Tesla plans to beat Porsche in its own game by beating Taycan's new record for an electric production car on the Nurburgring circuit in Germany.
The American brand tested a new model on the circuit during an industry test on Thursday, sending a red Model S sedan on a track occupied by next-generation cars of the likes of Porsche, Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
The sedan with the new “P100D +” badges was launched on Thursday at high speed wearing high-performance Goodyear track tires, carbon ceramic brakes, a larger spoiler and a wider body not currently available to customers.
The prototype car could point to a new top-of-the-range performance version launched for driving enthusiasts.
It is possible that the car also has more power than the standard models, although the silent nature of electric cars makes it difficult to guess whether the engineers pushed a few kilowatts more from its double electric motors.
Following the high-profile launch of Porsche's Taycan electric car, Tesla founder Elon Musk tweeted on September 6 that his brand would face the Nurburgring this week.
To learn more: revealed! The new electric Taycan Porsche is a 750 hp Tesla killer
While the former Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg offered to drive the car, on Thursday the tests were completed by Thomas Mutsch, a former Le Mans driver and regulator of the Nurburgring, who participated in the famous 24-hour race of the circuit since 2004.
We saw the car on the track, where it completed a handful of laps in the afternoon running – far less than competing cars like the Taycan, the new-generation BMW M3, Audi RS3 and Aston Martin DBX.
Tesla would have completed a quick lap before returning to the pits at a much slower speed, making it difficult to judge his lap time. Some customers and road testers had problems with Tesla cars overheating on the track, leading to slower lap times.
Porsche's benchmark for a production electric car is 7 minutes and 42 seconds, about 17 seconds slower than the last Porsche 911.
Musk tweeted this week that Tesla "probably won't try the best lap time this week as we have to carefully review and fine-tune Model S for safety", particularly near the Flugplatz section where cars can be dispersed in the air.
Tesla will also have to organize the time for a hot lap of the track, as the times and attempts to register are prohibited during intense test days.