but since they only go in a straight line, it's the rear wheels that get all the attention.

With the power output of these vehicles routinely going over the 1,000 hp mark, they need some serious rubber to keep that in check. You'll often see a pair of oversized slicks poking out of those wheel arches, which is always a sign that's a competitor worth taking seriously. And so is a Tesla Model S Raven, regardless of its tire choice, when competing in an 1/8 mile drag race.

This is the same Tesla we've seen playing around with a Chevrolet Corvette a few days ago, except this time its owner decided to try something new. Once at the track, he had the rear Michelin tires replaced by a pair of Mickey Thompson slicks. The new setup increased the width of the rear rubber significantly, but also marginally reduced the overall diameter of the wheels (an aspect that will come into play later on).

The first two runs are against the two of the toughest opponents of the evening - a Mustang Fox-body on slicks running nitrous and a Corvette C3 with a shaker scoop, also on slicks. The Tesla loses both encounters, but it does get its best time of the session in the run against the C3: 6.6755 with a trap speed of 101.72 mph. Incidentally, that was the only pass where the Tesla used all of its weapons - Ludicrous Plus and Cheetah Stance.

After a while, the vehicle noticed something was wrong and the traction control system started to misbehave, so the owner had to put the stock tires back on. He went on to race a few more times, which allowed him to draw a conclusion that will seem surprising to a lot of people. After 15 combined passes with both sets of tires, he feels the slicks aren't worth it - they can offer better results, but they are extremely inconsistent, whereas the Michelins will get you the same result over and over again. A curious conclusion, but one that's backed by facts. Have a look for yourself at one hell of a Saturday evening.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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