The rivalry between veteran electric automaker Tesla and newcomer Porsche is heating up as both cars fight to be king of the Nurburgring, but it’s safe to say that the former’s efforts aren’t going exactly as expected.
While undergoing Industry Pool testing on Wednesday, a Tesla Model S prototype found itself immobile on the side of the track due to an unknown failure. And just when things couldn’t seem to get any worse—Porsche capitalized on the opportunity to rub salt in the Tesla’s wounds by having its Taycan glide past the disabled Tesla as it was loaded onto a flatbed truck.
There’s no word on what caused the Tesla’s problems, but given the fact that the American automaker is testing prototype hardware and software, including a new three-motor drivetrain which has yet to make it into any street-going cars, it’s not exactly a surprise that’s something went wrong. After all, that’s part of pre-launch testing.
We can say that it most likely wasn’t a charging issue since Tesla installed a Supercharger at the Nurburgring earlier this week to “make it feel like home,” read a tweet.
In late August, Porsche revealed its newest baby with a bang—but instead of explosive exhaust notes and a roaring flat-six like one would normally expect, it took a page from T. S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” and debuted the whisper-quiet Taycan as world’s fastest four-door electric sedan ’round the Nurburgring with a time of just 7:42 minutes.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, refusing to be bested, announced that Tesla would also send one of its cars to the Nurburgring the following week—except he forgot to tell track officials when he made that statement, causing lots of confusion between the company and the track. Tesla has since rectified these issues, but has yet to set an official public lap record on the ring. Preliminary reports indicated that Tesla may have been trying for an officiated time either Wednesday (the day that the breakdown occurred) or Saturday of this week.
Unofficial lap times set the Tesla about 19 seconds faster than the Porsche, but until an actual number is recorded it’s purely speculation.
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