Tesla CEO Elon Musk is chomping at the bit to send a Model S around Germany’s famous Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in a bid to break the lap record set recently by the new EV on the block, the Porsche Taycan.
In an apparent bid to turn the spotlight away from the Taycan, Musk tweeted on Wednesday that a Model S — presumably the zippier Performance variant — had set a new lap record for 4-door sedans at the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California.
A video released by Tesla later in the day shows an unnamed driver tearing around the 2.24-mile track in a Model S, hitting a top speed of 129 mph while taking most of the bends at between 60 and 70 mph.
The electric vehicle completes the lap in 1:36:56, snatching the record away from a run a few months ago by a Model 3, which came in at 1:37:50.
The video’s release comes a week after Musk tweeted that the Model S would be heading to Germany’s Nürburgring. He didn’t specify at the time if there was any special reason for the trip, but on Monday, another tweet by the Tesla boss confirmed the company’s desire to beat the 4-door EV sedan lap record set by the Porsche Taycan toward the end of August 2019.
But we probably won’t try for best lap time this week, as we need to review & tune Model S thoroughly for safety on Nürburgring, especially Flugplatz section
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 11, 2019
At nearly 13 miles, the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit is considerably longer than the Laguna Seca Raceway. Porsche’s Taycan — reportedly a pre-production model but otherwise a stock version — conquered it in 7 minutes and 42 seconds, reaching speeds of 155 mph on one of the straights. To what extent Tesla modifies its Model S for the record attempt remains to be seen.
There was initially some confusion as to whether Tesla would be able to send its Model S around the racetrack anytime soon. A Nürburgring representative told Road & Track last week that Musk’s company “did not send us a record request and did not rent an exclusive time slot,” adding that the track is “fully booked through the season.” But Musk’s subsequent tweet suggests progress has been made toward squeezing in a time slot. They only need about seven-and-a-half minutes, after all.
Tesla fans are now waiting for the Model S to take to the famously demanding track in what should be an exciting spectacle as the team attempts to step back into the spotlight with a record-breaking lap. Though if it happens, don’t bet against Porcshe sending out the Taycan again.
We’ve reached out to Tesla for more details on its expected record attempt and will update this piece if we hear back.