The EV track wars are here! Prior to the release of its new EV, Porsche revealed that a mostly production-spec Taycan Turbo S completed a lap of the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7 minutes, 42 seconds. That’s the same time Porsche ran in a Cayman GT4 in 2015.
With that lap, the Taycan became the fastest four-door electric vehicle ever to lap the storied circuit, which awakened a competitive spirit in a certain eccentric social media-savvy CEO. Just eight days after Porsche announced the news, Elon Musk riled the Teslarati with one tweet: “Model S on Nürburgring next week.”
German media outlet Auto Motor und Sport reported this morning that based on an unofficial stopwatch measurement, a heavily modified Model S lapped the ‘Ring in just 7 minutes, 23 seconds. (For a little context, the mid-engine Ferrari 488 GTB completes a lap in 7 minutes, 21 seconds.) Based on that time, the Model S could be a massive 19 seconds quicker than Porsche’s Taycan, and thus the fastest electric car around the Nürburgring.
It’s important to note that comparing near-production cars to modified cars is like comparing apples to pineapples. The Taycan that set the record was running all the same hardware, software, and tires as the car you’ll be able to buy at a Porsche dealer, with the addition of a safety cage and racing seat.
Tesla‘s test mule was seen wearing super-aggressive Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires, which are not currently offered on the Model S. It also appears to have wider fenders, different wheels, and unique aerodynamic elements compared to the current highest-performing Tesla, the Model S P100D. Last week, Tesla announced that a Model S prototype testing a new “Plaid” powertrain set a lap record at Laguna Seca. Musk said in a tweet that Plaid is about a year away from production. It’s unclear if the Model S at the ‘Ring is also a Plaid prototype, but either way, Porsche is sure to take notice.
Auto Motor und Sport reports that Tesla plans to stay at the Nürburgring for at least three weeks, and that the automaker will attempt to officially set the fastest electric car record this week. Whether you’re a Porschephile or a Tesla fan, it’s a very exciting time for performance EVs.