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Has Tesla just smashed the Porsche Taycan’s record at the Nurburgring?

Tesla is back on the track this week with a second highly modified Model S prototype. If our spy photographer’s stopwatch is accurate, it’s already faster than the Porsche Taycan.
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Tesla may have already smashed the Porsche Taycan’s electric car lap record at the Nurburgring – even though its official attempt is not due to happen until later in the week.

One of CarAdvice’s spy photography agencies caught on camera another example of a highly modified Tesla Model S sedan lapping the famous 20.8km circuit overnight, or Tuesday afternoon local time.

According to photographer Stefan Baldauf who witnessed the test session, the blue Tesla Model S did an unofficial lap time of approximately 7 minutes and 23 seconds, about 19 seconds faster than the Porsche Taycan time of 7 minutes and 42 seconds, which is a record for four-door electric sedans.

“I took the first lap times today and the fastest I could [record] by hand was a 7:23,” Baldauf advised in an email. “The weather conditions today were rather cool with 18 degrees [Celsius] and heavy cloud cover,” he added.

The conditions would be ideal for a fast lap time given the track temperature would be relatively mild.

The prototype doing hot laps last week was a red Model S sedan, the example claimed to have done a fast lap time on Tuesday this week was blue, but equipped with the same modifications: wider wheels, a wider footprint, wheel arch extensions, carbon ceramic brakes, and a rear wing.

Most importantly the Tesla appears to have again been equipped with a special type of semi-slick racing tyre.

“It looks like they are using a prototype tyre from Goodyear,” said Baldauf. The tyres have “Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport RS” on their sidewalls and are not yet publicly available, although they are likely related to tyres fitted to the Porsche 911 GT2 RS and GT3 RS high-performance editions.

The veteran Nurburgring spy photographer claims “a record attempt will be this Wednesday evening [European time] in the performance slot of the industrial pool”.

He also said that a “second record attempt (is) very likely on Saturday evening. At least there are some rumours”. Photographer Stefan Baldauf says Tesla is using three drivers: Germany's Thomas Mutsch (a Nurburgring and Le Mans expert), and Swedish race drivers Andreas Simonsen and Carl Rydquist, who are also experienced on the German circuit.

Despite the encouraging signs we will will need to wait for Tesla’s official confirmation of the lap time, especially as the official start/finish line is different to where the photographer clocked the Tesla.

But if the estimated 7 minute, 23 second time is a guide, it seems Porsche really could have a fight on its hands.

Such a time would slot the Tesla Model S ahead of a 2010 Porsche 911 GT2 RS and just behind a 2011 C6 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, both of which were on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres for their lap times.

As always, stayed tuned to CarAdvice where we will bring you updates on Tesla’s Nurburgring record attempt as it happens.