Tesla has reclaimed the production EV lap record on the famous Nürburgring race track with a new Model S Plaid equipped with the Track package.
Nürburgring has been a fighting ground for Tesla and Porsche over the last few years.
After Porsche brought its brand-new Taycan electric car to the Nürburgring racetrack to break a record in 2019, Tesla CEO Elon Musk decided to use the famous proving grounds for the electric automaker’s own latest performance vehicle.
Tesla started testing early Model S Plaid prototypes at the track and achieved some impressive lap times. However, the vehicle was delayed, and it didn’t launch until two years later.
In 2021, Tesla brought its then brand-new production version Model S Plaid to the Nürburgring track and beat Porsche’s record with an impressive 7:35.579 lap.
A year later, Porsche regained the fastest production EV lap at the track with a Taycan Turbo S managing the shave 2 seconds off Tesla’s time.
Albeit technically a production car, the Porsche with a very specific “performance kit” that helped it achieve this record.
Tesla was expected to be able to beat it when its own long-delayed “Track Package” became available.
Sure enough, the new brakes and tires package is now available and Tesla confirmed that it was able to beat the Nürburgring production EV record with a Model S Plaid equipped with the package:
It not only beat Porsche’s record, but it did it by a significant 8-second difference.
Here’s a video of the lap that did it:
When Tesla first announced the Model S Plaid, its new top-performance flagship electric vehicle, the automaker promised a top speed of 200 mph (322 km/h). However, when it was first delivered last year, the vehicle “only” featured a top speed of 163 mph (262 km/h).
Last year, Tesla released a new “Track Mode” for the Model S Plaid that pushed the top speed to 175 mph (282 km/h).
It appeared that the brakes were the limiting factor. Tesla didn’t want to unlock higher top speeds without the electric supercar having bigger brakes that would be able to slow it down after achieving this new top speed.
Tesla started to offer to upgrade the brakes with a carbon ceramic kit for $20,000 last year, but the automaker has yet to install the new brakes on Model S Plaid.
Last summer, we reported on a Tesla Model S Plaid breaking a 200 mph top speed for the first time after being hacked by the owner to remove Tesla’s speed limiter. It actually achieved a top speed of 216 mph (348 km/h); it looked like it could have gone faster, but they were running out of tarmac and braking space – despite having upgraded the brakes themselves with third-party brakes.
Now Tesla’s own ceramic brakes, new race tire, and wheel upgrades are all available, Tesla is expected to allow Model S Plaid owners to unlock those capabilities under “track mode”.
Author: Fred Lambert