Tesla is going record hunting at the Nurburgring.
The Tesla Model S Plaid has been snapped testing at the Green Hell, sparking rumours Elon Musk is once again looking to topple the Porsche Taycan’s production electric car record at the Nordschleife.
The Model S will need to go faster than 7:42 to best the Taycan.
Tesla made headlines in 2019 when it sent two heavily-modified Model S prototypes to the ‘Ring.
The cars snapped testing had some serious modifications, with sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres, lightweight wheels, and stripped-out cabins.
The spy photographer who snapped the first batch of Nurburgring test cars says one of them lapped around 20 seconds faster than the Taycan – but the time was recorded by hand, and the car wasn’t a production model.
This time around the vehicle looks like a production Model S Plaid, although our spy photographer says it looks to be running sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres.
If it is a production Plaid, it’s powered by a tri-motor powertrain good for a claimed 0-60mph (97km/h) time of 1.99 seconds. The quarter mile takes a claimed 9.23 seconds, and claimed peak power is 761kW.
Tesla was planning to go faster again with a Plaid Plus, but it was axed at the last minute by Elon Musk because the regular Plaid is “just so good”.
Mr Musk has previously told Joe Rogan the Model S could “bust seven minutes” around the Nordschleife, but he didn’t detail what specification the car that could do it would be.
The Porsche 911 GT2 RS with Manthey Performance Kit recently toppled the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series as the fastest production car around the Nurburgring, with a lap time of 6:43.30.
That’s an improvement of 0.31 seconds on the previous record – a tiny margin, when you consider how long the lap is.
The previous record holder, the AMG GT Black Series, set a lap time of 6:43.61, displacing the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ by around 1.36 seconds.
The all-time record belongs to the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo (5:19.546), and the electric non-production record was set by the Volkswagen ID.R (6:05.336).