It’s taken two years, but Tesla has finally nabbed the official record for an electric car’s fastest lap of Nürburgring’s Nordschleife.
On Thursday, the brand announced that a factory version of its latest vehicle, the Model S Plaid, had completed a circuit around the famously treacherous German racing circuit in 7:30.9. That time bests the previous record, which was set by the Porsche Taycan Turbo, by a whopping 12 seconds.
As tends to be the case whenever Tesla achieves something of note, Elon Musk trumpeted the news on Twitter. “Tesla Model S Plaid just set official world speed record for a production electric car at Nurburgring. Completely unmodified, directly from factory [sic],” he wrote alongside a printout of the Model S Plaid two runs around the 12.94-mile course.
Tesla Model S Plaid just set official world speed record for a production electric car at Nurburgring. Completely unmodified, directly from factory. pic.twitter.com/AaiFtfW5Ht
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 9, 2021
That slip shows that Tesla’s 1,020-hp speed machine didn’t just beat the Taycan’s record once, it managed to do it twice. In addition to the new record, the Model S Plaid also completed another full circuit of the Green Hell in 7:35.6. Tesla posted an onboard video of that run, which features plenty of tire squeals and shows off the car’s yoke-style steering wheel, to its YouTube channel on Friday morning. Curiously, a video of the faster run has yet to be released, leading some to wonder if it was actually run by a stock Model S Plaid. Regardless, both lap times easily bested the 7:42.3 that Porsche’s first EV posted shortly before its debut in the fall of 2019.
While the EV mark now belongs to Tesla, it has a way to go before it can claim the record for the fastest production car in Nürburgring history. That currently belongs to Porsche’s 911 GT2 RS, which circled the punishing course in a jaw-dropping 6:43.3 earlier this summer. Although that vehicle is essentially a street-legal race car, it should be noted that its 3.8-liter, twin-turbo flat-six only generates 691 horses, 329 hp less than the Model S Plaid.
Tesla already knows it can do better, though. The Model S Plaid’s lap isn’t actually the fastest Nürburgring time posted by one of the brand’s vehicles. In September 2019, a heavily modified Model S completed a lap in 7:23, although that was a “very unofficial” hand-timed lap.
Now the brand’s engineers have something else to focus on besides beating a Shelby GT500 in a drag race.