Posted on March 19, 2015 by Matt Pressman
This past week, “Racing Extinction" an important documentary film by Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos was a hit at the Boulder International Film Festival. And the breakout star in this new movie was... a Tesla? You have to see it to believe it. Outfitted with some high tech, state-of-the-art equipment custom built for a one-of-a-kind Tesla Model S, "Racing Extinction" reveals never-before-seen images in an effort to bring awareness to endangered species and mass extinction. Check out the must-see video below to see this customized Tesla in action ...
The driver of the "Racing Extinction” Tesla is Leilani Münter (pictured below). Leilani is a biology graduate turned professional race car driver -- she was voted #1 Eco Athlete in the world on the Discovery Channel. She is also a recipient of ELLE Magazine’s Genius Award and ranked one of the top ten female race car drivers in the world by Sports Illustrated. We were also lucky enough to see Leilani as keynote speaker at the first Tesla Motors Club conference (Teslive) before introducing Elon Musk to the stage. And, the best part -- she's a fellow Tesla Model S owner herself.
According to MNN*, the Director, Louie Psihoyos, said that "Racing Extinction" was inspired by “watching too many Jacques Cousteau specials and James Bond movies.” As a result, the Tesla Model S in the movie was designed, engineered and converted into an "undercover mobile eco-projection vehicle” integrating both cutting-edge software and hardware to both record and deliver content.
To draw attention to it, the “Racing Extinction” Tesla has a stunning electroluminescent paint job, LumiLor, developed by Darkside Scientific. This paint allows the driver to custom-animate the Tesla’s exterior. According to Leilani, the driver can “turn the color on and off by turning the electric current on and off. When it's off, the car just looks like a normal car.”
To project the film's important messages (and images), the director turned to Obscura Digital to develop a custom video projection system for the Tesla that allows the "Racing Exintction" team to display content on just about any surface. The projection unit is controlled via joystick and projects videos via an impressive 15,000 lumens. And, with the trunk of the Model S occupied by the projector, the filmmakers converted the frunk to house a FLIR (forward looking infrared) camera. Equipped with a special optical filter, the FLIR SC8300 is used in the film to visually demonstrate how much CO2 is being emitted around us by internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, factories and industrial plants.
All these high-tech aftermarket modifications could make this customized "Racing Extinction" Tesla Model S the most jaw-dropping (and expensive) Tesla on the planet. Very cool indeed... we can't wait to see the movie and definitely look forward to supporting "Racing Extinction" in local theaters soon.