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.
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.
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.
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.