The Nürburgring Nordschleife is where nearly all auto manufacturers sign off on their hardcore, track-pounding brutes before releasing them to the public. Recently, a team of developers at Porsche traveled three hours northwest from their home in Stuttgart to take a crack at the 154-turn track. The results: the four-door electric vehicle (EV) Porsche Taycan Turbo S stormed around “The Green Hell” in a record-setting time.
Porsche Taycan’s EV record lap
With a time of seven minutes and 33 seconds, Porsche development driver Lars Kern, driving the Taycan Turbo S, broke the old record by two seconds and included a 166-mph blast down the döttinger höhe straightaway, a Porsche press release stated. Although the four-door EV blitzed the track with standard production power figures—750 hp and 774 lb-ft of torque in Overboost mode —it wasn’t exactly a run-of-the-mill model pulled off a dealer lot.
Porsche says the record-breaking car was equipped with a performance kit featuring 21-inch RS-Spyder-design wheels and a set of Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires—a race-ready yet road-legal rubber compound. The package also includes a software update to the 4D Chassis Control system, which monitors and adjusts suspension and braking components in real-time. According to Auto Week, the performance kit offered through Porsche Tequipment will be an option for the 2023 Taycan Turbo S, but only for Porsches sold in Germany, unfortunately.
Upcoming challengers from Croatia and the U.S.
Although Porsche’s record is impressive, it likely won’t last long. The Taycan Turbo S was able to best the Tesla Model S Plaid’s Nürburgring time of 7:35 even though it has 270 hp less than the 1,020-hp American EV, but models with far more electric power are rearing to put down a lap time in the future.
There are two cars EV enthusiasts are waiting feverishly to see tackle the Nordschleife: the Lucid Air and the Rimac Nevera.
America’s Lucid Air
The Lucid Air has been breaking lap records around the globe since its emergence five years ago. A widebody tri-motor version has been trading punches with a heavily modified Tesla Model S Plaid around Northern California’s Laguna Seca.
Yahoo reports that a 1,200-hp Air Sapphire—a car that will out-accelerate a Bugatti Chiron Super Sport—was unveiled in mid-August 2021. The modified production EV is set to retake Laguna Seca’s lap record for four-door cars, which the Tesla currently holds at 1:28.2, Road and Track reports. Although it hasn’t run the Nürburgring yet, it’s likely to be a worthy challenger to the Porsche Taycan Turbo S.
Croatia’s Rimac Nevera
The Rimac Nevera has yet to run an official Nürburgring lap. Yet, it’s all but certain to deliver a record time. Car and Driver says the 5,100-pound leviathan is no simple rocket ship. With four electric motors, 1,813 hp, and advanced torque vectoring, it will undoubtedly give Porsche a run for its money.
Although the Lucid, Porsche, and Tesla are well into the six-figures, they’re quite economical compared to the $2,000,000 Rimac. With that, you do get one of the finest examples of 21st-century EV engineering, industry-leading battery cell power, and a level of acceleration that will nearly make you sick.
Nürburgring’s fastest four-doors
The Nordschleife has seen many fast four-door cars sling around its pavement over the years. In 2017, with no electric motor, Prodrive’s Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR did a lap time of six minutes and 57 seconds, just half a second slower than the Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid supercar, Yahoo reports. On the track’s website, however, it lists the fast four-door as the BMW M4 CSL with a time of seven minutes and 20 seconds.
Shaving 13 seconds off a 12.9-mile course is a tall order. Nevertheless, Porsche’s Lars Kern is no stranger to breaking records at the ‘Ring. Five years ago, Motor1 explains, he sent the Porsche 911 GT2 RS around in six minutes and 47 seconds—10 seconds faster than the 918 Spyder. As Lucid, Rimac, and Tesla seek faster laps, Porsche will continue to dominate with man and machine.