Tesla's 'Plaid' Model S Reportedly Smashed Porsche Taycan Nürburgring EV Lap Record
Since that time, Tesla has captured a new course record for a four-door EV at Laguna Seca and has been seen zipping around the Nürburgring at a furious pace. According to people who were at the famed circuit and timed the vehicle (by hand), the new Model S with its "Plaid" powertrain absolutely crushed the lap time of the Taycan Turbo S. It's reported that the Model S was able to shave nearly 20 seconds off the more recently-set record at 7:23.
Twenty seconds is an eternity around the Nürburgring, and would be at absolute killer result -- if it's accurate and if it is backed up by track officials. For starters, the Taycan Turbo S record was achieved with a stock vehicle running production summer tires. The prototype Model S, on the other hand, appears to be wearing revised bodywork along with a certainly-not-production spoiler on the rear deck. There's also no word on the rolling stock that this Model S is riding on.
The Plaid Model S is said to feature a 3-motor powertrain and other upgrades to keep it firmly ahead of the mighty Taycan Turbo S in outright performance. Porsche is a company with a long history of producing performance vehicles for the road and track, along with experience in endurance racing. That was on display with the Taycan Turbo S' track time, but Tesla is the undisputed champ with EVs -- especially with respect to battery technology and range (not to mention charging infrastructure).
It’s a start. We expect these track times to be beaten by the actual production 7 seat Model S Plaid variant that goes into production around Oct/Nov next year.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 17, 2019
With that being said, the Porsche Taycan Turbo S will likely hold the "production" record for quite some time; according to Musk, the Plaid powertrain won't be in production until over a year from now. And if we know Tesla's track record with regards to launches, we can expect for that launch to likely slip to 2021 or later.