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Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/4/20 11:13 a.m.
Knurled. said:

In reply to Dave M :

What is the i3's bolt pattern, he asked, noting the SCCA RallyCross rule that said that wheels meant for temporary tires are not legal for competition

5 x 112, but there's very little available in the way of tire selection. Better in 19s than 20s but not by much. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/4/20 11:39 a.m.
jr02518 said:

The software issue is going to be the "rabbit hole",  it should be easy to spot when these cars come into grid pulling a generator to plug into between runs.  At a nationals level event these will be the cars taking a "mechanical" between each run to juice up before they head back out.

Does it count if your car calls into the factory all by it's self for an upgrade?  Would that violate the "do not change/enhance your car" thing.  You might have to post the last date of your current download and it's rev level on the car, next to your number and class letters.  Just to cover disclosure.  

I don't understand the thing about plugging in between runs being something to spot. The cars perform best when the battery is warm and full, so charging between runs is a logical thing to do if there's any noticeable drop in state of charge.

But the real rabbit hole is cars that evolve. That's the story here, not "SCCA hates EVs". This particular model has become faster with absolutely no input from the owner. The factory is increasing its performance, and these are not really optional upgrades. Because of this evolution, it's becoming more competitive and could legitimately belong in a different class at the end of the season than it does at the beginning. How does the SCCA deal with that? 

It's interesting that Tesla has decided to push out at least some of the increased performance for free instead of holding it back to make the 2020s "new and improved!" over the 2019 or taking money for the upgrade. There may be technical reasons for this, that 5% power bump may be tied into improved battery management. It could also be that Tesla has a different way of looking at a vehicle than other manufacturers, something more akin to software than hardware. That's a totally different discussion. But the fact that it was delivered for free and it was difficult/impossible to avoid means that the owner really wasn't part of the decision to upgrade the car. It's not like bolting on a new set of shocks. The car self-modified. 

The Model 3 Performance has shown that this sort of gradual performance increase is indeed a real thing and not just a theoretical possibility, and it just so happens it was class-competitive beforehand so it's really brought the issue to light. It will happen again and with more vehicles regardless of whether their fuel tanks contain flammable liquids or electrons. This is the most interesting thing, how to deal with these evolving cars from a classification standpoint. 

Say the C8 Corvette development team comes up with improved software for the stability control system. Every automaker is constantly developing their cars, and this is usually updated with a model year release. But it turns out they can deliver this improved stability control to the C8 via OnStar. It's a slam-dunk upgrade in terms of performance and safety, so they do it. It turns out this new programming is worth a couple of seconds on an average autox course. What then?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/4/20 11:53 a.m.

GRM did a great summation of the SCRAMP fracas at Laguna Seca. I'm hoping they take a deep dive into what these self-modifying cars mean for the SCCA and rule sets in general, because that's more interesting than the fact that it's a Tesla that brought the issue to light. They're the perfect magazine to do it well. Talk to Tesla about the performance improvements and why they got rolled out the way they did. Talk to chassis and powertrain engineers from the other OEs about the potential for this to happen elsewhere. Look at the concepts of OTA upgrades in general. It's either going to be GRM or Hot Rod, and now that Philip Thomas isn't at HR anymore it's going to be GRM :)

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
1/4/20 12:19 p.m.
Keith Tanner said: Every automaker is constantly developing their cars, and this is usually updated with a model year release. But it turns out they can deliver this improved stability control to the C8 via OnStar. It's a slam-dunk upgrade in terms of performance and safety, so they do it. It turns out this new programming is worth a couple of seconds on an average autox course. What then?

That's what I'm wondering too. Right now this whole thing seems limited to Tesla products and power production. What happens when the rest of the car can get updates for improvements 

dps214
dps214 Reader
1/4/20 1:37 p.m.
ebonyandivory said:
Keith Tanner said: Every automaker is constantly developing their cars, and this is usually updated with a model year release. But it turns out they can deliver this improved stability control to the C8 via OnStar. It's a slam-dunk upgrade in terms of performance and safety, so they do it. It turns out this new programming is worth a couple of seconds on an average autox course. What then?

That's what I'm wondering too. Right now this whole thing seems limited to Tesla products and power production. What happens when the rest of the car can get updates for improvements 

The rules now state that any official change mid model can result in an immediate reclass. That's what's happening here, otherwise the class change would have to be put out for member comment and not go into effect until next season. If something like described happened, a major update to diff or damper tuning that results in a significant performance advantage, presumably the same will happen. To the specific hypothetical situation, a) no software change will result in a multiple second pickup unless the system was initially tuned wrong (not detuned or not optimal, but actually wrong) and b) the c8 is probably going to SS anyway so it would probably just get left alone since that's what SS is for.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/4/20 1:48 p.m.

If you’d like, I can come up with another hypothetical but my question would be no less valid.

Is the Tesla reclassification mid-season? Serious question. I thought we were between seasons at this point. 

spacecadet
spacecadet GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/4/20 3:44 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

If you’d like, I can come up with another hypothetical but my question would be no less valid.

Is the Tesla reclassification mid-season? Serious question. I thought we were between seasons at this point. 

it's not mid season, but the rules allow new cars 2 full years of reassignment by the SEB at any time INCLUDING mid season during those first 2 years. 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/4/20 4:11 p.m.

Thanks. 

Brian_13
Brian_13 New Reader
1/4/20 4:11 p.m.

Having read through all the comments, I can only suggest to anyone else joining the discussion to just read Keith Tanner's posts and you'll have an excellent understanding of the situation.

I'll throw in one more comment, anyway:

Tesla traction control is not so special, and not unique to EVs, because (in models produced so far) they do not use separate left and right motors; they drive an axle with a single motor through a plain open differential. Front-to-rear drive torque balance is easy for them to adjust (in the AWD models), but other than that they're doing what every other manufacturer does (which means dragging individual wheel brakes to change drive torque distribution).

dps214
dps214 Reader
1/4/20 5:58 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

If you’d like, I can come up with another hypothetical but my question would be no less valid.

Is the Tesla reclassification mid-season? Serious question. I thought we were between seasons at this point. 

Going into detail might not have added anything to the discussion. But my point was that they do in fact have a rule for that specific type of eventuality. Mid season in this context means "whenever it happens" outside of any of the normal time limits on classing changes.

bklecka
bklecka New Reader
1/4/20 6:42 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :   Do you have a Tesla?  If so,  can I pick your brain before I make my purchase?  These are the upgrades I am looking for.

 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/4/20 7:12 p.m.
Brian_13 said:Tesla traction control is not so special, and not unique to EVs, because (in models produced so far) they do not use separate left and right motors; they drive an axle with a single motor through a plain open differential. Front-to-rear drive torque balance is easy for them to adjust (in the AWD models), but other than that they're doing what every other manufacturer does (which means dragging individual wheel brakes to change drive torque distribution).

Not all vehicles with active torque distribution do it by braking one wheel.  Honda and Ford have systems that do active per-wheel torque distribution at the differential level, at a minimum.  (Honda had it, what, 20 years ago?)  I have a recollection that Mitsubishi also had one but it was so poorly implemented that people disable it.

 

The key thing with any active torque distribution, whether it is directly done in the differential or patched in with brake application, is HOW it is implemented.  Doing proactive torque vectoring will always be better than a reactive "traction control" type algorithm.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/4/20 7:34 p.m.
bklecka said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :   Do you have a Tesla?  If so,  can I pick your brain before I make my purchase?  These are the upgrades I am looking for.

 

I do, feel free to drop me a line. I've also talked about it a bit here: Living with a car from the future

EVs may have an advantage in torque vectoring due to their speed of response and very high level of information as to what the motors are doing.   I don't know for sure, but I have my suspicions. Once we start to see three or four motors, things get really interesting because then you do get that direct control over each wheel instead of messing with the differential or the brakes.

Toebra
Toebra Dork
1/5/20 9:05 a.m.

Of course they have an advantage in torque vectoring, how could they not?  EV has 100% of its torque available instantly, not the case with ICE

SK360
SK360 New Reader
1/5/20 11:27 a.m.

I figured I would bring some context behind the Over the Air software updates that seems to be at the center of everything.

 

Here is the power output before and after the latest 5% power increase OTA update.  The car that won at Nationals would be represented by the "before" lines.

 

Now if we look at this in real world acceleration testing, we can see the solid green and dotted green lines line up nearly identical with the dotted line representing the old update being slightly above the solid until higher speeds where the solid line barely overtakes the dotted.

 

Here's the text that was posted with these graphs to Reddit

Working with u/dgcaste we sampled hi-res data from the CAN bus while flooring his Model 3 Performance from 0 km/h to 160 km/h on both 2019.32.12.2 and 2019.36.2.1/2019.40.2.1. Conditions before/after the updates were kept as similar as possible: the battery was preconditioned to between 45-50°C and SoC was between 88-93% as several back-to-back runs were taken. Stats from the best run of each firmware show the following improvements:

  • Peak power increased from 409.7 kW (549 HP) to 432.6 kW (580 HP) above 70 km/h, a 5.6% increase

  • Front motor peak power increased from 195.5 kW to 203 kW, a 3.8% increase

  • Rear motor peak power increased from 251.5 kW to 265 kW, a 5.4% increase

  • Peak torque remained unchanged at 653 Nm (split 233 Nm front and 420 Nm rear)

0-60 times were 3.43 s (before) and 3.46 s (after), though some dips in power seen in the first few seconds of the after tests indicate he likely didn't achieve the fastest 0-60 time possible. Times were measured from the moment speed was detected. Due to the wheel sensors not registering motion until some rotation occurred, this means some amount of rollout was likely involved in the times.

As we can see the update was quite insignificant in real world acceleration, hardly deserving of being buried in SS.  There's not some magical 25 or 50% more performance to gain, the updates are simply as Tesla learns how to better manage the battery and motors with real world data gathered from the fleet.  At the end of the day the car is still 4100lbs on 8.5" wide wheels with no alignment adjustments (Yes, only Toe is adjustable from the factory).  A car with a performance alignment has a lot more to gain than any of these updates have added. 

 

Yes I am slightly biased as I bought a Model 3 Performance to run next season but there is so much misinformation around about these cars I figured some hard data would be nice.

spacecadet
spacecadet GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/5/20 12:26 p.m.

In reply to SK360 :

2 things

1. You're partly missing the point that the car is getting OTA updates to the performance and is therefore a liability. Tesla has shown they're going to continue chasing the performance as they get more comfortable with how to maintain reliability of the drivetrain and batteries. 

2. Data is good. You should take this data and write a letter to the SEB showing it, making sure they have it.  

side note: But your bias has to be left out. SEB is NOT going to listen to anything you have to say unless you can be unbiased. If you don't leave out your bias it will very likely come off as, this is affecting me and should be changed because because I don't like being put into SS. 

 

SK360
SK360 New Reader
1/5/20 12:46 p.m.
spacecadet said:

In reply to SK360 :

2 things

1. You're partly missing the point that the car is getting OTA updates to the performance and is therefore a liability. Tesla has shown they're going to continue chasing the performance as they get more comfortable with how to maintain reliability of the drivetrain and batteries. 

2. Data is good. You should take this data and write a letter to the SEB showing it, making sure they have it.  

side note: But your bias has to be left out. SEB is NOT going to listen to anything you have to say unless you can be unbiased. If you don't leave out your bias it will very likely come off as, this is affecting me and should be changed because because I don't like being put into SS. 

 

I agree OTA updates are uncharted territory for this sport but it's only going to become more common with 5G connected vehicles and OBD3.  This is just the start (my C7 got a magnetic ride suspension update from GM that increased performance, not OTA but still shows how things are changing).  I guess my point is yes it changed the performance but as we see the real world impacts were negligible.  The car took 1st, 9th, 13th and 31st in BS at Nationals, seems like it was classed well for how it performed and this was an emotional response to "what if" instead of actual data.

Some have suggested an EV class... but that kills any other EV that's not a Model 3 Performance and it only adds to the current microclassing mess.

I may take the time to write something up to them but really I stick to local events, ones that follow SCCA rules but aren't SCCA affiliated for various reasons so I'm not sure how much I care at the end of the day.  Just sucks to see the car buried.

dps214
dps214 Reader
1/5/20 2:16 p.m.

In reply to SK360 :

The thing you're missing is that the car that won was also completely unmodified aside from wheels and tires, unlike any other car at the top (well maybe not the gt350 but that's an actual performance car with factory active dampers so there's no real improvement to be made legally there). And on a car with known soft suspension, aftermarket shocks and sway bar make a world of difference. The car's potential is beyond that of BS, even before the update is factored in. The update isn't the reason for the reclass, just the cherry on top. It is a little unfortunate that it had to jump all the way to SS, but AS is basically the most popular class in autocross at the moment and there's no reason to disrupt that for the single digit number of people who want to autocross Teslas. And fwiw most of SS is well over 3000lbs with 8.5" (maybe 9"?) wheels at one end of the car, and don't really make any power below 30mph, without a fancy awd system. Honestly if I was buying a car purely to win SS anywhere other than Nationals, the Tesla would be a serious consideration.

SK360
SK360 New Reader
1/5/20 2:32 p.m.
dps214 said:

In reply to SK360 :

The thing you're missing is that the car that won was also completely unmodified aside from wheels and tires, unlike any other car at the top (well maybe not the gt350 but that's an actual performance car with factory active dampers so there's no real improvement to be made legally there). And on a car with known soft suspension, aftermarket shocks and sway bar make a world of difference. The car's potential is beyond that of BS, even before the update is factored in. The update isn't the reason for the reclass, just the cherry on top. It is a little unfortunate that it had to jump all the way to SS, but AS is basically the most popular class in autocross at the moment and there's no reason to disrupt that for the single digit number of people who want to autocross Teslas. And fwiw most of SS is well over 3000lbs with 8.5" (maybe 9"?) wheels at one end of the car, and don't really make any power below 30mph, without a fancy awd system. Honestly if I was buying a car purely to win SS anywhere other than Nationals, the Tesla would be a serious consideration.

The car that won BS had an Unplugged Performance rear sway bar as well.  Unfortunately it seems everyone's concentrated on making coilovers instead of shock replacements, hopefully it changes in the future.

 

The fact that the step classes in Street can't be based on actual performance and are locked into emotional attachment (like AS "is for Corvettes or RWD" instead of being the next logical step from BS) is part of the problem with the current classing system IMO.

dps214
dps214 Reader
1/5/20 2:53 p.m.
SK360 said:
dps214 said:

In reply to SK360 :

The thing you're missing is that the car that won was also completely unmodified aside from wheels and tires, unlike any other car at the top (well maybe not the gt350 but that's an actual performance car with factory active dampers so there's no real improvement to be made legally there). And on a car with known soft suspension, aftermarket shocks and sway bar make a world of difference. The car's potential is beyond that of BS, even before the update is factored in. The update isn't the reason for the reclass, just the cherry on top. It is a little unfortunate that it had to jump all the way to SS, but AS is basically the most popular class in autocross at the moment and there's no reason to disrupt that for the single digit number of people who want to autocross Teslas. And fwiw most of SS is well over 3000lbs with 8.5" (maybe 9"?) wheels at one end of the car, and don't really make any power below 30mph, without a fancy awd system. Honestly if I was buying a car purely to win SS anywhere other than Nationals, the Tesla would be a serious consideration.

The car that won BS had an Unplugged Performance rear sway bar as well.  Unfortunately it seems everyone's concentrated on making coilovers instead of shock replacements, hopefully it changes in the future.

 

The fact that the step classes in Street can't be based on actual performance and are locked into emotional attachment (like AS "is for Corvettes or RWD" instead of being the next logical step from BS) is part of the problem with the current classing system IMO.

I mean I want to agree with you on principle,b the system seems to be working. The subjective classing system is also laid out in the rulebook, it's far from an unknown quantity. The fact is most of the street classes are close enough on time that you get to a point where subjective factors are about the only way to go. Well, aside from combining classes, but I imagine that combining SS, AS, BS, and CS wouldn't make anyone in any of those classes happy.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/5/20 3:27 p.m.

Wonder when they will require the top 10 finishing Teslas to take the heads off and have them inspected. . .. . .Oh wait. . . .. . laughcheeky

SK360
SK360 New Reader
1/5/20 3:36 p.m.

Sports cars and other high-performance vehicles classed by performance potential.
• Super Street R-tire (SSR)
• Super Street (SS)
• A Street (AS)
• B Street (BS)
• C Street (CS)
• E Street(ES)–Very affordable older sports cars with an emphasis on low cost entry and acceptable availability. Class stability is a priority.
Sedans and Coupes classed by performance potential
• D Street (DS)
• G Street (GS)
• H Street (HS)
• F Street (FS) – Heavy, high-horsepower RWD vehicles in the spirit of “V8 Pony Cars.”

 

Seems pretty clear in the rulebook that skipping AS because "it's a popular class" or it's "for Corvettes" isn't in the spirit of how it's written.  I guess we'll see this year if the car can be made competitive in SS.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/5/20 4:16 p.m.
SK360 said:
This is just the start (my C7 got a magnetic ride suspension update from GM that increased performance, not OTA but still shows how things are changing). 

I guess my hypothetical scenario wasn't so hypothetical :)

If the Model 3 Performance upgrades didn't make a huge difference, the addition of "Acceleration Boost" for the Long Range certainly did. That knocked about a half second off the 0-60. That is a modification chosen by the owner (analagous to a supercharger pulley change offered by the factory, for example) instead of a standard upgrade - but of course, it could have simply been rolled out to all Long Range owners for free had Tesla chosen to do so.  

SK360
SK360 New Reader
1/5/20 4:22 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
SK360 said:
This is just the start (my C7 got a magnetic ride suspension update from GM that increased performance, not OTA but still shows how things are changing). 

I guess my hypothetical scenario wasn't so hypothetical :)

If the Model 3 Performance upgrades didn't make a huge difference, the addition of "Acceleration Boost" for the Long Range certainly did. That knocked about a half second off the 0-60. That is a modification chosen by the owner (analagous to a supercharger pulley change offered by the factory, for example) instead of a standard upgrade - but of course, it could have simply been rolled out to all Long Range owners for free had Tesla chosen to do so.  

Agree.  The LR AWD is a wolf in sheep's clothing in DS right now.  I assume that will get reclassed as well.... but where?

spacecadet
spacecadet GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/5/20 4:38 p.m.
SK360 said:

Sports cars and other high-performance vehicles classed by performance potential.
• Super Street R-tire (SSR)
• Super Street (SS)
• A Street (AS)
• B Street (BS)
• C Street (CS)
• E Street(ES)–Very affordable older sports cars with an emphasis on low cost entry and acceptable availability. Class stability is a priority.
Sedans and Coupes classed by performance potential
• D Street (DS)
• G Street (GS)
• H Street (HS)
• F Street (FS) – Heavy, high-horsepower RWD vehicles in the spirit of “V8 Pony Cars.”

 

Seems pretty clear in the rulebook that skipping AS because "it's a popular class" or it's "for Corvettes" isn't in the spirit of how it's written.  I guess we'll see this year if the car can be made competitive in SS.

Mocking the fact that it's a popular class misses the whole point. Classes with high participation are therefore popular. Because they're popular the SEB and SAC aren't going to mess with them just to mess with them and classify a controversial car and upset what is obviously working for that class. 

Keeping participation high as they can is a goal of the SEB and all the advisory committies.

The Model 3 has had to have classing addressed twice already. April 2018, all of the Model 3's got put into DS. Then 12 months ago the M3P pushed the bar enough that they were forced to move it to BS ahead of the 2019 National solo season. During this past year the SEB and SAC added language to the rules allowing them to immediately reclass a car if it recieved a increase in performance from when it was initially classed. 

this was added to section 3.2 of the rulebook in the June fastrack. 

“If a manufacturer issues an official specifications change (software or otherwise) to any previously-classed vehicle, and that change is deemed significant enough to warrant reclassification, the SEB can request the BOD to approve an immediate classing change.”

The SEB obviously does not feel leaving the Tesla right now in BS is good for BS. In order for a class to be allowed to have an overdog, the participation has to show that the one car can carry the class. There was only 3 Teslas in BS at nationals among 5 drivers in a class of 53 participants. The caymans and BMW's are by far the most popular option, with the super ponies being right behind them. 

As an example, the 10th gen Honda Civic Si was the best thing to happen to G street, 59 participants at nats this year and the vast majority being the Si, with the Focus ST in the mix. Participation has skyrocketed in 2018 and 2019 over past years and the vast majority of the 2019 field was the Civic. so the SAC and SEB have the evidence needed to leave the class alone because the single model is popular and the class is stable and popular. The Focus ST was previously the GS class overdog and it was shown to not be able to carry a class to proper participation numbers, so the SEB started adding in more options. 

Same thing happened in D street where the WRX couldn't hold the class participation. 

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