Elon Musk Says He's Bringing a Model S to Nurburgring to Challenge the Porsche Taycan's Record Time

Elon Musk Says He's Bringing a Model S to Nurburgring to Challenge the Porsche Taycan's Record Time

Author: Eric Walz   

The hubris of Tesla CEO Elon Musk was challenged this week when Porsche finally revealed the long-waited electric Taycan sportscar. The 4-door Taycan is the first electric production model from Porsche and the world's first production EV to serious rival the Tesla Model S since its introduction in 2012.

Although there are several more-affordable electric models on the market as an alternative to buying an expensive Tesla Model S, such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt EV, few global automakers have directly challenged Tesla in the premium luxury electric space, that is until Porsche unveiled its Taycan.

Amid the global fanfare surrounding the Taycan debut, which occurred on three continents simultaneously, Porsche also announced that the Taycan set a record for four-door all-electric sports cars in the Nürburgring Nordschleife, when a pilot model of the electric Taycan driven by German race car driver Lars Kern achieved a record time on the world famous, 12.9 mile (20.6-kilometer) course.

To coincide with the Taycan debut, Porsche boasted that a prototype version of the Taycan "conquered" the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife racetrack in Germany with a record time of 7 minutes and 42 seconds.

Kern's record-setting time proves that the Taycan is one serious electric car. However, after Prosche revealed the Taycan's time at Nurburgring, Elon Musk said he's bringing a Tesla Model S to Germany to demonstrate that the Model S sedan is just as capable as the Taycan.

On Thursday, Musk tweeted to his millions of followers, "Model S on Nürburgring next week."

Achieving a record time at Nurburgring comes with bragging rights, with global automakers vying for the title of fastest time in multiple vehicle categories. It also can be a valuable marketing tool for the Taycan.


The legendary track, which opened in 1927, is one of the world's most challenging courses and includes tight corners, crests, steep inclines  and constantly changing road surfaces which demand great skill from an experienced driver. The track also pushes vehicles to their limits.

However, Tesla's Model S track run is a bit uncertain, unless steps are taken to make a time slot available. A spokesperson for the Nürburgring told Road & Track that it hasn't received a request from the company, and may not be able to accommodate Tesla even if it had.

"Tesla did not send us a record request and did not rent an exclusive time slot." The representative further said that the [Nürburgring-]Nordschleife is "fully booked through the season," and added, "I think that there is no availability for Tesla to set up a record attempt in the next days."

While its still unclear if Tesla will get to show off its Model S in Germany next week as planned, the Performance version of the Model S has some impressive specs, regardless of any new competition from the Porsche Taycan. 

The Model S Performance can go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.4 seconds with a top speed of 163 mph. For the 2020 model year, the Model S gets an updated electric powertrain along with the additional of an adaptive suspension system, which can stiffen up in tight corners or smooth out on straightaways.

If Elon Musk manages to secure a last minute time slot at Nürburgring, the Model S Performance is more than capable of achieving a respectable lap time as long as nothing goes wrong. However for Elon Musk and Tesla, Porsche set the bar high with the Taycan.

For now, Porsche has the bragging rights at Nurburgring and apparently that's not sitting well with Musk.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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