Last November, Wright towed the X1 to a racetrack near Sacramento to see how his prototype would do against a Ferrari and a Porsche. On paper, a win seemed guaranteed. But he hadn’t yet run the car full out.
In the first matchup, the X1 crushed the Ferrari in an eighth-mile sprint and then in the quarter-mile, winning by two car lengths. In the second race, against the $440,000 Porsche, the two cars were even after an eighth of a mile. But as the Porsche driver let out the clutch in a final upshift, his tires briefly lost traction. The X1, blazing along in its software-controlled performance mode, beat the Porsche by half a car length.
It never occurred to me that I would lose,” says Kim Stuart, the Porsche’s driver. “It was like a light switch. He hit the pedal and was gone.”