If Tesla's Planning a Nurburgring Lap, They Forgot to Tell the Nurburgring


From Road & Track

Last night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the automaker would be doing something at the Nürburgring next week with a Model S. He didn't offer any further explanation of his plans or what he hopes to achieve, but it's fair to assume he wants to contest the 7:42 'Ring lap time achieved by Porsche's new electric car, the Taycan Turbo S. But if Tesla wants to set a record next week, it's still got lots of work to do-including scheduling track time with the folks who operate the Nürburgring.

A representative for the German track told Road & Track in an email that "Tesla did not send us a record request and did not rent an exclusive time slot." The representative further said that the Nordschleife is "fully booked through the season," and added, "I think that there is no availability for Tesla to set up a record attempt in the next days."

R&T asked a Tesla spokesperson for more information on what Musk was referring to, or what the automaker has planned for its visit to the Nürburgring, but we received no response by the time of this writing.

Even if Tesla secures exclusive track time to make a timed lap attempt, it won't be easy to beat the Porsche Taycan's lap time. While the fastest Model S's 2.4-second 0-60 time beats the Taycan Turbo S's 2.6, the greatest challenge in taking an EV around the treacherous 13-mile track has to do with battery life and temperature.

And even if you have a great car, setting a quick time isn't a given. The weather has to be just right, tires have to be properly warmed, and the driver has to know every little nuance of the track. Just ask longtime Corvette engineer Jim Mero, or the guys behind the independent Viper ACR lap record attempt, how difficult it can be.

Porsche has tons of experience setting fast Nürburgring lap times, and a huge asset in the form of factory racer Lars Kern. The Model S Performance is a quick car, but Tesla has no prior experience attempting to lap the Nürburgring. It's hard to imagine the automaker could go out and beat Porsche on its first visit to the track. That doesn't mean it isn't possible, just that it's a huge undertaking. And none of that will be possible if Tesla can't secure exclusive track time.


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