Tesla ‘Plaid’ Model S crushes Porsche Taycan’s Nürburgring time, witness says

Tesla’s testing of new Model S vehicles, including a 3-motor ‘Plaid’ Model S, continues at the Nürburgring racetrack and now a witness says that Tesla already crushed Porsche Taycan’s time.

As we previously reported, following the recent launch of the Porsche Taycan, Tesla CEO Elon Musk appears to be on a mission to show that Tesla’s vehicles are still the highest-performing EVs available today.

Last week, he said that Tesla would bring a Model S to the Nürburgring race track — right after Porsche established a new 4-door electric car record at the track.

However, in the following days, Tesla announced a Model S with a 3-motor “Plaid powertrain” and new a “chassis prototype.”

Musk also said that Tesla has a new 7-seater Model S prototype at the Nürburgring racetrack and it seems like the track testing could simply be about testing new versions of Tesla’s Model S and the new 3-motor ‘Plaid Powertrain’ instead of going after the Taycan.

Nonetheless, it’s clear that Tesla wants to push those vehicles to their limits on the demanding racetrack and according to German car magazine Auto Motor und Sport, they brought Nordschleife expert Thomas Mutsch, amongst others, to drive the cars.

The magazine has an “observer” at the track who reportedly recorded Mutsch doing a 7:23 minutes lap in one of the modified Tesla Model S vehicles:

“But what the new drive can do he has already shown on some very fast laps. Our observer reports a hand-stopped lap time of 7:23 minutes – as I said: hand-stopped with corresponding inaccuracies. But that would be about 20 seconds faster than that Porsche Taycan. The weather conditions on Monday (16.9.) were rather cool with 18 degrees and heavy cloud cover.”

Porsche claimed the Nürburgring racetrack ‘electric four-door’ record with the Taycan completing a 7:42 minutes lap last month.

Tesla’s new time isn’t likely to be official, but the company has been rumored to have some time slots to attempt record times later this month.

However, if Tesla really attempts a record time to beat the Taycan, it is likely going to be disputed as being achieved with a non-production vehicle.

Last week, we reported on the Tesla Model S prototypes at Nürburgring having new fascia, a strange rear spoiler, and more modifications.

As for the new ‘Plaid powertrain’, CEO Elon Musk said that it wouldn’t be released until next year.

Electrek’s Take

If the time is accurate, it’s impressive modifications or not, but I still don’t understand the strategy.

Again, if it’s really just about beating the Taycan, which I doubt is the case, it won’t work because people will claim that it’s non-production car versus a production car.

Maybe it’s just to showcase the performance of the new Plaid powertrain, but that would be a bad move since it’s still a year away and it would affect Tesla’s sales of Model S and Model X performance vehicles.

It leads me to think that it’s maybe as simple as Tesla needing to test its new powertrain and knowing that it would be seen or would leak, they made the announcement.

But I don’t know. I am open to other suggestions. Let us know in the comment section below.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.



Tesla is a transportation and energy company. It sells vehicles under its 'Tesla Motors' division and stationary battery pack for home, commercial and utility-scale projects under its 'Tesla Energy' division.

Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S is an all-electric luxury sedan and the first vehicle developed from the ground up by Tesla. The Tesla Roadster was the first vehicle developed by Tesla, but it was based on a chassis by Lotus.

About the Author

Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

You can send tips on Twitter (DMs open) or via email: fred@9to5mac.com

Through Zalkon.com, you can check out Fred’s portfolio and get monthly green stock investment ideas.

Fred Lambert's favorite gear

Zalkon Green Stock Ideas

Get interesting investment ideas by Fred Lambert

ChargePoint Home charger

ChargePoint Home WiFi Enabled Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger