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Modified Tesla Model S reportedly outguns Porsche Taycan at Nurburgring

The lap time isn't official, but it appears Tesla's stripped-down Model S is a rocket.

2019 Tesla Model S Long Range
The car Tesla's fielding at the German race track is reportedly nothing like the Model S on sale to customers.
Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Tesla is being a busy bee at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, and after multiple videos and rumors, we have our first idea of how capable its modified Model S electric sedan is.

Road & Track reported Tuesday that the stripped-down Model S clocked a lap time of 7:23. Do note, that is not an official time and comes from well-placed sources hand-timing the electric car with a clear view of the track. It also happens to be 20 seconds quicker than the Porsche Taycan's lap time at the 'Ring. However, what's impressive is that this time comes during an industry-pool session.

This is when all automakers are free to make rounds around the track, which leads to traffic. At the end of the day, the time doesn't reflect the car's full potential. It's not possible to clock a flying lap during an industry-pool session. If we do get an official time this week, expect it to be even quicker than 7:23.

At the same time, the magazine's sources also described the fact that this Model S is nowhere near close to the kind of electric sedan Tesla sells to buyers. It's rumored to house a new three-motor powertrain (one motor for each rear wheel) and sports plenty of variations outside. They include wider tires, reportedly Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport RS rubber, fender flares to help cover the extra width and a massive gurney flap at the rear. Massive carbon-ceramic brakes are supposedly hiding behind the wheels, too.

Inside, the sources spoke of a nearly gutted sedan with only the essential driver functions in place. A typical Tesla Model S will coddle passengers -- this car doesn't even have extra passenger seats, per the report. Weight is no friend when chasing quicker lap times.

As for who's behind the wheel, we don't know. The magazine's sources claim they've spotted three drivers in Tesla prototype vehicles: Thomas Mutsch, Andreas Simonsen and Carl Rydquist. Each are pro racing drivers likely fully capable of squeezing the most from the Model S.

So, can we expect an official lap? It seems so. Wednesday will give automakers time for an official lap session, while Saturday is rumored to be a day Tesla reserved private track time. Stay tuned as the story unfolds.

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