Media Moves

Tesla beats Porsche Taycan on its turf

September 19, 2019

Posted by Irina Slav

Tesla Model S has beaten Porsche Taycan on the legendary Nuerburgring track in its latest promotional push.

Edward Taylor had the news for Reuters:

Tesla TSLA wants to steal Porsche’s bragging rights by testing its Model S on the northern loop of Germany’s Nuerburgring circuit, using a marketing tool that German carmakers have long used to tout the superiority of their products.

Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport this week published photographs of a Tesla with “100D+” markings on the track where according to the magazine, it clocked an unofficial time of 7 minutes and 23 seconds, beating the recently launched electric Porsche Taycan’s lap time of 7 minutes 42 seconds.

A formally timed record attempt was due to take place on Wednesday, with another attempt scheduled for Saturday, Auto Motor und Sport said.

Tesla is using the Nordschleife, as the track is known, to market its “Plaid” mode on a 7-seater Tesla Model S, CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter.

“We expect these track times to be beaten by the actual production 7 seat Model S Plaid variant that goes into production around Oct/Nov next year,” Musk said on Tuesday.

Business Insider’s Graham Rapier reported Tesla had also installed a Supercharger at the track:

Tesla installed a Supercharger at the iconic Nürburgring race track in Germany, the company said on Wednesday, further fueling the electric-car maker’s unofficial competition with Porsche.

It’s not Tesla’s first Supercharger in Germany, a country synonymous with supercars, thanks to heavyweights like Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. The location shown in the tweet is not yet on Tesla’s online database of Superchargers.

On Tuesday, a heavily modified Tesla Model S completed a lap of the circuit almost 20 seconds faster than Porsche’s new electric Taycan, the automotive magazine Road & Track reported. The faster track time comes after Tesla CEO Elon Musk poked fun at Porsche on Twitter for calling the Porsche Taycan a Turbo, which stoked the perceived rivalry between the two automakers.

Porsche’s Taycan, while a competitor with Tesla’s vehicles when it comes to specs, is far from being comparably priced. The cheaper Taycan Turbo starts at $153,510, while the Turbo S clocks in at a whopping $187,610. Tesla’s cheapest option, the Model 3, meanwhile, starts at $38,990. A fully loaded Model S can top out at nearly $115,000. A Model X with all the options can climb to nearly $130,000.

Peter Valdes-Dapena wrote for CNN that:

Many Tesla (TSLA) cars already offer Ludicrous Mode, which is quicker than the previously available Insane Mode. Using Ludicrous Mode, a Tesla Model S can scurry from a dead stop to 60 miles an hour in less than 2.5 seconds.

Plaid Mode will be faster than Ludicrous Mode and is expected to be available in about a year. It will use three electric motors rather than the two currently in vehicles equipped with Ludicrous, and will be available on Tesla’s Model S, X and, later, in the Roadster, Musk has Tweeted.

The names Ludicrous Mode and Plaid Mode are taken from the movie Spaceballs, a 1987 parody of Star Wars directed by Mel Brooks. In Star Wars, when spaceships entered “hyperspace” and were traveling faster than the speed of light, the movie screen filled with streaks of smeared starlight. In Spaceballs, a spaceship could go so fast that the streaks of lights became plaid.

Porsche set off Musk’s recent spate of Plaid-related tweets by claiming the fastest lap ever by a four-door electric car on Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife. It’s a famously challenging 13-mile racetrack on which automakers often test their cars and compare lap times for bragging rights. The Taycan covered it in seven minutes and 42 seconds.


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