Porsche said last month that its new Taycan sportscar had set a record at the infamous German racecourse nicknamed “Green Hell,” but reports indicate that Tesla may have unofficially set the best time.
The record and unofficial time came as Porsche has just moved into the electric sportscar business with the all-electric Taycan.
The four-door Taycan, driven by Lars Kern, completed the 12.8-mile loop on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in seven minutes and 42 seconds, Porsche announced on Aug. 26, before the company had even unveiled the new sportscar.
But eyewitnesses told Road and Track that a modified Tesla Model S beat that record this week, hitting seven minutes and 23 seconds two days in a row.
Tesla founder Elon Musk seemed to confirm the news on Twitter, calling it “a start.” But while the Taycan is available to (deep-pocketed) consumers, the Tesla prototype includes features that are not available on the market.
The prototype likely includes a three-motor, ultra-high-performance powertrain and other features reserved for the aftermarket or automakers’ top-spec performance cars, according to the report.
However, Tesla plans to make that powertrain available in the future, with production about a year away, according to Musk. He tweeted that it will be available on the Model S, Model X and Roadster as a “Plaid variant,” which will apparently provide even faster acceleration than the electric carmaker’s “Ludicrous mode” that can push its production cars from 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds.
“The only thing beyond Ludicrous is Plaid,” Musk tweeted. The name is a joking reference to the “Spaceballs” scene in which “plaid” is the only faster-than-light speed beyond “ludicrous.”
Musk said the three-motor models “will cost more than our current offerings, but less than competitors.”
The billionaire entrepreneur also said Tesla expects the Model S Plaid variant production model will be able to beat the Nürburgring-Nordschleife track times.
Tesla’s Model S also set the record this month for the fastest four-door ever at Laguna Seca, a California raceway, according to Musk.