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...
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...
Until then, auf WiedersehenGermany
Here’s some of our initial Model S Plaid data to keep you buzzing until we return: pic.twitter.com/cWk9EModcM
— Tesla (@Tesla) September19, 2019
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]