Competition Heats Up! Tesla Beats Porsche & Sets Nürburgring EV Lap Record

By Sevan Shahijanian | September 13th, 2021
Tesla Model S Plaid Front View on Racetrack

Tug of war

Innovation, advancement, and excitement – all byproducts of healthy competition between two individuals, or in this case, Elon Musk’s Tesla and Germany’s powerhouse, Porsche.

Relative to most seasoned automakers, Tesla is very much a silicon valley startup – but that hasn’t stopped them from turning the entire industry on its head. From leading the charge on battery-powered cars for the masses to building ludicrously fast machines, Tesla’s latest venture is in setting lap records at none other than the legendary Nürburgring. 

Famously nicknamed “The Green Hell” by former F1 driver, Jackie Stewart, and located in the town of Nürburg, Germany (right in Porsche’s backyard), the dangerously fast race track has become the de facto proving grounds for auto manufacturers and zealous enthusiasts. 

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Porsche Taycan Turbo Racing on Nurburgring

Porsche set the stage back in 2019 with their Taycan Turbo, running a time of 7:42.34 and earning the production EV record crown. For reasons unknown, and presumably to gauge Tesla’s prowess, Porsche didn’t run their faster Taycan Turbo S model at the time.

Two years later and after the release of the Model S Plaid, Tesla has snatched the production EV record with a time of 7:35.579. It’s important to note that the faster 7:30.909 time was recorded on the shorter length T13 layout of the track and isn’t the same full layout that all other manufacturers measure against. Even so, besting the Taycan Turbo’s lap time by 7 seconds is no small feat, and we expect the crown won’t be held long before Porsche returns with a vengeance. 

Elon Musk commented on his own tweet saying that the next goal would be to return with a modified Model S Plaid equipped with aero, track tires, and carbon brakes. He alluded to this being done in the aftermarket without Tesla’s hand in the mix, likely because they have their hands full with producing their backordered cars and managing delays

Although many enthusiasts still haven’t warmed up to the idea of an electric future, seeing automakers fight over Nürburgring lap records brings a smile to my face.

Like watching a game of King of the Hill, those who have been dethroned will come back faster and stronger than ever. Porsche recently showed off their Mission R Concept race car, hinting at what’s to come for both their electric motorsports line and future road cars. Hungry newcomers like the Lucid Air and Lotus’s future EV lineup are sure to stir the pot as well.

As we witness this monumental shift in cars from internal combustion technology to battery-powered engines, we’re glad to see manufacturers keeping the sport of driving in mind. 

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