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."

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
Tesla Model S Plaid at Nurburgring

The Model S Plaid shall return.


Following much speculation, has bid the Nurburgring farewell for now and said via Twitter it plans to return with the 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 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 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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