What is the Tesla Raven powertrain?

What is the Tesla Raven powertrain?

Naming engines has been “a thing” for a while now. Some companies like to ascribe nomenclature to an engine if it’s deemed special enough, like Dodge’s Hellcat supercharged V-8, or Ford’s Voodoo V-8 in the current Mustang Shelby GT350. Although Teslas are powered by motors and not engines, the EV maker has decided to name a few of its newer powertrains, starting with the new Tesla Raven powertrain.

Despite its name, Tesla’s new Raven system isn’t named after a bird. Reportedly, Raven refers to X-Men’s Mystique (Raven Darkhölme), who can change her appearance on demand. We’re assuming Tesla chose this name because the Model S can go from model citizen to rocket ship at the touch of a few buttons.

The Raven powertrain is currently available in the Model S and Model X, but only in Performance guises. Essentially, the Raven powertrain couples the biggest battery you can get in a Model S or X with the rear motor of the Model 3 Performance (but on the bigger cars’ front axle). That motor is a permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motor, and it’s both more efficient and more powerful than the induction motor that used to sit at the front of Models S and X. In back, the Model S and Model X Performances get a new, larger, and more powerful electric motor. Total system power output is likely around 690 hp and 824 lb-ft of torque.

a red car parked on the side of a road: 2019 Tesla Model S exterior views 15© Motor Trend Staff 2019 Tesla Model S exterior views 15

The Raven’s upgrades aren’t limited to the electric motors, though. Raven-equipped cars also get adaptive air suspension that, like the motors, are adjustable. In Tesla’s performance menu you can tell the car when to lower the suspension (like on the highway to reduce the car’s coefficient of drag) and choose between Sport or Standard damping modes.

Together, all of those changes led to the quickest production car we’ve ever tested at MotorTrend. Despite its immense weight of 4,891 pounds, it basically teleports to 60 mph in 2.3 seconds. Oh, and there’s a new Plaid powertrain with around 800 hp and 1,000 lb-ft of torque coming that might be even quicker. We can’t wait to find out what that will be like.


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