Tesla Model S Plaid back at the Nurburgring in production form

The Tesla Model S Plaid appears to have had a few teething issues, with expectant purchasers on social media last week mentioning a few days of paused deliveries. Spy photographers doing their good work at the Nürburgring spotted a production version of the sedan at the track, having no trouble at all husting around. The 1,100-horsepower version of the sedan that broke open the EV segment was last seen at the ‘Ring in September and October of 2019, when it was thought to be going for a lap record. Back then, Tesla engineers had affixed an increasingly intense batch of aero gear from front splitters to “Fast & Furious” wings, plus super grabby Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. This newest sighting is of a Model S Plaid in showroom guise, riding on what look like the stock Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. Rumor has it that the red rocket is again after at least one ‘Ring lap time record.

Two years back, spectators with stopwatches said they clocked the Tesla coming around in about 7:23, which would put it in with the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupé GT 63 S 4MATIC+, 2018 Jaguar XE SV Project 8, and 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS. After those runs, Tesla posted on Twitter that “Data from our track tests indicates that Model S Plaid can achieve 7:20 at the Nürburgring. With some improvements, 7:05 may be possible when Model S returns next month.” The company did return the next month, but still clocked no official time. A 7:05 time would put the car in company with the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. The Porsche Taycan Turbo is credited with the fastest production electric sedan lap time at 7:42.34 on the 20.6-km layout that Porsche likes to run its sedans on instead of the 20.8-km historic loop.  

This Model S Plaid wears vBox antennas over both front doors, and at least one proto had a standard, fully-round steering wheel, while another had the yoke wheel that Elon Musk said will be the car’s only spec. Perhaps this time we’ll get the official lap time we’ve been waiting for.

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