Tesla Model S Prototype Allegedly Demolishes Porsche Taycan’s ‘Ring Lap Record

The Porsche Taycan’s Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record may be one of the most short-lived in recent history, at least when it comes to electric vehicles.

Tesla is out to set a new benchmark lap time for EVs with two Model S chassis prototypes (a second one painted blue arrived this week) featuring the new three-motor “Plaid” powertrain which apparently will be released next year. As we enter the second week of Nürburgring testing for Tesla it appears that the Model S prototype may have crushed the Porsche Taycan’s record.

Despite the fact that record attempts are scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday, our photographer, who watched Tesla’s runs closely, claims the U.S. carmaker has already set a much quicker lap time than the Porsche Taycan. Earlier today, he timed the laps and found out that the fastest one was 7 minutes and 23 seconds.

A second Tesla Model S chassis prototype with a ‘Plaid’ powertrain arrived at the Nürburgring this week

The lap was timed in rather cool weather conditions with 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit) and under heavy cloud cover. If accurate, this means the Model S is about 20 seconds quicker than Porsche’s first-ever electric vehicle.

Also read: Porsche Taycan Vs. Tesla Model S: Which Is The Ultimate Electric Sports Sedan?

That’s a huge margin but let’s not forget that the Model S being tested at the ‘Ring these days is far from a production vehicle. Besides packing a three-motor powertrain that’s expected to become available next year, both Model S chassis prototypes feature a different suspension, larger wheels, wider fenders, a new lip spoiler for the tailgate, upgraded brakes – not to mention the obligatory roll cage.

Interestingly, both EVs today dropped the sticky Michelin Cup 2R tires for Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport RS rubber. This is a prototype tire that hasn’t launched on the market yet and features a profile similar to the Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R. Hardcore stuff on all fronts, indeed.

The fact that Nordschleife expert Thomas Mutsch is among the drivers is also telling of Tesla’s intentions with the Model S prototypes. The other two drivers are Sweden’s Andreas Simonsen and Carl Rydquist.

German race car driver and Nordschleife expert Thomas Mutsch

We don’t know what to make of Tesla’s adventure at the ‘Ring yet, and we’ll have to wait for them to announce an official lap time, together with at least some official information on the Model S prototypes that have been lapping the German racing track.

We’ll no doubt learn more about Tesla’s intentions in the coming days but there’s no getting around the fact that cutting a lap time -allegedly- by 20 seconds is a great achievement — provided that buyers will be able to get a similarly-equipped Model S in the near future.


more photos...

Photo credits: S. Baldauf / SB-Medien & CarPix for Carscoops

  • cat

    Cool tesla!!!

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    Yeah, that’s fast.

    I’m sure this uses the same powertrain as the upcoming Roadster.

    • Ben

      Maybe the same architecture, but not literally the same. Because if so, anything else, but sub 6mins would be a failure IMO.

  • xDRAN0x

    Game On

  • Jason Miller

    Blue car looks even more incredible than the red one. Can’t wait to see these in person.

    • Matt

      Seriously, it’s just a regular Model S with cheap looking fender flares. How ‘incredible’ can it look?

      • Jason Miller

        Little tweaks make all the difference. Hence why the aftermarket exists. Standard Model S looks good still despite it’s age, this one takes it up a notch. Far more aggressive looking.

  • Allcarnews

    If anyone says that this is invalid because the Plaid Model S isn’t in production yet (which it will be), Go to Bugatti and ask them if their speed record is valid since the Chiron SS 300 prototype doesent go into production for another 2 years…

    • Ben

      Another 2 years!? Dang, I didn’t know it was that far off.

    • Stigasawuswrecks

      Their speed record isn’t really valid since it isn’t a production car.

      • Kagan

        Mostly because it was not a 2 way run.

        • Stigasawuswrecks

          The track is designed to only work in one way.

          • exeptor

            It was designed to be used both ways – McLaren F1 did the record run at the same place … both direction. Although the current condition of the track is quite unfavorable for a two way run, as it was used only one direction.

          • Stigasawuswrecks


    • Judge Dredd

      Because Porsche made a claim; the claim being the Fastest Lap on the Nordschleife —for a Production EV Sedan. The Nissan GT-R 2008 wasn’t even the fastest on the ring in 2008, the claim was it was faster than a lot of super cars, particularly the Porsche 911 at that time.

      The current Model S, the one you can buy right now can’t even do 1 lap. The Tayan can.

  • Toss

    Don’t like Tesla, but glad that they beat that ugly face Tycan.

    • Bash

      How much did elon pay you? lol

    • TheBelltower

      Seriously now… how can anyone call the Taycan ugly?

      • Enter Ranting

        It looks like a gooey, stretched-out 911, but with clunky headlights.

        • Zandit75

          What do you call the Tesla Model 3 or Model E then??!!

          • Enter Ranting

            I’m not defending Tesla’s weak design. I’m saying the Taycan is ugly. And it has a dumb name too.

        • TheBelltower

          To me, that sounds awesome. Gooooooey….

  • Matteo Tommasi

    These electric boats (Taycan included) are SLOW. 3 motor Tesla should mean ~1000hp, while the Mercedes AMG GT 4door has roughly the same time. Heck, even the 500hp Giulia Q lapped the Nurb in 7:31.

    • Tydogg123 .

      “These (record breaking) electric boats……: ” OK buddy!

      • salamOOn

        its (record breaking) for “four-door, all-electric sports cars” category, not overall record lap time….

        • Tydogg123 .

          Right. What’s your point?

          • salamOOn

            my points is that you added “(record breaking)” like “These electric boats” are quicker than ICE cars like mentioned amg gt or gulia q…. and they are not.

  • Ben

    Prototype tires? C’mon now.

  • Bash

    Hahaha this is irrelevant.

    • Ermal Morina

      hmm, why’s that?

      • Bash

        Because that will not make it more appealing than the Taycan. Unless you are out of this world and actually a Tesla fan.

        • Ermal Morina

          guess I’m out of this world then, everybody who has deep knowledge on EVs knows that Tesla is way ahead of the competition on powertrain and battery technologies. I’m not trying to sound cocky, but honestly man, do some deep research and then you’ll find out what I’m talking about.
          And for the record, yes Tesla doesn’t have the best interior quality or design for that matter, but everything else they’ve got it covered for real

          • Bash

            I guess you are out of this world after all. cheers.

  • Adilos Nave

    I’m really disappointed they supposedly beat Porsche (a real car company that actually tests their products before releasing to the public rather than having their paying customers act as beta testers.) There are a lot of caveats here though. The super sticky tires is one thing. Didn’t Porsche use a bone-stock Taycan for their run?

    • Netsphere

      “Interestingly, both EVs today dropped the sticky Michelin Cup 2R tires for Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport RS rubber.”

      • Adilos Nave

        Ah, missed that part!! So I guess they were on equal footing. Impressive for Tesla.

    • Ermal Morina

      Both cars used same tyres and apparently Porche had a rollcage in its Taycan and it also was a preproduction version of Taycan. So really is apples to apples on this one.

      • Matt

        A roll cage is mandatory for setting ring records. Do you really think car makers would send their employees out to push over 300km/h on a racetrack without one?

        • Adilos Nave

          Tesla doesn’t have any problem pushing out software like their terribly-named ‘AutoPilot’ to their customers full well knowing it has flaws, sometimes fatal.

          • TheBelltower

            So far, the flaws were the drivers behind the wheel.

    • Jason Miller

      Tesla tests their cars, not sure how you made that general assumption from the AutoPilot beta testing.

    • TheBelltower

      It’s VW/Audi/Porsche’s “testing” that cost them tens of billions and landed their executives in jail, necessitating the entire EV program, and specifically the Taycan and all of the upcoming vehicles built upon a dedicated EV platform .

      I’ll sure bet that Porsche wished they did a bit more testing!

    • Pinewold

      Seriously, Porsche’s and Audi’s were nightmares for decades. The saying was Every Porsche comes with… a mechanic! Not only did they have electrical problems, they needed to be tuned constantly.

      They finally got their act together but Tesla has made much more progress in a much shorter timeframe.

      • Rahul Mandala

        Lol keep drinking the Tesla koolaid, fangirl

  • Toronado_II

    I think that the race for speed come to an end ! They now have to improve the rest of the car like the interior’s refinement.

  • Richard Alexander

    How do you say ‘ringer’ with a South African accent?

  • Mr. EP9

    Allegedly. How about we wait until official confirmation before running articles?

    • Ermal Morina

      Elon Musk pretty much confirmed it on twitter and said that it’ll probably go even faster with the production version of the Plaid Model S, so that’s that.

  • Ermal Morina

    Hats off to Tesla, they certainly are way ahead of all EVs including powertrains batteries and pretty much everything else, probably not the interior quality yet but hey…

  • Dredd2

    a heavily modified prototype with 1000hp….vs a stock Taycan…jeezzzzzz..*claps* 😂😂😂😂 who cares of that proto tesla time? maybe the tesla fangirlz, but nah….it would be a better time with a mobile toitoi on the tesla powertrain instead of the current model s box, and would looks better…..😂😂

    • Jason Miller

      I’m sure you personally can provide proof that the Porsche was stock. I’ll wait.

    • TheBelltower

      What is a “heavily modified prototype” exactly? It’s a prototype of an upcoming vehicle. Just like the every Taycan has been so far. Try not to sound so bitter.

      • Dredd2

        “upcoming vehicle” i dont think that the production vehicle will be the same (gutted,caged,wider body/tyre,racing brakes,etc)…so, whats the point to fight with a non existent model? its good for test max.

        • TheBelltower

          It seems clear that Tesla is gunning for the Taycan, so have upgraded the equipment on the prototype with the intent on including performance upgrades on the production car. The brakes on a current Model S would have been roasted, so performance brakes will be necessary for the new model. The Porsche was also caged, and I believe that it is necessary addition when automakers attempt this type of lap run. The wheels were the same on the Porsche as on the Tesla, and will presumably be on the production model. Which necessitated the added widebody arches, which may be temporary if they intend to have new wider panel stampings eventually. I’m not aware that the car was “gutted.” But maybe it was. Will three extra seats give Porsche back 20 seconds? I’ll let Tesla and Porsche concern themselves with the details and I’ll be ready and waiting for real comparisons. They’re both out for clicks right now.

  • Kagan

    “and we’ll have to wait for them to announce an official lap time”

    Well there is no official lap times you are all fooled!

  • Six_Tymes

    Congrats to Tesla! I support any company that does their own R&D and not just buy into another company to then use their drive trains. I was never a Tesla fan, I am now, ever since Porsche let me down. Sad to know Porsche can’t do their own R&D when it comes to EV’s.

    • Rahul Mandala

      *Sigh* I’ve said it millions of times and I’ll say it again, it costs billions upon billions to develop your own drivetrain, technology, batteries, etc. They probably will invest more in the future. I don’t get what is bad with having a Rimac drivetrain, it’ll save costs and let Porsche transition to BEVs smoothly.

    • An Existing Person

      Considering how large the VAG corporation is and how much money and effort has been put into the research development of EV technology on their vehicles, they more than likely can and will at some point have their own technology and platform. At the moment it’s smart to use a very successful and proven powertrain by Rimac to get their foot in the door and to learn through the Taycan on how to improve for when it comes to their own.

      • Rahul Mandala

        Thank You!

  • botornot387

    I applaud Tesla, but taking to the track with a future powertrain proves that the current Model S can’t compete. Unfortunately for Tesla, Porsche/Audi already know this and have already been testing the plaid style powertrain that has debuted in other concepts. so as in all car news, one upsmanship will continue, cause as soon as this happens, someone will come and move the needle again, which is good for consumers. However, Tesla could really move the needle in areas that count, like fit and finish, quality control, etc. With the way they are running, they are still not sustainable. And the Model S is overly due for a redesign. Cue the fanboy haters.

    • Pinewold

      They already have improved fit and finish over a year ago.

      Model S is still beating Porsche and Audi in accelerating, top speed and range.

      Tesla’s have the highest customer satisfaction and the highest resale value.

      • botornot387

        in lala land.

        • Pinewold

          Just keep telling your self that if it makes you feel better.

          Tesla is #1 in customer satisfaction!

  • Haywood Jablowme

    I just exploded into my palm.

  • HD

    “It will overheat after one corner”

  • john1168

    Good for Tesla! Of course it’s a prototype but it will be production soon. The Porsche is pretty impressive too. I’m most interested in the transmission in it. And although they don’t make a sedan electric car, let’s not forget Rimac kicks everyone’s @$$.

  • Dude pedalling

    It has started

  • SteersUright

    It looks incredible on the move, unbelievably fast and agile for such a large, heavy sedan. Good for them for taking down the vastly overpriced, fat-margined Taycan. Though I will admit, the Taycan is way better looking with a much nicer interior.

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