Tesla Model S Prototype Laps Nurburgring 30 Seconds Faster Than Porsche Taycan: Report
What’s more, the Model S “Plaid” supposedly isn’t far off the seven-minute mark—a space occupied almost exclusively by top-level supercars.
One of the most prestigious decorations that any performance car can wear is its lap time around the Nurburgring. Following Porsche's assertion that its high-performance Taycan has become the fastest production electric sedan around the 12.9-mile Nordschleife circuit, Tesla has since made benchmarking its newest Model S prototype at the same track a priority in order to combat the German automaker's claims. Now, a report by Auto Motor und Sport reveals that Tesla may have a faster lap under its belt than originally anticipated.
According to the report, Tesla test driver Thomas Mutsch was able to pilot the hotted-up Model S around the Nurburgring in an unofficial seven minutes and 13 seconds, not once, but twice. This undercuts Tesla's previous attempts (as recorded by the same publication) by a respectable 10 seconds, and Porsche's 7:42.34 record by nearly half a minute.
The Drive reached out to officials from the Nurburgring but did not receive confirmation of an official lap time. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment at the time of writing.
Tesla's Nurburgring cars, which wear the "Plaid" moniker, feature the automaker's newest prototype powertrain for the Model S, Model X, and Roadster. Elon Musk has confirmed that this variant puts the power to the ground using an additional electric motor, raising the total number of motors in the car from two to three. Given the existing power and anticipated over-the-air increase for the Model S Performance, it's estimated by many that the prototype produces more than 800 horsepower, though no official number has come from the EV manufacturer at this time.
It's also pertinent to note that the vehicle being tested around the track is far from stock. Prototype powertrain aside, Tesla has also fitted the Model S test car (which proudly wears a "P100D+" badge) with revised aero, larger brakes, and a seemingly wider overall track covered by flared wheel arches. The car also has a new set of wheels on display wrapped in sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport RS sports tires and, in some photos, is fitted with a large rear spoiler.
The blue Model S was one of two prototypes that could be seen lapping the track over the last several weeks. Sources indicate that the second red-painted prototype was involved in an accident in late October and has not been spotted since.
AMS's sources indicate that Tesla has packed up for the year and will not be back until 2020. The publication also notes that Tesla has loaded all its technical equipment, including a mobile Supercharger, to hit the road. Tesla had previously tweeted a photo of a Supercharger at the 'Ring and indicated that it was a permanent installation.