This Taycan prototype previews either a Model S Plaid rival or GT racer.
When Porsche launched the Taycan in 2019, few people imagined the rivalry between the Zuffenhausen electric racer and the sportier version of the Tesla Model S, named Plaid. Until then, nobody thought of Tesla as a sportscar maker, despite the Tesla roadster being at the company’s foundation. But Porsche entering the EV fray changed everything, and soon Tesla was caught testing the Model S Plaid on the Nürburgring.

The next couple of years brought a heated rivalry between the two companies on the famous racetrack in Germany. Porsche snatched the title for the fastest production electric vehicle on the Ring in 2019 when the Taycan Turbo lapped the 20.8-km northern loop in 7 minutes and 42 seconds. Then Tesla scored a victory in 2021 with the Model S Plaid, with 7 minutes and 36 seconds, before Porsche outdid it with the Taycan Turbo S, which set the 7:33.3 record that still stands today.

Nevertheless, Porsche knows that Tesla lurks to get its crown back, and that’s why seeing unusually sporty Taycan prototypes lapping the Ring doesn’t surprise us. Behind the wheel of one of the prototypes taming the electric beast on the Green Hell of Nürburgring was the record holder Lars Kern, another indication of Porsche’s goals.

The two prototypes we’ve spotted look identical except for the wheels. One of them features propeller-like spokes, aiming to push more air toward the huge ceramic brake rotors. Both have a sizeable rear wing and aerodynamic improvements, as well as roll-cages to protect the drivers in case anything goes wrong. The front spoiler has a special design, although covered in black tape, begging the question of what aerodynamic role it might have.

There are no other details about the electric racers in the pictures, but our people spoke with their people and were told the prototypes have around 1,000 horsepower. Good thing. You don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, and the Tesla Model S Plaid has 1,020 horsepower to play with, significantly more than the 750 horsepower of the Porsche Taycan Turbo S.