Before Porsche had even shown the production Taycan to the public, it had a Nürburgring lap time. While we know well that the Taycan is not a direct competitor to Tesla’s Model S [or is it?] it seems that Elon Musk isn’t exactly pleased that people are talking about the Taycan instead of Tesla. As he is often wont to do, he sent a tweet yesterday ruling by edict from on high. Without anything to back it up.
Model S on Nürburgring next week
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 5, 2019
‘Ring times don’t just happen. It takes months of planning. You can’t just rock up to the gate and say “I’m here to set a record.” You have to book manufacturer time, be on the schedule, pay the right people, and be in the right place.
According to the folks at the Nürburgring, Tesla has not done that. “Tesla did not send us a record request and did not rent an exclusive time slot,” a representative of the track confirmed to Road & Track by email.
Another source familiar with the subject told R&T that Tesla is shipping a car over to Germany from California right now, but testing time has been booked for this week well before Musk’s Thursday afternoon tweet. It’s unlikely that the EV automaker will be able to jump into the lineup, and it is possible Tesla doesn’t even know that it needed to schedule time in advance.
Technically Musk just said a Model S would be on the Nürburgring next week, which still could be accomplished. It is an open-to-the-public toll road, after all. Tesla’s test driver could simply pay the 27 euros like everyone else and put the pedal to the metal.
If we do see a Tesla Nürburgring lap time next week, it will likely have been set during a Touristenfahrten open lapping session. It’s hard enough to set a new lap record when you have the track to yourself. Negotiating traffic will chunk several seconds onto your time.
I’d hate to be in the middle of a hot lap and have a Renault Laguna cut me off, nulling the whole damn thing. I only brought enough euros for two laps!
One other problem, the tourist days only run the track from Bridge to Gantry, cutting out a little section of the track. That means a “lap time” won’t be a full lap.
Best of luck, buds!
Tesla told Road & Track that it’s going to participate in an Industry Pool session in the coming week, but as the magazine notes, lap timing is prohibited during those sessions. So we’ll see what Tesla actually comes back with.