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German car magazine Auto Motor und Sport is reporting that the Tesla Model S "Plaid" prototype might have broken the Taycan's Nurburgring time.

Tesla has brought in experienced Nordschleife racer Thomas Mutsch to drive the Model S instead of Nico Rosberg. Accoridng to the magazine their "observer," at the track recorded a 7:23 minute lap time.

But what the new drive can do he has already shown on some very fast laps. Our observer reports a hand-stopped lap time of 7:23 minutes - as I said: hand-stopped with corresponding inaccuracies. But that would be about 20 seconds faster than that Porsche Taycan. The weather conditions on Monday (16.9.) Were rather cool with 18 degrees and heavy cloud cover.
 

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The lap times don't matter so much at the moment till a production version gets launched. Porsche ran a production-ready Taycan meanwhile Tesla is rivaling it with a development vehicle. Then when the "Plaid' Model S comes out, how it holds up over months of being in the hands of consumers will also factor in.

More on what the development vehicle is configured with:

Our inside source describes the cars as being "stripped to the gunwales," the interiors fully gutted of anything apart from the necessary seats, harnesses, and driver controls — hence the dark-tinted windows, it seems. And we're nearly certain these prototypes are sporting a brand-new, three-motor ultra-high-performance drivetrain — one motor for each rear wheel, and one powering the front axle.
The cars are also running on huge, wide aftermarket wheels wearing unusual tires — Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport RS, a brand-new track-oriented (but still street legal) tire just introduced this year. Currently, those tires are not available on any Tesla model, and the Nurburgring prototypes wear add-on fender flares to cover the extra-wide wheel-and-tire setup. Our eyewitness also noted that the Teslas have huge carbon-ceramic brakes, possibly Brembo SGLs, the type used on top-spec performance cars from Lamborghini, Mercedes and more. And as we mentioned previously, the Teslas seen at the 'Ring also feature aggressive aerodynamic mods including a substantial rear Gurney flap.
Clearly, the weight loss, ultra-sticky tires and aero mods — and the massive power of the three-motor drivetrain — have added up. Our eyewitness, armed with a stopwatch and a clear view of the track, hand-timed the Tesla prototype lapping the track in 7:23.
 

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Speaking of lap times. Car and Driver is reporting the 7:42 Nurburging lap that Taycan did was with a TURBO and not the Turbo S. This rivalry is getting crazier each day.

AND its about to get crazier than what a Turbo S can do if a Taycan to the effect of a "GT2 RS" happens (which I bet it will)

Here's to hoping it happens

578

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There's more information about the Tesla lap times. The times weren't recored from the start-finish position for record attempts and one of the Model S' had a significantly lower time.

Tesla 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.”
 

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The Tesla Model S Plaid went around the Nurburgring again and this time it recorded an unofficial lap time of 7:13.

 

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The Tesla Model S Plaid went around the Nurburgring again and this time it recorded an unofficial lap time of 7:13.

cool .. now lets put a production version of the car + interior + the fabeled 7 seat config that tesla is pushing of the "plaid" Model S onto the track. Minus the slicks, & clip-on difusers/ spoilers.. atm that car is bare bones.
 

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cool .. now lets put a production version of the car + interior + the fabeled 7 seat config that tesla is pushing of the "plaid" Model S onto the track. Minus the slicks, & clip-on difusers/ spoilers.. atm that car is bare bones.
Exactly, if they're getting these kinds of test results, they shouldn't be afraid to take it on an official run.
 

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cool .. now lets put a production version of the car + interior + the fabeled 7 seat config that tesla is pushing of the "plaid" Model S onto the track. Minus the slicks, & clip-on difusers/ spoilers.. atm that car is bare bones.
We're not going to see an official time anytime soon, if at all, this is all just a ruse by Tesla to shift the attention back on them.
 

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This is a very interesting article from Business Insider that argues that Tesla's fixation on the Nurburgring is making them look less cool, which is a pillar of their brand.

Here's the link to the article:

Once upon a time, Tesla was cool. Very cool.

The all-electric carmaker started out cool, with its original Roadster, proving that EVs could be more that souped-up golf carts. Tesla's cool culminated in a raucous, rock-n-roll spectacular at its semi-truck reveal in late 2017, when to the pulsating thrum of the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage," CEO Elon Musk staged the greatest "Just one more thing" moment in high-tech history and rolled out the new Roadster, to a crowd that went completely bonkers.

It's been downhill since then, with the company mired in the plug-and-chug manufacturing of its Model 3 sedan. Making matters worse has been the arrival of the Porsche Taycan, which in proper German-car fashion became the fastest production EV to lap the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife track. More recently, the Taycan has outrun the top-speed Tesla Model S set in some quarter-mile drag races.

Musk and Tesla said that the Model S would take to the Nürburgring (something the carmaker has never officially done) to prove that its four-door is faster around the 13-mile "Green Hell." That hasn't happened yet (there have been some unofficial times), and while we've been waiting, 'Top Gear" pitted the Taycan and Model S against each other in a showdown.

"Top Gear" found the vehicles compelling for different reasons, liking the Model S for its versatility and the Porsche for, ahem, being a Porsche.

That didn't stop Musk from complaining about the drag-race results, and to be fair, he and Tesla have a fraught past with "Top Gear," dating to the period when the show was cohosted by Jeremy Clarkson and was vocally unfriendly to EVs.

Nothing is less interesting than a fight about Nürburgring times

The issue here is that all that gearhead-y feuding is utterly uncool. It was always uncool; nothing is less interesting than young men (it's mostly young men) with too much time on their hands blabbering about Nürburgring times. Even people who love Porsches (I'm one of them) don't care much about Nürburgring times. Even the word "Nürburgring," in this context, makes me cringe.

Drag-race times are even worse. Drag-racing is cool under exactly three conditions: when it's between a pair of screamin' top-fuel dragsters at an NHRA event in California; when it involves James Dean (and even then, it's a tragic cool); or when ... actually, there aren't three times when it's cool. Top-fuel and James Dean is all I've got. OK, I'll give you funny car, but just because I'm not a total curmudgeon.

Tesla's mission is supposed to be to accelerate the world's freedom from fossil fuels. Not duke it out deep in the furrows of online uncool with people who give a hoot about the NUR-BURG-RING and straight-ahead speed on uncluttered asphalt.

Better than the best — but stay cool, please

Yeah, I get it: Tesla wants to brand itself as not just as good as the great names of motoring but better. And faster is better, even though Tesla has avoided any sort of factory supported participation in motorsports. In many ways, Tesla's entire identity is based on speed, so when its achievements in speed are challenged, it has to rise to the fight.

Or does it? Tesla's bread-and-butter now is the Model 3, and while that's a zippy set of wheels, it hardly presents a road-scorching profile. It's a four-door, for cryin' out loud! (In fairness, Tesla has offered a Track Mode upgrade.)

Besides, the whole point is sustainable mobility, an admirable goal and a key reason why Tesla has the market cap of a Ford or GM rather than a boutique maker of neurotic Nürburgring conquerors. That Tesla was moving past speed was, in my view, a good sign.

That it's been dragged back in, in my view — isn't.
 
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