- porsche used a taycan turbo, rather than a turbo s, to achieve the nürburgring lap record for a production electric vehicle.
- the turbo s makes more power and torque and conceivably should turn a faster lap time.
- a tesla model s has been spotted on the nürburging and is likely being used to make an attempt at stealing porsche’s title.
did porsche leave time on the table when it claimed the nürburgring lap record for a production electric vehicle? stefan weckbach, vice president of the taycan product line, revealed to car and driver that the 7:42 record was set with a taycan turbo instead of the company’s more powerful taycan turbo s.
when asked whether porsche had also run the turbo s and what kind of lap time the turbo s is capable of, weckbach clammed up. why wouldn’t porsche publish a nürburgring lap time for the taycan turbo s? we have two theories.
it’s possible that porsche is waiting to see what the tesla model s does at the fabled german race track. earlier this week, our photographers captured a nonproduction model s running laps at the ‘ring. early rumors suggest that the tesla is now lapping the track roughly 20 seconds quicker than the taycan. we suspect the car is a prototype of a more powerful, three-motor tesla model s with what elon musk calls a plaid mode. (that name is a geeky reference to a 1987 star wars spoof that’s probably funny if you watch it while high.) if porsche predicted that elon musk would dispatch a model s to beat the taycan’s time, it may have publicized the 7:42 time as a decoy. in that case, a faster turbo s time would be an ace up porsche’s sleeve to play if and when tesla does beat the taycan’s current record.
our second theory posits that the taycan turbo s is no quicker than the turbo around the track so demanding that it’s known as the green hell. while the turbo s makes 750 horsepower to the turbo’s 670 horsepower, that difference is only available for 2.5 seconds at a time. to manage heat in the powertrain, both versions of the taycan reduce output to 616 horses after that interval. we don’t know how often the turbo s powertrain controller would send the additional output to the taycan’s motors during a lap of the ‘ring. it’s also possible that the record-setting turbo, which was fitted with all the optional performance-enhancing goodies that come standard on the turbo s, weighs less than the more powerful taycan.
which theory is more likely? we like the idea that porsche is engaged in a game of four-dimensional chess with elon musk. more convincing, we know that porsche is deeply protective of the pecking order of the many model variants it builds. if the porsche taycan turbo set the 7:42 nürburging lap record for a production ev, a turbo s can probably set an even faster record.