Tesla has reclaimed the ‘Ring.
The automaker sent its highest performance model to Germany’s Nürburgring racetrack and set a new lap record for electric cars.
The 13-mile-long circuit is used as a testing ground and benchmark for sports cars, due to its unique rough and winding surface, which does a good job simulating real world roads without a speed limit.
A Tesla Model S Plaid broke the Porsche Taycan’s record in 2021 with a 7-minute, 35-second lap, but Porsche returned with another 671 hp Taycan equipped with an optional performance package upgrade and knocked two seconds off that time to retake the top spot.
Tesla did the same thing this time around by bringing a $108,490 Model S Plaid optioned with its new $20,000 Track Package, which is installed after production at a Tesla Service Center.
The package increases the 1,020 horsepower car’s top speed to 200 mph and adds carbide brake rotors, which prevent fade under extreme use, and a new set of wheels with nearly slick Goodyear Supercar 3R tires.
Tesla put professional racing driver Tom Schwister behind the wheel, which was round and not the now optional yoke-shaped wheel.
His lap of 7:25.231 was 10 seconds quicker than the last Model S Plaid’s and beat the Porsche’s time by a more than eight seconds. The effort appears to have paid off.
Hours after the record was announced, the Track Package was listed as “out of stock” on Tesla’s website, although it did not announce how many were initially available.
Tesla posted an unedited in-car video of the lap with live data on social media for anyone who wants to challenge its accuracy, and it shows the car nearly hit 180 mph on the track’s longest straight.