Don't get too excited about the Tesla Model S' Ring record.
A Tesla Model S prototype has been spotted hammering its way around the Nurburgring, with early rumors suggesting that it lapped the fabled circuit 20 seconds faster than the all-electric Porsche Taycan. The Tesla car currently prowling the Ring is suspected to have three motors and what Elon Musk calls "plaid mode," which 1980s movie nerds will remember from the Star Wars spoof called Spaceballs as being faster than Ludicrous Speed. It also has wider fender flares, specialist Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport RS tires, carbon-ceramic brakes, and a trunk lip spoiler.
The time Porsche set for the so-called 4-door electric car record around the Nurburgring is 7 minutes and 42 seconds. However, Porsche appears to have been holding back one important fact.
Car and Driver is reporting that Stefan Weckbach, vice president of the Taycan product line, told the publication that it was a Porsche Taycan Turbo that set the initial Nurburgring lap time, and not the faster Taycan Turbo S. Car and Driver than asked the important question of whether Porsche had lapped the Taycan Turbo S and what time it had set, and Weckbach declined to comment.
The first conclusion that can be drawn here is that the Taycan Turbo S isn't actually faster around the 'Ring as the difference in the Turbo's 670 horsepower and the Turbo S's 750 is only available for 2.5 seconds at a time. However, Nurburgring has a lot of long straights where that big bump will make quite a difference, and Porsche isn't in the habit of adding the S to Turbo without a good reason.
The more likely conclusion to draw, we believe, is that Porsche wanted to leave something on the table for when another automaker decided to come along and beat its Nurburgring time. Perhaps it was a hook that Porsche baited specifically for Tesla. If the Turbo S is indeed faster, then this could turn out to be the greatest piece of automotive industry trolling in decades.