Amateur Drivers Tackle Nürburgring Long Distance In A Tesla Model S

4 weeks ago by EVANNEX 8

Tesla Model S

Roland Schüren’s Tesla Model S 85D

TESLA MODEL S RUNS A LONG-DISTANCE RACE ON THE ‘GREEN HELL’ OF THE NÜRBURGRING

Taking a few hot laps on the world-famous Nürburgring is a dream come true for any car lover. It’s actually not an unattainable dream – the track hosts regular rallies that are open to the public. When amateur race drivers Roland Schüren and Uwe Koenzen took Roland’s Model S 85D to the Nürburgring Nordschleife, they weren’t there for a typical Sunday drive – their goal was to test the Tesla’s efficiency on a long and demanding course.

*This article comes to us courtesy of Evannex (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris.

Roland and Uwe have been part of the electric vehicle (EV) scene since long before it was cool – in 1995, they converted a 1967 Porsche to electric drive. Uwe’s company, Broedersdorff & Koenzen classic eCars, builds EV prototypes and develops battery technology. Their latest product is the eSchmitt, an electric version of a classic old Messerschmitt, which they claim is the world’s most efficient street-legal car (energy usage is 3.7 kWh/100 km).

The two went to Nürburg to take part in the GLP Regularity Race. The goal of this event is to finish 12 laps – a total of 250 km – as close as possible to a self-defined time. You can drive as fast or slow as you wish – the object is to estimate your total time as accurately as possible.
Sound easy? It’s not. The Nordschleife is not only curvaceous, but very hilly. Its notorious difficulty led driver Jackie Stewart to dub it “The Green Hell” following his victory in the 1968 German Grand Prix.
Tesla Model S

Roland Schüren’s Tesla Model S 85D

“We were alone with the Model S among 140 internal combustion engine cars, fitted with roll cages, wide track tires,” said Uwe. “The other teams were really interested in our experiment. They asked us a lot of questions. We didn’t expect so many positive reactions.”

Tesla Model S

Roland Schüren’s Tesla Model S 85D

Crashes and breakdowns are so frequent during these public rallies that all cars are required to have towing brackets fitted, so that tow trucks can quickly remove disabled vehicles from the track. “On the Model S there’s no easy way to attach these rings, so we fastened straps to the chassis,” Uwe explains. “For that we have to thank Black Falcon Racing, a well-respected long-distance racing team.”

Tesla Model S

Roland Schüren’s Tesla Model S 85D

As every Formula E fan knows, the limited range of an EV adds a new dimension to racing. “There is lot of discussion about Model S on racetracks, mostly focused on the short time performance. But we would like to know what will happen on a distance of more than 250 km on a very hilly and difficult racetrack,” explains Dr. Uwe Koenzen. “The special challenge with a Tesla is to drive fast and efficiently.”

Tesla Model S

Roland Schüren’s Tesla Model S 85D

Now, for those of us driving our EVs around town, driving fast and driving efficiently are seen as mutually exclusive – you can zip around and have fun, or you can carefully “hypermile” and maximize your range. A race driver, however, must learn to do both at the same time.

Tesla Model S

Roland Schüren’s Tesla Model S 85D

The two German engineers rose to the challenge. “We did a very accurate calculation which takes into account the complex topography of the Ring. We finished with only 5 km of power left in the battery – our calculations and driving matched perfectly.”

Tesla Model S

Roland Schüren’s Tesla Model S 85D

Roland and Uwe achieved an average efficiency of 268 Wh/km, which translates in gas-mileage terms to approximately 3 liters per 100 km (about 78 MPGe for US readers). “That is surely an efficiency record,” says Uwe. “Sedans in the same weight class use around 12-15 liters/100 km for these lap times.” Their top speed on the downhill stretches was about 190 km/h (118 mph).

Tesla Model S

Roland Schüren’s Tesla Model S 85D

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*Special thanks to Roland Schüren and Uwe Koenzen for reaching out to us to relay this fantastic story along with such stunning photos. To learn more about their adventures (and work) in the electric vehicle space, visit: www.classic-eCars.de

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

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8 responses to "Amateur Drivers Tackle Nürburgring Long Distance In A Tesla Model S"

  1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “Roland and Uwe achieved an average efficiency of 268 Wh/km, which translates in gas-mileage terms to approximately 3 liters per 100 km (about 78 MPGe for US readers).”

    Or, for those of us who do not view EVs as a type of gasmobile which takes a special type of fuel, that’s 2.32 miles (or 3.73 km) per kWh.

    “Their top speed on the downhill stretches was about 190 km/h (118 mph).”

    That’s nice, but what I really want to know is: What was the average speed over these 12 laps? This article reports the total distance, 250 km, but not the elapsed time.

    1. orinoco says:

      That’s what I want to know, too. Was this a Bullit race or a Wim Wenders “race”? According to the video 150km/h seems to be a rough estimate for the average speed. Not very much as you can see from the many (even much smaller) cars passing the Tesla. So more like a Wim Wenders “race” my guess.

  2. CLIVE says:

    How fun. On my bucket list… Why not!!

  3. Another (Euro) industrial point of view says:

    Seems like this guy likes the Nürburgring for birds observation but not for speed.

    1. Brian says:

      For starters its not a race against other cars but a contest to match your predicted pace.

      And second:
      http://insideevs.com/expected-tesla-model-s-fails-lap-nurburgring-full-power-video/

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        This wasn’t just about hitting a specific time to finish the 12 laps. The article is quite specific: “The special challenge with a Tesla is to drive fast and efficiently.”

        So they’re not just poking along at the ~30 MPH that drivers use when trying to set distance records in a Tesla car. No, they aimed to complete the 12 laps as fast as possible without running out of juice in the battery. And according to the article, they did an admirable job, ending with “only 5 km left in the battery”, which for a 250 mile race, is a safety margin of only two percent!

        I get a bit tired of Tesla bashers saying “The Tesla Model S (or X) ain’t so great; it can only go a lap or two at the Nürburgring before it overheats and they have to drop out!”

        But of course that only happens if the driver tries to run the Model S/X flat out. What Schüren and Koenzen have done is prove that yes, the Model S can run on the Nürburgring, and do it for more than just a lap or two… provided the driver regulates the speed to what’s appropriate for this car. A car which is, after all, not a race car or even a sports car, but rather a large sedan with superior performance.

        And that’s why I’m very curious to find out what their average speed was! If the average was ~150 km/hr, as Orinoco suggests, then that’s ~93 MPH.

        1. mr. M says:

          In the Video around 3:21 you see a sheet with numbers. i think it’s the results of the laps lap times.

          It’s as following:
          1. 14:30
          2. 14:00
          3. 13:30
          4. 13:30

          If you assume the following laps where also driven with around 13:30 you get a race time of 136,5 minutes. For 249,6km (12x Nordschleife) that results in a average speed of 109,7 kph (68 mph). That is not Close to the number that seems to be stated in the Video of 150kph. So the other lap times where probably different or the numbers mean something different.

  4. Nix says:

    It will be interesting to see what the new 100D battery pack and the new Model 3 battery packs will do on the ring. The 100 has a major redesign in the cooling system, and the 3 has both a new cooling system and new cells.

    Maybe then we could see what a full power lap would look like.

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