Tesla Model S returns to Nurburgring, benchmark timing (video)

Tesla has been spotted once again testing some Model S prototypes around the Nurburgring in Germany, following previous runs at the track last month.

This all started about a month ago when company boss Elon Musk was asked on Twitter when the company is going to take on the Nurburgring. Musk replied, at the time, that the Model S is already there. He also confirmed a new, more powerful powertrain being in the works called ‘Plaid’.

Later last month the company itself then sent out a Tweet, saying a Model S with the Plaid system could achieve a lap in 7:20. It also said that with some improvements, 7:05 might be possible, specifically, “when the Model S returns next month”.

Well, now it is “next month” and low and behold, the Model S is back. Two examples were spotted taking on the German track, including a dark blue prototype and a red prototype. Both feature unique pumped wheel arches, a lip spoiler at the rear, deep dish lightweight alloy wheels, and sticky track-ready tyres.

It’s unknown what Tesla is trying to do here exactly. Could it be looking to claim the lap record for a production four-door electric vehicle? The record is currently in the hands of the Porsche Taycan, which posted a lap in 7:42. Or is Tesla simply demonstrating the potential of its technology?

A proper record might not be set however, because technically these are not production-spec vehicles. However, they do give us some clue of what could be possible in the Model S Plaid package which is set to arrive next year. We suspect more details will be revealed very soon. Check them out below.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.