Tesla claims record at Laguna Seca in modified Model S
When Porsche finally unveiled its Porsche Taycan last week following its record-setting lap at Nurburgring, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was quick to outlay plans of his own involving electric sports cars and the notoriously challenging circuit. This tit-for-tat didn’t quite pan out as planned, but Tesla is now claiming a lap record a little closer to home after deploying a prototype Model S at California’s Laguna Seca.
“Model S on Nürburgring next week,” tweeted Musk following the Taycan unveiling, which you might take to mean that a Tesla Model S would literally be driven around Nürburgring in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate this week as part of some sort of record attempt.
Not so. At least not for now. The timeline surrounding such an attempt appears to have been a little off. And well, the location too, give or take 9,000 km. Musk says that while a Model S is indeed at the Green Hell, the team first needs to spend some time tuning it to safely negotiate the circuit and in particular its Flugplatz section, involving a crest where cars are known to get some serious hang time.
Meanwhile, an R&D prototype of the Tesla Model S has been put to work at Laguna Seca, clocking a lap time of 1:36.555. This is a full second faster than the 1:37.54 lap record set last year by Jaguar XE SV Project 8, which would indeed make the Tesla the fastest four-door sedan (electric or otherwise) around the 2.2-mile race track (3.5-km).
Tesla says the prototype used for the testing has been fitted out with that it calls a Plaid powertrain and chassis. This is one step up from the automaker’s Ludicrous mode and is still around a year from production. It will be available on the Model S, X and Roadster, but not on the Model 3 or Y.
You can check out the Laguna Seca hot lap in the video below.