Could the Tesla Model S beat the Porsche Taycan's lap record at the Ring?
Porsche declared war on Tesla last month when it announced the mighty Taycan had set a new lap record for four-door electric cars at the Nurburgring. Unsurprisingly, it didn't take long for Elon Musk to respond. After mocking the Taycan Turbo's name, the CEO announced the Model S will be unleashed onto the Nurburgring to presumably try and beat Porsche's record.
Originally, the record attempt was going to be made this week, but Musk recently tweeted that the Model S is still undergoing safety preparations. A source has told Road and Track the Tesla Model S could make the record attempt next week, as a 30-minute private window has been scheduled for September 21.
When Musk announced the Model S will be tackling the Nurburgring, it wasn't clear if it was going to be specially modified or left stock. We now have our answer, as our spy photographers have spotted a modified Model S P100D being prepared at a private test facility not far from the Nurburgring. Additional shots show the Model S going for a test run at the Nurburgring before the record attempt.
Compared to the regular Model S, this version has been fitted with wider fender flares, larger wheels with grippy Michelin Cup 2 R tires, and a trunk lip spoiler. A roll cage has also been installed inside and the lower grille opening has been enlarged, giving the Model S an angrier-looking face.
These weren't the only modifications, either. Intriguingly, Elon Musk has confirmed on Twitter that the Model S at the Nurburgring has seven seats. Could this mean Tesla is trying to set a new Nurburgring lap record for seven-seater models? We'll have to wait until next week to find out.
To make any lap record attempt, you need a fast driver. That's why Elon Musk has enlisted former Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg to drive the modified Model S around the Ring. We'll have to wait and see if any modifications have been made to the powertrain, but it seems possible as a more powerful Model S prototype with a "Plaid" powertrain also set a new lap record for four-door sedans at Laguna Seca this week, beating the Jaguar XE SV Project 8.