Tesla fans rejoice! The American brand that has been at the forefront of the EV revolution has finally gone and set an official lap time with its most powerful offering at the world’s toughest test track: the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The Tesla Model S was the car that put EVs on the radar of auto enthusiasts, a factory-spec large family sedan that could outgun supercars on a drag strip. It has been given numerous updates and improvements over time and in 2021, it got its most performance-focused variant yet: the Model S Plaid.
The Model S Plaid has three electric motors for a combined output of 1020hp. Utilizing the latest software built from data collected over time, Tesla has managed to develop an AWD system with active torque vectoring that can optimally manage the performance and mass of the Model S around a circuit. Based on reports from Unplugged Performance who built a track-spec version of this car, the Plaid is also much better at thermal management to ensure that the performance delivery remains consistent during a fast run.
All that development and patience has resulted in the Tesla Model S Plaid setting an official Nürburgring lap record for production-spec EVs with a time of 7:35.579 minutes. That’s for the new standard that covers the full 20.8km lap and has been notarized as well. The only changes to the otherwise factory-spec executive sedan were likely for telemetry and safety: roll cage and race seat for the driver, along with some extra electronic equipment. There was no added bodywork for better aero or use of any specialist tyres. Navigating this massive beast around the track via the odd-looking yoked steering wheel was Swedish racing driver Andreas Simonsen who achieved an average speed of 164.6kmph on the record-setting lap. The Model S Plaid reached a top speed of 279kmph on its timed lap which is pretty good for an electric sedan.
You can check out the lap in the video below and prepare to listen to a lot of tyre squealing (no engine noise remember?):
Tesla has also thrown down the gauntlet by setting an official production EV lap record ahead of the German giants like Porsche and Mercedes. There is no official lap time for the Taycan Turbo S while an unofficial lap time recorded for the Taycan Turbo was more than 10 seconds slower than the newly set record. With the bar being set, we can expect two possible responses from Porsche: a record attempt with their best Nürburging driver in a Taycan Turbo S just before winter, or a new track-spec variant to best Tesla’s lap time around the Nordschleife. Meanwhile, Mercedes has only recently unveiled its first electric AMG, the EQS 53. It doesn’t pack the same kinda oomph as the Tesla, but the brand’s racing experience and a better-optimised performance package could make up for that to achieve a similar lap time.
Are you impressed with the Tesla Model S Plaid’s lap? Do you think Porsche will be able to beat that time with a Taycan? Let us know in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for more cool updates from the car world. You can follow us on Twitter & Instagram (@autoloons) too.