Tesla claims electric Nurburgring lap record (with video)

Tesla says it's beaten Porsche at its own game, setting a new lap record at the Nurburgring Nordschleife in the Model S Plaid.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
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Tesla has toppled the Taycan.

UPDATE, 3:55pm 10/9/21: Tesla has released footage of the Model S taking on the ‘Ring. It’s been inserted below.

CEO Elon Musk says the Model S Plaid lapped the Nordschleife in 7:30.909 at an average of 166.32km/h, making it 11 seconds faster than the Porsche Taycan Turbo S.

Another lap of 7:35.579 is listed on the sheet posted by Mr Musk, which is also good enough to make the Model S the fastest production electric car around the Green Hell.

“Tesla Model S Plaid just set official world speed record for a production electric car at Nurburgring. Completely unmodified, directly from factory,” Mr Musk claimed on Twitter.

“Next will be modified Plaid with added aero surfaces, carbon brakes & track tires (all things that can be done without Tesla being in the loop).”

The Plaid is 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”.

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.

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 AMG also outpaced the non-MR Porsche GT2 RS by 3.64 seconds, and Lamborghini Huracan Performante by 8.4 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).

MORE: Everything Tesla Model S
MORE: Why the Green Hell is development heaven
MORE: The fastest cars around the Nurburgring

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Scott Collie is the News Editor at CarExpert.
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