Tesla’s “Model S on Nürburgring Next Week”…To Challenge Porsche’s Taycan?
Fresh after the launch of Porsche’s Taycan and plenty of headlines pitting it against Tesla, Elon Musk, out of the blue, tweets:
Model S on Nürburgring next week
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 5, 2019
Coincidence? Doesn’t seem like it. For this was also news to the good people managing the Nürburgring, who told Road & Track that Tesla “did not” send a request nor book an exclusive time slot.
Before its official launch, Porsche’s first all-electric car had already set a Nürburgring lap time of seven minutes and 42 seconds, which gave the German automaker bragging rights as the fastest four-door, electric sports car.
However, many have made comparisons between the Taycan and the Model S Performance’s 0 – 100kph time, the latter besting the established performance sports car maker.
Once, in response, Porsche’s Head of Battery-EV, Stefan Weckbach, said that there were limitations to Tesla’s power output whereas Porsche’s EV can reproduce top performance and speeds for longer periods.
But Porsche may not consider its Taycan as a direct competitor of the Tesla. (The comparisons are, mostly, made and discussed by, well, everyone else.) While Porsche may have benchmarked its electric car project, earlier dubbed Mission E, against the Tesla Model S, the established automaker is looking to introduce an electric vehicle of a different league to its usual audience, that is, those who probably own a Porsche (or two) already but not yet an electric car.
But back to Musk. He may have been supportive of more automakers going electric, but all this talk about Taycan vs. Tesla must have made him feel some type of way, causing him to post that (yet another impulsive) tweet (he’s forgotten it can get him trouble).
According to R&T, the ‘Ring is booked for the week and Tesla is not on the schedule. However, Tesla can still join the tourist session (aka touristenfahrten) with all the other cars for a fee of 25 to 30 Euros. Quite impossible to set a record lap time with hundreds of other cars in your way, but at least Musk can turn around and say: “I never said it was to beat the Taycan!” We’ll be waiting for more updates, if there’s any.
Update 9 Sept: R&T received an update from Tesla that it will participate in the Industry Pool testing community next week at the Nürburgring— and that it’s confirmed. Industry Pool testing is where automakers can test their vehicles—just not for lap timing.
Update 12 Sept: We take it back. A Model S was spotted lapping the ‘Ring, but clearly NOT a production model. Musk recently tweeted about a new powertrain, Plaid (a Spaceballs reference), which have people wondering whether that was what was zipping around circuit. Well played, Musk.