Tesla Model S clocks unofficial 7:13 'Ring time


The Tesla Model S that's been hammering around the Nurburgring in recent weeks has been timed by our spies lapping at 7:13, making it 29 seconds quicker than the Porsche Taycan and just 13 seconds off the time set by Sport Auto's Christian Gebhardt in the Ferrari 488 Pista. Not only is this time unofficial, though, it's been set by a car with a number modifications. Upgrades such as semi-slicks, lowered suspension and significant aero pieces - including a large fixed rear wing - have been added to the standard car, leaving it rather mismatched with Porsche's unaltered Taycan.

Tesla boss Elon Musk has confirmed in a tweet that the firm will produce a Nurburgring-spec version of the Model S, which is expected to add a three-motor setup to the handful of modifications you can see in the pictures. That would be quite the machine, given that the twin-motor Model S P100D already holds a power advantage over the 93.4kWh Taycan Turbo with its 100kWh lithium-ion-fed powertrain. The Model S's 7:13 lap time doesn't look so unrealistic after all, particularly when we consider that GT star Thomas Mutsch was behind the wheel.


That being said, we're yet to learn whether Musk's Tesla Nurburgring car will go into full production or be a special, limited-run car as so many similarly focussed models are. Plus, Porsche has already stated that there's more time in the Taycan, largely because the car it used to clock that 7:42 time was a 680hp Turbo rather than the 761hp Turbo S, so the battle is far from done. The company would almost certainly need to resort to stickier boots and significant chassis modifications to close the gap to Tesla's unofficial advantage - but that isn't exactly out of the Stuttgart firm's usual scope.

For now, however, Porsche can sit tight knowing it officially remains the maker of the world's fastest production EV between the Green Hell's Bridge and Gantry sections. The ball is firmly in Tesla's court.


Previous story - 23.10.2019


The Tesla Model S that's been hammering around the Nurburgring in recent weeks has been timed by our spies lapping at 7:13, making it 29 seconds quicker than the Porsche Taycan and just 13 seconds off the time set by Sport Auto's Christian Gebhardt in the Ferrari 488 Pista. Not only is this time unofficial, though, it's been set by a car with a number modifications. Upgrades such as semi-slicks, lowered suspension and significant aero pieces - including a large fixed rear wing - have been added to the standard car, leaving it rather mismatched with Porsche's unaltered Taycan.

Tesla boss Elon Musk has confirmed in a tweet that the firm will produce a Nurburgring-spec version of the Model S, which is expected to add a three-motor setup to the handful of modifications you can see in the pictures. That would be quite the machine, given that the twin-motor Model S P100D already holds a power advantage over the 93.4kWh Taycan Turbo with its 100kWh lithium-ion-fed powertrain. The Model S's 7:13 lap time doesn't look so unrealistic after all, particularly when we consider that GT star Thomas Mutsch was behind the wheel.


That being said, we're yet to learn whether Musk's Tesla Nurburgring car will go into full production or be a special, limited-run car as so many similarly focussed models are. Plus, Porsche has already stated that there's more time in the Taycan, largely because the car it used to clock that 7:42 time was a 680hp Turbo rather than the 761hp Turbo S, so the battle is far from done. The company would almost certainly need to resort to stickier boots and significant chassis modifications to close the gap to Tesla's unofficial advantage - but that isn't exactly out of the Stuttgart firm's usual scope.

For now, however, Porsche can sit tight knowing it officially remains the maker of the world's fastest production EV between the Green Hell's Bridge and Gantry sections. The ball is firmly in Tesla's court.


Previous story - 23.10.2019


The addition of an enormous fixed rear wing to Tesla’s Nurburgring Model S is a bit of a thinker. Is the Californian firm intent on not just besting the Porsche Taycan’s lap time, but blowing it into the weeds? Or does it genuinely need that much help? This being Tesla, it might even be a rib-poking dig at everyone who’s already pointed out that completely remaking the Model S to outdo its rival’s production record is rather missing the point of the β€˜production’ bit.

Chances are though that it’s the first one. The fixed item isn’t dissimilar in size to the one fitted to Electric GT’s racing Model S, and joins the massive diffuser, front splitter and semi-slick tyres in the β€˜Ring car’s extensive track makeover. The tints are said to be hiding a stripped-out interior and roll cage, as well, while the car’s stance suggests the suspension is comprised of coilovers with camber adjustment.

Given that Porsche did its Bridge to Gantry lap in 680hp Turbo form (leaving room for a quicker run with the 761hp Turbo S variant) there’s a good chance that Tesla is trying to build some margin into its attempt. Its German rival has already hinted that there’s plenty more left in the Taycan after Tesla unofficially claimed to have beaten the Porsche time by 19 seconds. There’s been nothing more on that claim since, so there’s every chance this latest track-spec Model S is Tesla trying to make its β€˜predicted’ time happen in the real world.Β 




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Previous story - 16.10.2019


A record attempt involving Elon Musk and Tesla was never going to be dull, as the past few weeks at the Nurburgring have shown. You'll recall Porsche set a record lap with a Taycan, Tesla intimated it could go quicker, then the world realised that the 7:42 Taycan was a Turbo, not more powerful Turbo S.

Presumably pre-empting an even faster Porsche lap at some point, Tesla has now gone further with its Model S prototypes; the blue car seen before is now sporting some additional outlets behind the front wheels (surely there to aid brake cooling) as well as a diffuser fit for a GT3 car. It really is an incredible piece of aero addenda, and will help with high-speed stability on some of the Nordschleife's faster sections. Every second counts when going for a record!


Quite what they'll yield in terms of a lap time isn't yet known, with Elon Musk not mentioning in any of his (many) recent Tweets anything about the car. Tesla will presumably be keen to establish enough of an advantage over the Taycan that, even when the Turbo S invariably does its lap, this Model S will still be ahead. Given how this car looks, and how much time Tesla is spending at the 'ring, you would have to assume a lap time is following soon. Perhaps they're waiting for a time where temperatures are cool enough to keep the batteries at the right temperature, but not so cold that tyres can't get warm; do that before the weather turns for the winter and the record is there for a few months.

Nobody knows for certain, though it's certainly intriguing to watch from afar. Tesla could add further legitimacy to its lap, whenever it might be completed, by creating a Model S road racer special to mark the occasion. But perhaps we're getting ahead of ourselves for now...









UPDATE 20/09/2019:
Tesla has updated the speculation around its lap time at the Nurburgring with this Tweet, its data suggesting a 7:20 lap should be possible. And that's kind of it for now, although expect plenty more in due course...

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ORIGINAL STORY, 17/09/2019

Never in a million years, or for however long he might live, was Elon Musk going to allow Porsche simply to steal his EV saloon glory. Hence the Laguna Seca lap, and the recent emergence of pics showing a Model S at the Nurburgring, a pretty blatant riposte to the Taycan securing a 7:42 lap there. Tesla was going to have that record for themselves, thanks very much.

Now, the Model S is far from a natural track car, hence the modifications made to this one - it's lower than standard, and appears to have wider tracks as well. The most interesting change in that vain, though, is in the tyres, which look to be near-slick prototype Goodyears. Typically your 'ring record supercar will use the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R or the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R, so this could be considered an unexpected move. Moreover, they're believed to be the Eagle F1 Supersport RS tyres that aren't even yet on sale - no better way to announce new performance rubber than with a lap record.


What that record might be remains to be seen; our spy snapper suggests that Tesla will publish an official lap time by the end of this week - the week of the Porsche Taycan media launch, no less - but has timed it himself at 7:23, or 19 seconds faster than the Porsche. Now, of course, the word of a man stood by the side of the Nordschleife with his Casio can not be taken as gospel, as all manner of factors are at play. Imagine, though, if the Tesla could surpass the Taycan by such a margin - the Turbo S would have to become a GT2 RS sooner than we thought...

While there's still a lot of conjecture around just what a Model S is capable of at the Nurburgring, it's also clear there's not very long to wait for a definitive answer. We're told to expect a first attempt from drivers Thomas Mutsch, Andreas Simonsen and Carl Rydquist tomorrow evening in the industry pool session, followed up by a second at the weekend. Beating Porsche at the Nurburgring would be some way for Musk, the architect of so many industry-defying escapades, to steal the Taycan's thunder at launch - and who would bet against him wanting to do just that?



[Pics: S. Baldauf/S.B. Medien]

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Comments (620) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Nightshade 17 Sep 2019

    7:23 is the same time as the Jaguar XE SV Project 8. Impressive.

  • dvs_dave 17 Sep 2019

    Quite remarkable if it turns out to be true, with virtually no development or testing time involved. I was expecting Tesla to have massive overheating problems as they always seem to have (earlier versions at least) whenever they’re pushed hard for any length of time. Ie beyond a few 1/4 mile party tricks.

    The innards must be very different to earlier versions as software tweaks can’t just suddenly make power electronics, batteries, and motors all of a sudden be able to handle prolonged track duty.

  • Pobsey 17 Sep 2019

    Will I be able to go into a Tesla dealership, sorry Tesla website and order a car that can do that ring time? That car looks far from a production Model S...

  • Dave Hedgehog 17 Sep 2019

    dvs_dave said:
    Quite remarkable if it turns out to be true, with virtually no development or testing time involved. I was expecting Tesla to have massive overheating problems as they always seem to have (earlier versions at least) whenever they’re pushed hard for any length of time. Ie beyond a few 1/4 mile party tricks.

    The innards must be very different to earlier versions as software tweaks can’t just suddenly make power electronics, batteries, and motors all of a sudden be able to handle prolonged track duty.
    i suspect its a roadster rollerskate with a model S body glued to it

    lovely colour

  • Jordan210 17 Sep 2019

    I assume the reason its fully blacked out including windscreen so you can see it has no interior and extra motors and so on ?

    I hope Telsa release the spec of the car. So we know how close to being a production car it is.

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