Tesla Model S Fails To Lap Nurburgring Under Full Power – Video


Model S Power Reduced 3 Minutes Into Lap Of Nurburgring

Model S Power Reduced 3 Minutes Into Lap Of Nurburgring

When pushed to the limits, the Tesla Model S often ratchets down its power output in an effort to keep components from reaching critical temperatures.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that the Model S couldn’t complete a full lap of the 14-mile Nurburgring under full power when driven at the limit by Robb Holland.

As Holland explains in a post he authored on Jalopnik:

“Last week at Darren Langenfeld’s awesome Destination Nürburgring track day, I got cornered approached by noted Nissan GT-R tuner Iain Litchfield who said he had a car he wanted me to take around the Nordschleife. I had visions of 750+ hp supercars dancing through my head when he stopped in front of a bone stock Tesla Model S”

“Um, excuse me? I thought. You want me to take this 4,700 pound electric car around the Green Hell while 911 GT3 RSs and La Ferraris dive bomb me into Flugplatz? WTF??”

Of course, Holland immediately grabbed his helmet and hopped in the Model S.

For Holland, this was his first time driving a pure electric vehicle at the Ring and he was mostly impressed:

“Yes, it was heavy. Yes, it had almost no mechanical grip. And yes, the steering was as numb as my jaw after a trip to the dentist. However, considering that the Model S is a brand new car, from a car company that didn’t exist 10 years ago, using technology that had (at the time of founding of the company) never been successfully mass produced on any large scale, I am suitably impressed.”

“So what was the lap like from the drivers seat? Um… quiet? Really quiet, actually.”

As for the actual lap and the reduced-power, Holland explains:

“The lap itself was around 10 minutes Bridge to Gantry (in heavy traffic) but unfortunately the car went into a reduced power mode about 3 minutes in due to excess battery heat (at least, that’s my guess).”

“However, before it did it was able to keep a GT3 RS going full chat, within shouting distance (at the 2:00 mark) far longer than any 4,700lb sedan has a right to.”

“I think without the reduced power output and traffic, a B-T-G lap under nine minutes is possible. According to the Bridge To Gantry site, that would put it in the company of some really quick hot hatches.”

Turning our attention back to “noted Nissan GT-R tuner Iain Litchfield,” he was there with the Model S because he wants to be the first to “tune the bejeezus out of it,” says Holland.

A note on Robb Holland, per Jalopnik:

“Robb Holland is a professional race car driver for Rotek Racing and friend of Jalopnik who basically lives at the Nürburgring most of the year. He is also the tallest man in Germany.”

Source: Jalopnik

Categories: Tesla


Leave a Reply

39 Comments on "Tesla Model S Fails To Lap Nurburgring Under Full Power – Video"

newest oldest most voted

“Yes, it was heavy. Yes, it had almost no mechanical grip. And yes, the steering was as numb as my jaw after a trip to the dentist.”

Not exactly a glowing assessment of the Model S’s driving dynamics.

As for the loss of power 3 minutes in, the same problem occurred on Motor Trends test at Mazda Speedway earlier this year.

Heavy, numb, no grip… I thought he was describing you, CherylG!

Please lay off the personal attacks.

I think those adjectives describe her reflexive postings of the most ridiculous anti-Tesla propaganda on every Tesla thread here.

Yes, they are a lot like a gag reflex…

You must have missed the part that those adjectives regarding the Model S were attributed to the one who was driving the vehicle at Nürburgring.

Heavy, no mechanical grip, and numb steering are not what one would call world class attributes.

As for the reduced power problem with the Model S, Motor Trend was told by Tesla engineers they would have to cold soak their Model S in a “meat locker” in order to reduce the problem.

We get it. You don’t like the Model S. It’s really getting boring.

“I am suitably impressed.” – FTFY.

I’m interested in why you post here. You’re not part of the constructive discussion because every post you make with regards to Tesla is negative, bar none. Therefore you have zero chance of influencing anyones opinion.

Mind you, I have zero chance of changing your opinions so I guess I’ve just wasted my time typing this, but one consolation is you waste far more of your time with your endless pointless posts.

An NSX was pushed to the limits and burned to the ground. I think I prefer reduced power to BBQ. 🙂

Good enough endurance for everyday driving though. Like when you are getting chased by the police through the streets of Los Angeles.

Would have liked to see the speed of the car, nice to see the steering wheel on the right side, looks good there.

On the wrong side you mean… But what’s really wrong is the lack of Björn Nyland commentary. Can we get a commentary remix? 😛

This is old news.

Yahoo news covered it about 1 week ago…


Indeed old news. And IIRC, this was a 60kWh model, not a P85+. Not really fair to compare a non-performance model with all the other “souped up” cars… 😉

The Model S was designed to be a family friendly Sports Sedan,

It was not designed to be an electric dragster,

And certainly not an Indy 500 car.

Finally, Tesla Model S was never designed to be a world record setter at Nürburgring.

This is just another ploy by the forces that hate the EV revolution —

It’s just that simple.

“The Model S was designed to be a family friendly **Sports Sedan**”

“Finally, Tesla Model S was never designed to be a world record setter at Nürburgring.”

No one is expecting records . . . but it is quite disappointing that it can’t do a 14 mile lap. I’m sure a Toyota Yaris can do a lap without shutting down.

It didn’t shut down; it reduced power.

It went to half power, it didn’t shut down. Even at half power, it is still way more power than a Yaris.

“This is just another ploy by the forces that hate the EV revolution — It’s just that simple.”

Huh? What hateful forces? The article mentioned two people: noted tuner Iain Litchfield who wants to be the first to “tune the bejeezus” out of the Model S, and professional race car driver Robb Holland who said he was “suitably impressed” with the Model S.

Jmac, your tin foil hat is on too tight. There is no ploy or conspiracy against the EVs here, just some mild criticism of the Model S by a professional race car driver who generally liked the car and was impressed by it.


It would’ve been nice if there was a Roadster with them.

Oh…. Boo Hoo! ROFL who gives a crap about the stupid track

The Nürburgring? I’m not a fan of car racing but even I know about that famous track. Not being able to complete a lap there is an embarrassment and I’m sure Tesla is going to do something about it.

Check the article again.

Here’s what the Holland, the driver in the video, said:

“And to your last point the Tesla didn’t break down. It reduced power by a manageable amount after hard driving on the most demanding track in the world and we only used 30 miles of charge for a hard 15 mile lap.

I would no more savage the Telsa then I would the Audi A8 for the same issues on the Nurburgring”

Lot’s of gas/nitro powered cars have blown a gasket just after the Green Light at the drag strip.

And many, many Indy cars have crapped out after just a few laps.

But, no one says a word about these ICE failures……………….

It’s not really a failure as I’m sure other Tesla’s would do the same thing. Most EVs are designed for long duty cycles at full throttle.

I meant they are not designed for this kind of high duty cycle driving.

How long did reduced power last?

Spec 9 said:

“No one is expecting records . . . but it is quite disappointing that it can’t do a 14 mile lap. I’m sure a Toyota Yaris can do a lap without shutting down.

So, no one is expecting records, huh ???

I guess the Model S could have just rolled around the track at 35 mph,

The model S has governor software that automatically shuts the car down, just like your gasoline powered Briggs and Straten lawnmower motor.

It costs about $1000 dollars a second to run gas/nitro at the drag strip.

The Model S battery was not designed to dump all its power in less than 10 seconds like fuel dragsters do …

Get a life !!!

LOL! I didn’t kill your dog. Calm down.

The Model S is a $70+K “Sports Sedan” as you called it. Tesla brags about its fast acceleration. And if your $70K “sports sedan” can’t do a 14 mile track without shutting down, that is embarrassing and they should try to fix it.

I’m not sure what you rant about dragsters is about, you don’t take those to the Nürburgring.

Not sure what you mean about shutting down. It did go to reduced power, which would still leave it with 160+ kW. That is by no means racing performance, but not unuseable.

I remember some comment a long time ago that Model as was not designed as a track car. It is a little disappointing. It seems like there should be a trim that is track worthy. P85+ probably just needs a little upgraded cooling and it would be ready to go.

If it is true that this tuner bought a 60 kWh car to work on, that is a total waste. They should have been starting from a P85+.

Somebody call a whambulance! A Tesla fanboy is having a meltdown!!!

“Yes, it was heavy. Yes, it had almost no mechanical grip. And yes, the steering was as numb as my jaw after a trip to the dentist.”

I’m going to take a wild guess and say that, given this was his first time in a Model S, he didn’t know that he could adjust the steering feel. And as others have pointed out, it was the 60 kWh version. If he had a P85+ with it’s sports tires, the grip probably would’ve been considerably better (maybe not race car better, but better than 98% of the cars on the road).

Good point. Wonder if his car was set in “comfort” mode instead of “sport”.

“Um… quiet? Really quiet, actually.”

Scary quiet as the Porsche passed and you could hear it full song, and they had non-shouting conversations complete with Helmets.

Yep, the weight of Added cooling will be hard to offset, but What a great 3 minutes until then, heheh.

Racing EVs exist, obviously, but getting to super-car performance hiding in grocery-getter sedan has a ways to go regarding long distance (and possibly longevity). But, ask BMW how long they have been working on getting That right.

Thrilling to hear a New sentence from CherylG, it’s been Hours since I heard the Consumer Reports verse (see also, “I look forward to your next syllable with great eagerness” — feel free to bash me too, Taser54).

Meh, there’s a lot of drivers who can’t make it around the Green Hell, so I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

And if he felt motivated to do so, Elon would call down to engineering, and tell them to build a one-off ‘ring eater.

It’s disappointing, but not at all surprising, to see that the Model S went into limp mode.

It is a very good urban/suburban family luxury car, but in order to truly be, “not just the best EV, but the best car of any kind” as Elon Musk has stated as his goal the engineering team at Tesla is going to have to up their game once again.

Overcoming the technical challenges of keeping all of the components cool, the battery and the motor, while pushing maximum power is going to be tough for sure. But I hope that the day will come when an EV will be able to compete against the likes of an M5 or 911, not just in bourgeois driveways, but around challenging circuits including the Nordschleife.

I think we shouldn’t lose sight that the people in the car make a living out of modifying cars to drive really fast around race tracks. Improved cooling system, plus new suspension, new brakes, areo-pack and hey-presto you can add thousands to the price. Just by making the ride uncomfortable, the accelerator impossible to control in the snow, obstructing the vision out of the back window, making it impossible to drive over speed bumps and by cutting holes in the body work. Why is this important? because there are those that desperately want to forget that they are a single lawyer with zero personality. They want to pretend that they are a race car driver desired by many, a success. I can think of few better examples of how messed up society is than the Nurburgring, a place you take your road car to show that it is better than your neighbor’s car at doing something that it will never need to do. It’s dressed up to be competitive but to me it just screams “maybe if I have nice things people will like me”. I like to remind people that a transit van driven by a race car driver… Read more »
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

So, will there be a P85++ with increased cooling capacity? Seems like that could be a legitimate performance mod, as opposed to the body kits that pass for “Model S Performance Tuning” to date..