Hybrids & Electrics

It’s Taycan vs Tesla in the EV Fight for the Nurburgring Record

Porsche has made no bones about going after Tesla with its new Taycan. It even made unofficial laps at the famous Nurburgring racetrack in Germany with the best lap time of 7:42. And with that, the Taycan vs Tesla battle began.

Porsche Taycan Nurburgring 2019-001

How did Tesla respond? It sent two prototypes of its new Model S P100D+ to up the fight to beat the Taycan’s laps by 20-seconds. It says it did. Now Tesla says its sedan is faster than the Taycan, and Porsche is crying foul. It’s an all-electric war and in between the fight, there’s a lot of shenanigans and stealth maneuvers taking place. Get your popcorn.

Wartime: Tesla vs Taycan

This fight started in late August when Porsche posted a video of a Taycan at the ‘ring claiming it had broken the record for a production EV sedan. Obviously, this was planned months in advance, given how testing at Nurburgring works. Immediately, Tesla honcho Elon Musk tweeted Tesla would send a Model S within a week to Nurburgring. 

Musk’s tweet seems simple enough but is actually much harder to accomplish. You can’t just show up at the Nurburgring. And you can’t do aggressive laps with anything EV without charging equipment on the premises. That means getting a supercharger at the track, something the ‘ring doesn’t have or hauling diesel generators there to keep things charged up.

Finally, not just any driver can try to set records there. Nurburgring is a different beast and is unforgiving to all but those who have a lot of racing experience there. Not general racing experience, but specific Nurburgring experience.

Tesla tested for a week, first bringing giant diesel generators, but eventually replacing those with one of its own superchargers to continue the Tesla vs Taycan fight. It brought two cars, but one failed almost immediately leaving a lone blue Model S to attempt lapping the ‘ring.

Modified Model S

The Teslas were three-motor prototypes, whereas the Taycan was pre-production completely stock Taycan. Also, the Model S prototypes were stripped inside for weight savings, with a roll cage and a seat according to some witnesses.

Outside they were fitted with flares to help cover the wider Goodyear F1 Supersport RS tires, which are similar to Michelin Sport Cup tires. Carbon-ceramic brakes and a clear Lexan spoiler at the rear for better downforce needed for sometimes triple-digit corners were also spotted. 

Tesla chose Thomas Mutsch, Andreas Simonsen, and Carl Rydquist; three experienced Nurburgring drivers. If any driver could best the Taycan’s time, these three can.

What Porsche Says About Tesla

https://twitter.com/Tesla/status/1174740593542651904

Porsche says its Taycan was completely stock except for a roll cage, which made it heavier than a stock Taycan. It also says it ran on stock tires. And finally, it says Tesla only used a stopwatch and not any official timing devices. So this was not an official Nurburgring time. But if Tesla ever does lay down an official record-breaking time, Porsche told Jalopnik it has no plans to back down.

What Tesla Says About Porsche

Porsche Taycan Nurburgring 2019-002

Tesla says its testing was just that, and they will return in October to go for a 7:05 lap time at  Nurburgring. It also says that the Taycan times were not official times, which Porsche confirms. Porsche says, “It was one for ourselves that we use as a point of historical record,” whatever that means. But it also says it only ran the standard Taycan model and not the Turbo version, so there will definitely be more Taycan claims to come. 

As this has now become a true ‘ring war, we want to see these two battle it out under Nurburgring officials and actual official times. Let’s see who really gets the Electric King Crown in this Tesla vs Taycan EV fight.