Why I won't care about Tesla's laptime at the 'Ring' anymore
Honestly, there were a lot of heated discussions going not only on Drivetribe but over the whole automotive community due to the Porsche vs Tesla EV rivalry at the Nurburgring. Yes, I have a very straightforward and ‘biased’ opinion on this topic and have been writing quite a lot about it. However, after reading recent news about Tesla’s return to the Nurburgring, I decided not to care about the whole ‘Tesla at Nurburgring’ anymore. Here are my reasons.
The Model S Plaid was 20 seconds faster than the Taycan, according to Tesla, or to be precise the ‘data’ they have provided. Well, I believe them or the data at least. The Model S Plaid(from now on, I will call it the 1st version for ease) was obviously not a ‘standard’ car. It did not have any seats inside it, despite being marketed as a ‘seven-seat Model S’ and it was clearly not road legal in any way.
I honestly do not have any problem with Tesla bringing a single-seater EV with three motors on the Nurburgring to test it. However, when you ‘advertise’ it as a seven-seater Model S Plaid that will be in production next summer, not a limited track edition monoposto Tesla. And then, you see the whole hype of Porsche versus Tesla. Honestly, I do not see a meaningful comparison of a standard road-legal Taycan and an extensively modified Model S. It is like comparing a stock 911 Carrera with a 1,000hp GT-R from a Japanese tuner.
Furthermore, while Porsche had successfully completed its 2,000-mile American road test and a 24-hour endurance test without failure, the prototype somehow managed to find a parking space in the middle of the Nurburgring. Okay, it is a prototype. But would it be okay to ‘market’ a prototype that is not even reliable to break down during a hot lap on the Nurburgring as a Taycan competitor, when the Taycan has already gone into production after all the tests? I have to say the PRs of Tesla was too over-exaggerated and hyped.
But when I heard that Tesla will be returning to Nurburgring again, I honestly expected them to bring something better, and something closer to a production Model S Plaid we will be able to buy and drive on the road. However, what do I see? Yes, a Franken-Tesla with a huge rear diffuser that seems to be built for a GT3 car. Also, it still runs on semi-slick tires, which would not be suited for daily uses, while the aero work had evolved into an even more extreme state.
Honestly, now I am sick and tired of it. If Tesla had brought a somewhat more production-like model, I would not have felt this furious. But all I see is a mutant Tesla and Tesla’s PR division that seems to be desperate to ‘win’ Porsche both in terms of lap times and advertisement. So, Tesla, I will be waiting for you to bring us a proper road-legal, production-spec Model S Plaid. That is the very car we should be wondering about its lap time, not random prototypes.
At the end of the day...
With the whole Porsche vs Tesla debate, the Nurburgring’s problem had also arisen into the surface. Many users here on Drivetribe had criticized Nurburgring for the lack of sanctioning and clarification. And it seems that Nurburgring is actually trying to improve. The officials are trying to standardize the laps which is a great leap compared to times when Nurburgring only offered private time slots for record measurements.
“We now mandate that the full 20.8 km is used, and we employ a notary to measure the time following rumours that another manufacturer had cheated by speeding up video footage.” states the Nurburgring spokesman Alexander Gerhard. Also, new rules mandate where timing devices should be located too. Yes, it is a baby step as Nurburgring itself does not sanction the car’s state(being road-legal, tires, differences with standard model) itself. However, it is a baby step, and I wholeheartedly hope that the infamous Green Ring can regain its reputation for being the world’s most competitive benchmarking circuit.