To ensure a good time, Tesla put a modified version of the Model S with “fender flares, wider wheels and tires, a rear spoiler, an expanded front grills, and seriously sticky tires,” according to Engadget’s sister site, Autoblog. That’s what was visible on the outside, and Tesla has yet to say what, if any, modifications it did to the suspension, motor, battery and other internal parts.
If Tesla put a stock version of its most powerful Model S on the Nurburgring track, it likely wouldn’t beat the Taycan Turbo’s run. The EV’s tires wouldn’t be up to the task, for one thing, and and the motor, brakes and/or battery could possibly overheat. Porsche’s Taycan Turbo, on the other hand, was reportedly a detuned version of the production Taycan Turbo S with stock summer tires.
With the modifications, the Model S managed a stellar time of 7 minutes and 23 seconds around Nurburgring, according to a very unofficial timing done by Autoblog‘s spy. Again, that beats the Taycan Turbo by 19 seconds, and when Tesla does an officially timed lap — possibly later this week — it may be able to do even better.
While this is not a production vehicle, Tesla announced that something similar may wind up in production as a “Plaid” variant of the Model S. The company first showed off this potential option at Laguna Seca, where it set a lap time record of 1 minute and 36.5 seconds.
Porsche hinted to Car and Driver that it could do better by fielding a Taycan Turbo S, which has 90 more horsepower than the Taycan Turbo in short bursts. As for Tesla, this is still a non-stock Model S, so it wouldn’t likely knock Porsche’s Taycan off its record perch no matter what time it hits at Nurburgring. Either way, it’s a canny marketing push for the upcoming Plaid model.