Watch this prototype Tesla Model S drift in the snow

Published: 19 December 2017

► Designed by the Magna powertrain company
► Features three motors instead of two
► Tech could make it into a road going EV

Tesla might be one of the most innovative or disruptive car manufacturers around, but it isn’t moving fast enough for some people.

In the last week, we’ve seen two unofficially modified Tesla estates, and today another company has unveiled its very own modded Tesla. Designed a showcase for its new powertrain tech, the Magna Model S features three-motors – one more than a standard Tesla Model S or X 'D' model.

The Magna Model S prototype isn’t exactly a production car in the same way the Tesla Model S estates are. Instead, it's just designed to demonstrate Magna’s upcoming ‘etelligentDrive system’.

Better traction

That means there’s one motor for the front axle and two for the rear, and they add up to produce 420kW of power for the customised Model S  – once put through a single-speed reduction-gear box.

Magna says the triple motor array allows for torque vectoring, too, so you should get more grip along with more power.

Three for the space of two

The most impressive thing about Magna’s new system, is just how compact it is. Thanks to smaller inverters, Magna’s three-motor system takes up a comparable amount of space to Tesla’s stock dual-motor system.

What’s this for?

According to Electrek, Magna has already developed powertrain solutions for the Ford Focus EV and the Volvo V60 PHEV. Therefore, this Tesla Model S can be seen as another development of Magna’s electric-focused strategy.

'We believe in the next few years there will be several different variations of powertrain architectures on the market aimed at numerous ways to achieve CO2 savings,’ Swamy Kotagiri, Magna’s Chief Technology Officer said in a press release.

‘With our powertrain expertise, we will continue to deliver cutting-edge products to the market that match the progression of internal combustion engines up to full electric vehicles.’

Magna says it’ll show its experimental Model S at the CES technology show early next year.

Check out our Tesla reviews

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast

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