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Tesla Model S will return to Nurburgring next month with new lap-time goal

It seems Tesla wasn't ready to clock any sort of official lap with its Model S "Plaid."

Tesla Model S Plaid at Nurburgring

The Model S Plaid shall return.

Tesla

Following much speculation, Tesla has bid the Nurburgring farewell for now and said via Twitter it plans to return with the Model S next month.

Tesla tweeted Thursday that data from the Model S "Plaid's" track tests indicate the electric sedan is capable of a 7 minute, 20 second lap time. That's in no way confirmation the car did a lap close to that, though eyewitness timing suggested the Model S Plaid ran a 7:23 lap time without a flying lap. Tesla reportedly did all of its testing during industry-pool sessions and did not have private time scheduled to run a proper lap.

Here's the kicker: Tesla said it's going back to its home base to make "improvements." Whatever those are, the electric-car maker thinks they may be good enough to take the Model S Plaid's lap time down to a theoretical 7:05. To be clear, such a time would put the electric sedan in pretty good company. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS holds a time of 7:05.41, for example, and the McLaren 600LT only managed a 7:08.82.

It's also worth noting Tesla reportedly made plenty of modifications to the Model S seen scooting around the German racetrack. Foremost, it supposedly hides a three-motor setup to make more power, and stickier tires will certainly work wonders in the pursuit of quicker lap times. Reports also indicated the Model S had a stripped-out interior to save weight and a prominent gurney flap at the rear for aero purposes.

To be fair, CEO Elon Musk said this prototype supposedly previews a new Model S Plaid coming late next year, so there would be some production-car ties. As it stands, however, the car running around the 'Ring is nothing like the Model S customers car buy today. And frankly, that matters for any lap-time bragging rights.

We'll have to wait and see what Tesla can massage out of the Model S Plaid, and in the meantime, we're eager to see if Porsche has any sort of response to the Silicon Valley-based automaker's doings. After all, the Porsche Taycan is the reason for all of the hoopla in the first place.

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