Tesla heads to Nurburgring for Model S run
The company is presumably aiming to dethrone the Porsche Taycan.
Tesla is apparently planning to make an attempt at beating the Porsche Taycan's Nurburgring record.
"Model S on Nürburgring next week," Tesla chief Elon Musk announced on Twitter.
Porsche last month claimed a new leading lap time for "four-door, all-electric sports cars" on the famed Green Hell circuit, completing the 20.6-kilometer course in seven minutes and 42 seconds.
The Model S is well known for smashing supercars on the drag strip but has not established an impressive Nurburgring time. The hefty sedan reportedly keeps a strong pace for most of the course before a software limiter intervenes in the final miles, slashing available power as the battery module heats up.
Musk's comment suggests Tesla may have resolved the power-limiter issue. Numerous software and hardware changes have quietly rolled out for the Model S in recent years. It seems unlikely for Musk to hint at a record attempt if the current-production Model S cannot handle a full-power run.
Tesla faced customer backlash in 2016 after owners discovered that the 'Ludicrous' acceleration upgrade placed a cap on the number of full-power launches to preserve the drivetrain. The limits were eventually removed, seemingly without incident.
The software provisions that intervened in previous Model S Nurburgring attempts were presumably designed to mitigate range degradation and, at even higher temperatures, the possibility of thermal runaway and fire.
Musk earlier this year claimed Tesla is expecting to achieve huge leaps in battery longevity. Battery modules entering production as early as next year are said to be designed for one million miles before needing replacement due to range loss. Musk has also said the current Model 3 battery is already capable of 300,000 miles to 500,000 miles.
At some point, the Model S and X are expected to get Tesla's newer '2170' battery cells that are used in the Model 3. The improved battery design enables the Model 3 to charge at a much faster rate than the Model S and is likely better suited to repeated full-power acceleration experienced on the Nurburgring.
Tesla plans to showcase its energy-storage and powertrain innovations at a "Battery Day" event early next year.