Imagine a Tesla Model S with 50% more torque and twice as much horsepower

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Now imagine it burns premium unleaded! This unholy marriage would draw the ire of every Tesla fan on Earth. What would you think of such a conversion?

In a recent interview with Detroit News, former GM executive and all-around car-guy, Bob Lutz, made a small comment that is likely to elicit a big response from Tesla owners. The back story is that just before Fisker Automotive turned itself in to Tucker Automotive a company called VL began to offer conversions of the gorgeous Fisker Karma. “Conversion” meaning rip out the unreliable and now discontinued extended range electric drive (batteries from bankrupt A123) and transplant the powertrain from a Corvette. And not just any Corvette, but rather a ZR1's LS9 supercharged V8.

In the interview there was a misunderstanding. Some took the comment made by Lutz to mean that the company is offering Model S conversions, but at this time the only car that VL offers is the Destino (destiny) that is the Karma body with a heart transplant. However, why not explore the Tesla Model S owners’ thoughts on such a conversion of their pride and joy?

The current Model S Performance has an impressive powertrain already. The vehicle is capable of a 0-60 MPH time of just over 4 seconds. However, there are more logical donor Model S cars with a less expensive and less potent powertrain. Those are more sedate base 60 kWh cars which hit 60 in about 5.5 seconds. With “just” 302 horsepower, an upgrade to the ZR1’s 638 horsepower engine would more than double power. Yes, EV owners like to talk more about torque than power. Well, just off idle the Corvette’s LS9 powertrain creates a twisting moment of about 50% more torque than the Tesla, and at peak, which is just a quick tap of the throttle away, the LS9’s torque is about double that of the lesser Tesla Model S. Oh, and would you like a manual transmission with that? No problem.


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I beat a corvette while carrying 2 passengers in my S85 and didn't have to smell his smog. No thanks.
Agree. I heard a guy that owns a EV Sonic with 450lbs torque took a vette off the line from red lite to red lite. The vette owner couldn't look the guy in the eye after that. I wonder if this was a true story or not?
And how would you duplicate the silent, smooth ride, no fluids, no maintenance and extra storage space in the front trunk? A Model S with an internal combustion engine would be of no use to anyone.
Own a Tesal Performace 85. Not a chance I'd swap any part of my S. We blew away a 32 coupe with a blown 650 horse Chevy big block last fall at local drag strip. Followed that up with a win Vs. A Dodge Viper. Hard to top that in any other 4 door family sedan!
Why don't we just go even further backwards and attach it to a horse? Bob Lutz' behavior seems desperate and misguided. A model S, by definition, could never be better by having an ICE, and I feel pity for those that would want to do that to such a unique attempt to improve our transportation. Shame on him!
It would bother me, if they didn't have to stop at gas stations, and it cost less... and I cared about off the line speed... and I didn't care about maintenance... etc
Really. It's just a fantasy for those who can't accept the fact that the S is a world class car AND and electric too!
Turning Model S into a gas Corvette is like turning Corvette into a horse-drawn carriage
Would it have better cup holders than my Model S?
That's my favorite comment :)
When AWD Model S Performance enters to market then I think that there is about 100 % more torque and good deal more power. Especially there is more power if Tesla introduces 120 kWh battery that can output significantly more kilowatts.
Can you even imagine how fast a Model S Performance with AWD could be off the line? Incredible.