Tesla’s Super-Fast Model S Prototype Shows Its Gutted Interior In New Spy Shots

Right now, everyone is keeping an eye on Tesla’s team on the Nurburgring as they try to set a new lap record. So far, they have reportedly already set a 7min 23sec lap time, which is 20 seconds faster than what Porsche did with the Taycan.

Tesla has been running tests on the Nurburgring with at least two Model S “chassis prototypes” that’s said to be fitted with their next-gen “Plaid” powertrain.

We’ve heard that the cars come with a gutted, completely empty interior, featuring just the driver’s seat, the dashboard and a safety roll cage, but the heavily tinted windows prevented our spies from verifying it – until now.

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

Our photographers were able to snap a few shots that expose the stripped cabin through the tinted glass. We can clearly see that the blue Model S comes indeed with just the driver’s seat, while part of the roll cage is also visible through the rear glass.

With the help of a stopwatch by a bystander, the red Model S prototype was the quickest of the two during their time on the track, achieving a 7min 24sec lap over Nurburgring’s entire 20.8 km distance, not just Bridge-to-Gantry as speculated earlier. Using the same method, the blue car managed a 7min 40sec time.

Both prototypes were fitted with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport RS tires as before, while the driver of the red one was Thomas Mutch, a German racing driver and Nurburgring expert.

It’s pretty obvious that we still can’t draw any conclusions about Tesla’s quest on beating Porsche in their own turf. The two prototypes will eventually morph into a production version towards the end of next year, but their totally stripped interiors means that they are enjoy a significant weight advantage over the Porsche Taycan, which is a normal, series-production model.

On the other hand, Elon Musk himself has said that they will try to set a lap record with a seven-seat Model S, so you can bet Tesla will return with a fully equipped car. For now, though, the Taycan is the electric four-door saloon king of the Nordschleife.

more photos...

Image Credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for CarScoops

  • I know my lord Elon… Gonna be under 4 minutes, like that Madonna song with Justin Timberlake…

  • Hot Twink

    Sneaky. Tint the windows so onlookers can’t see that it has a stripped interior.

    At this point, it’s clear Porsche’s lap time can be taken more seriously. Tesla’s lap time will be a joke.

    • Jason Miller

      Putting a full interior in the car won’t add 20 seconds to the time. Musk even said the production cars will be faster than these. So joke is on you.

      • Hot Twink

        Musk even said…

        Musk says a lot of things, which tends to get him into hot water.

        • Jason Miller

          Only by people that have no sense of humor.

      • Matt

        So then why are you spending so much time disparaging the Taycan because it was a ‘pre-production’ model? Don’t be a hypocrite.

        • Jason Miller

          I’m not discrediting Porsche at all. The only thing I can say about them is that only they know what condition their car was in for their record attempt. Tesla isn’t even trying to set a record at the moment, it’s the media that’s blowing the whole thing out of proportion, as usual. Given Tesla’s recent tweets, it looks to me like there is a lot more in the car.

      • dougt

        the full interior is another 500 lbs according to another guy who stripped his model S p100d interior to race it. It would add more than 20 sec

      • Steel Punk

        The Musk smell on this one is strong. Ewww.

    • TheBelltower

      Nothing can be taken seriously until both automakers have production versions of their cars.

  • Richard Alexander

    Tesla fanboys will ignore reality as usual.

    • Jason Miller

      Reality is that these are test cars and that people like you are ignoring that fact and just basing your opinion on what the media is feeding everyone.

      • Richard Alexander

        Apologies. Maybe we are saying the same thing but differently. I am no where near the Ring right now so I can only guess but here is what i suspect: The pre production Taycan run by Porsche is probably very very close to what you will be able to buy in a few months, and th Tesla car is nothing like anything you will be able to buy anytime soon.

        • HD

          You can buy this Tesla saloon (not sports car) since 7 years. Now that Porsche advertised that their car can do racing on tracks which was their only advantage over Tesla, they have shown that they can race too. Other than that, the Tesla is quicker, has longer range, has better charging infrastructure, has auto-updates and tons of features that Porsche owners can only dream about. All while taking the whole family on a trip. These cars are very different, but Porsche tried to make fun of Tesla and now it fired back. I love both cars btw… The more the merrier.

          • Pavo

            No. This Tesla has a new 3 motor prototype next generation drivetrain, not available for purchase yet

          • HD

            Yeah, you can buy the car, and you will be able to buy it with the new powertrain that they test now. Same as what happened with Porsche (testing pre-production car). Now people look for excuses why Tesla is still not a good car…

          • Pavo


        • Jason Miller

          None of us know exactly what condition the Taycan was in, only Porsche knows that. Also, judging my Tesla’s recent tweets, they weren’t even trying to set any record here, only seeing what the car can do. They have a fairly good idea and will return later to see if they can run what they think they can run. Who knows, by then the car might have a full interior.

      • Willzyx

        Elon specifically said the car at Nurburgring has 7 seats.

  • hehe the plot moistens..

  • Jason Miller

    I mean, they are “chassis prototypes”. I’d say that’s pretty clear.

  • Ben

    I believe Porsche only removed a seat to house the telemetry recorders which equaled out the weight of the seat. The roll cage is for safety procedures and happens with nearly any car going for such a quick lap, Lamborghini and Porsche included. Stripping an interior out further is a different story.

  • Mr. EP9

    Meh. It’s all just PR stunts at this point.

  • J. A.

    Nowhere in the photos show that the Tesla is “gutted”. Taycan wasn’t exactly full “production” car either.

    • Matt

      Taycan was as close to production spec as possible, while maintaining driver safety for the record attempt.

      • J. A.

        Fair enough. Any of you know the production width/size of the Taycan’s tires (vs the Model S’s)?
        It makes sense if Tesla is simply trying to match that, and wouldn’t exactly be an unfair test. Not to mention, the Taycan is “new”.
        Of course if Tesla is super modifying that plaid car, then all of this is just a PR stunt.

      • TheBelltower

        The Taycan is closer to production, so naturally it was more of a production-spec car. We’ve seen endless productions versions of the Taycan for years that haven’t been nearly as finished looking.

  • LET THE HATE BEGIN, 3, 2, 1…

  • Ed

    In the case of a road racer, it ain’t about the weight. The issue is driver safety. Not only does the driver of these high performance cars need a seat more rigid than offered from the factory, in the case of an accident there should be nothing inside the vehicle to fly around….like seats and consoles. A caged rollbar is mandatory.

  • Dubayew

    Fake news.



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