put both its red and blue Model S prototypes
on the Nurburgring
race track overnight (Wednesday afternoon German time) in its latest attempt to shatter the electric-car lap record of 7 minutes and 42 seconds set by the Porsche Taycan
And one of the Tesla Model S
sedans appears to have a stripped-out interior, not a full production car interior, giving it a significant weight advantage.
Despite the weight saving, stopwatch timing by our spy photographer Stefan Baldauf showed the fastest time recorded was in fact a fraction slower than earlier in the week.
“Unfortunately, the hand-stopped lap time of today was no surprise, as the fastest lap was the first lap with a time of 7:24 minutes from the red Tesla,” Baldauf wrote to us in an email. “This was only one second slower than the time we measured at the beginning of the week.”
As we reported earlier in the week,
the lap times recorded by our photographer are of the full 20.8km circuit but not taken from the traditional start-finish position for record attempts.
“The lap time I have specified is valid for a full lap over the entire distance of 20.832 kilometres of the Nürburgring Nordschleife, not bridge-to-gantry as speculated on the internet,” said Baldauf.
“The driver of the red Tesla was Thomas Mutsch
, as you can see in my pictures … on the helmet. The tyre used was again the Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport RS.”
The second lap in the blue Tesla
produced a much slower time of around 7 minutes and 40 seconds, he said.
Tesla still has an opportunity to make another lap record attempt on Saturday German time, but it is unclear if the company will proceed with those plans.
In the meantime, there is growing speculation about the validity of the cars attempting the lap records. To be valid they need to be production based vehicles.
However, our photographer suspects the interior of the Tesla Model S Plaid is “completely empty”.
“Apart from a safety cage, a driver’s seat and a dashboard, the Tesla's interior seems to be completely empty and therefore also has a significant weight advantage (over) of the Porsche Taycan,” said Baldauf. “You cannot see a passenger seat and no back seats through the windows.”