Following the reveal of the Porsche Taycan Turbo S, there was some buzz on Twitter about which would be faster on the Nürburgring: the Porsche, or something from Tesla. The Porsche Taycan Turbo S has already set a time of 7 minutes, 42 seconds, with the video to prove it. Tesla hasn't sent a car out for a lap yet, but head honcho Elon Musk tweeted that this will soon change, though likely not as soon as his initial tweet last week would imply.
Model S on Nürburgring next week— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 5, 2019
It does look like the company is planning an attempt, as one of our spy photographers caught a team with a Tesla Model S near the Nürburgring doing some initial testing. The car they're testing is a Model S P100D, which makes sense since its 762 horsepower and 723 pound-feet of torque closely matches the Porsche's 750 horsepower and 774 pound-feet of torque.
This clearly isn't a stock Model S P100D, though. Up front, the lower grille opening has been enlarged, probably to improve cooling for the motors and batteries. It has subtle fender flares at each corner to house much wider wheels and tires. Our spy photographer says the tires were Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires, which are semi-slick competition tires that are street legal. At the back is a fairly pronounced lip spoiler.
While there's nothing wrong with running a modified car at the Nürburgring, the problem here is that the Porsche Taycan was driven in a stock form. And by modifying the car beyond stock form, Tesla can't really compare the Model S honestly or claim any sort of "victory" if it manages to get a faster time. There is the possibility that Tesla will start offering wider tires and a revised fascia as part of a new performance package, and that would change things a bit. The thing is, it probably wouldn't want to offer the tires it's using here, since they wear fast and don't have good wet grip. These are tires meant for lapping tracks and autocross courses in dry conditions.
It will still be interesting to see what happens with Tesla's 'Ring attempt. Hopefully it'll consider doing a more stock run. We're also curious to see if F1 racer Nico Rosberg will do the lap, as he offered on Twitter.
Just remember not to take lap times too seriously.