Tesla Model S beats Porsche Taycan with a catch

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Words: Nile Bijoux
19 Sep 2019

Tesla has unleashed the Model S on the Nürburgring, with eyewitnesses claiming the American is around 20 seconds quicker than Porsche’s Taycan. However, there’s a fairly major caveat.

People present talked to Road and Track, revealing two Model S prototypes were seen at the ‘Ring, both “stripped to the gunwales.” The interiors had nothing apart from the necessities, like seats, harnesses and driver controls. Naturally, this brings the weight of the car way down. By comparison, the Taycan was sent out in production trim, save for safety additions like a racing harness. Tesla also added carbon-ceramic brakes and a new rear Gurney flap.

There are conflicting reports about the rubber used, with Auto Motor und Sport saying Tesla wrapped the wheels in race-spec Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres compared to the Porsche’s non-R tyres, which Michelin says can save 0.5 seconds per km of the Nürburgring, translating to roughly ten seconds per lap. Road and Track, meanwhile, said the cars were running on “huge, aftermarket wheels” wearing street-legal Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport RS rubber.

Finally, Tesla almost certainly used the new Plaid powertrain, consisting of one motor on each rear wheel and one for the front axle. Elon Musk said it’s the only option above Ludicrous mode, which should mean big power figures.

Remember, this isn’t official. There’s an official lap-timing session scheduled for next week, so Tesla fans will have to wait a little longer for the official Model S Nürburgring time.

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