The fight for the quickest electric lap time on the legendary Nürburgring race track in Germany is far from over. And now, there’s a new king in town. Again.
A pre-production version of the upcoming facelifted Porsche Taycan set a new record on the so-called Green Hell circuit in Germany’s Eifel region, beating the previous record-holder, the Tesla Model S Plaid with the optional Track Package, by a whopping 17.681 seconds. This makes it the quickest electric sedan to have ever run the so-called Green Hell.
We don’t know specific details about the car itself, except that it ran the 12.92-mile (20.8-kilometer) course in 7:07.55 minutes with a safety roll cage and racing bucket seats installed.
By comparison, the Track Pack-equipped Model S Plaid needed 7:25.231 minutes to do a full loop on the 'Ring back in June 2023, stealing the crown from the previous EV king, the non-facelifted Porsche Taycan Turbo S, which recorded a time of 7 minutes and 33 seconds.
It’s also worth noting that the fastest EV to ever flex its muscles on the Nurburgring, the admittedly very hypercar-like Rimac Nevera, recorded a time of seven minutes and 5 seconds, which is not exactly close to the pre-production Taycan in motorsports terms, but in real life, two seconds is almost nothing.
Now, there’s a small asterisk with the new record that Porsche is touting, but the feat is nonetheless impressive: you can place an order for a Tesla Model S Plaid any day of the week, while the refreshed Taycan is unattainable. Yet.
It’s also worth mentioning that Porsche makes no mention of the Tesla Model S run from last year in its official announcement. Instead, the German sports car maker just compares the new time to its previous attempt in August 2022 and says that the pre-production Taycan is “the fastest electric car from Zuffenhausen,” referring to Porsche's HQ in Stuttgart. An on-board video of the run is scheduled to debut in mid-March, when we’ll probably know more about the car, too.
The car was driven by Porsche development driver Lars Kern who clocked almost the same time over several other laps, which might seem unimportant, but in the world of EVs, this repeatability in highly stressful conditions is something pretty hard to achieve. On the long straights of the Nurburgring, an EV’s battery and electric motors are in for the rides of their lives, experiencing sustained high current draw and maximum motor speed.
Porsche has been working on a mid-cycle refresh for the Taycan for the past year, to the best of our knowledge. A new top-dog version that will allegedly be called Taycan GT will possibly sport a tri-motor setup with over 1,000 horsepower, trumping the current Taycan Turbo S’s 750 hp by a long way and putting it in direct competition with the Tesla Model S Plaid, at least when it comes to raw numbers.
While both the top Model S and the Taycan are undeniably fast, they’re also very expensive and not aimed at the Average Joe. A Taycan Turbo S is almost $200,000, and the refreshed, more powerful version, is almost sure to be even more expensive, given its advancements under the skin.
But before you get all rowdy in the comments, remember that the automotive world has always found a way to make the flashy, high-tech features of very expensive cars trickle down to more affordable models after a few years. So if we wait long enough, we might see some of this Taycan’s goodies on a run-of-the-mill Audi EV or even a Volkswagen, seeing how they’re all part of the Volkswagen Group.