Home Breaking News Tesla gets “Plaid”: Panamera Lion crushes Model S on the Nürburgring

Tesla gets “Plaid”: Panamera Lion crushes Model S on the Nürburgring

Porsche Panamera Lion

It made the waves on the internet: The aging Tesla Model S hurling its portly body around the Nürburgring, heavily modified with a widened body, racing tires, aerodynamic enhancements and unknown changes to the powertrain and battery safeguards. And they took the interior out of one of its two test cars – while claiming on Twitter that both test cars are seven-seaters.

Their lap time? Unconfirmed, but in a tweet on September 19, Tesla claimed that “data from our test track indicates that Model S Plaid can achieve 7:20 at the Nürburgring.” An unofficial stopwatch timing supposedly produced a 7:23 reading. “Plaid” is rumoured to be an upcoming version’s designation.

The glowing revelation was supposed to serve as a “hard smackdown”, to borrow an Elon Musk phrase, to the new Porsche Taycan. Porsche had achieved a 7:42 time around the famous track – in a production spec Taycan Turbo and on series production tires. A record attempt in the more powerful Turbo S has yet to happen.

Meanwhile in mid-September, one of the heavily modified Model S prototypes gave up its ghost on the Nürburgring in broad daylight and was humiliatingly lapped – twice – by a Taycan. The Porsche driver resisted stopping to offer his generous help.

While Tesla is intensely focused on the EV race, a similarly sized but vastly different animal has been spotted raging on the Ring: A black Panamera Turbo, sporting the license plate LEO-GD 710. An indication of the target lap time?

We stretched our feelers to Weissach and came up some plausible information: This is a car created by a small internal project team and set to prove the racing potential of the Panamera – as a celebration of the model’s 10th anniversary.

The team cut around 550 lbs from a non-hybrid Panamera Turbo: Out went damping material, massage seats, and interior panels; a 250-lbs-plus roll cage was installed, as well as a racing driver’s seat and a passenger seat taken from the 718 Cayman GT4. The Bose surround sound system had to go, but the PCM communication module remained.

And the engine? The 4.0-liter V-8 has been tweaked to produce a whopping 750 horsepower. Voilà: The Panamera “Lion”, as the car is internally called.

We also learned that the Panamera missed its 7:10 target: Observers recorded 7:11. Asked directly, Porsche spokesman Ben Weinberger winked and volunteered: “I can neither confirm nor deny this number…” We have no doubt the drive happened just like our sources tell us: Changes to the power-to-weight ratio and tires make a big difference on the Ring.

The Panamera Lion’s 7:11 time is a full 27 seconds faster than the series production model: That’s a remarkable improvement with a few simple tweaks to chassis, aero, engine management and street-legal Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires. The effect of the Porsche team’s relatively low-effort improvements suggests that the Panamera’s potential is far from maxed out.

While Porsche can wait and sit back, Tesla has their work cut out for them: The Panamera Turbo’s 7:11 figure is just the next benchmark for the Tesla Model S, but assuredly not the final one. Last week, the Americans were spotted again with two cars, until the weather gods had enough – and sent Tesla back to the pits.

15 COMMENTS

  1. This article reek of trolling and Porsche fanboyism. It shames the model 3 as old and porky (the taycan is even porkier and quite less space available) and that talking about “heavy modifications” about the widened body/aero “racing tires” (Sport Cup 2 R *are* street legal on the contrary to what the writer thinks) modifications to the powertrain and stipped down interior but then the Panamera get praises instead because upping the engine from 440Hp to well over 750HP (automotosport.de says 820) with a reworked rear spoler, rear axle steering, stabilization, dampers, intake manifold exhaust system ,different underbody,stripping of all the damping material stereo, racing seat and now magically street legal” Sport Cup 2 are instead “small tweaks” and “low effort”

  2. Dude, you’re the troll.

    All we’ve seen are articles touting the 7:20 time by Tesla. It’s time for Porsche to not comment, to smile and flip the switch on the German tradition of out engineering everyone. The model S is fast, but it is a massive car weighing what 5000 lbs? Also when was their last redesign year?

    Tesla’s cars are not new tech. Do a Google search. Everything in those weren’t invented by Tesla. All of it was taken or purchased from other manufactures or resurrected from yesteryear. They’re just a cobbled together gimmicky death trap of ip theft and cheap tricks. You can’t say the same of Porsche.

  3. This article is so slanted I fell off my chair! Everything Porsche has done is gospel with 0 verification from officials and everything Tesla has done is fake.. wait, I meant “the Americans”

    And he’s even prejudice.. what a dick!

  4. Shows what a difference a few tweaks make… Stripped down and powered up Panemara loses 20s on a lap… Suggesting maybe a stripped down and powered up Model S would gain around the same time? Maybe they should try the same thing with the Taycan and see howxmuch difference that makes?

    Either way comparing the Panemara to a model S is pretty ridiculous. Two completely different animals really.

  5. Porsche owes Tesla… Tesla showed Porsche, despite their history of accomplishment, how inferior their ICE technology was, forcing Porsche to move to EV to play for future evolution. No other company has forced Porsche’s hand in having to recreate itself. Arguably, Porsche would Never have made the move were it not for Tesla – why would they given the risk, HUGE expenditure, and that they have been, “good enough” to stay in front of the pack. Elon Musk has been an evolutionary God in this regard – yes, only making the world wonder if he has this business savvy to morph Tesla 10x in volume for necessary economy of scale profit, while doing the “dance” that is public funding survival in the corporate arena exemplified by someone such as Steve Jobs.

  6. What does anyone expect from LOSERS?

    LOSERS claim that Tesla Model 3 doesn’t find any buyer. Losers didn’t accept that Tesla sold more Model 3 than all BMW sedans combined in America.

    A failed company sold more EV than all pollution sedans of a well known company BMW is a failed attempt of Elon Musk?

  7. Wow. Amazing how you got pretty much every fact wrong in this article. You literally stated that the “highly modified” Model S unofficially beat the Taycan time by 20 seconds and then said it was embarrassingly lapped by a “completely stock Taycan with stock tires”? Then you later try to compare a future Tesla production car to a LITERALLY highly modified Porsche. Good grief, just report the facts. 2 amazing cars, doing amazing things, on Nuremberg, with batteries. Wow! That would have made a great article! If I were your wiring instructor, I would give you an F and have you start over with a new thesis.

  8. Lots of testosterone here. What should be of interest is performance around the track of standard production models. What was tested was not a Tesla S or A panamera turbo

  9. The Model S may eventually lose to the Taycan, but only after Tesla pushes Porsche to reluctantly post faster times in the Taycan than it gets out of its production ICE cars. Porsche wants to delay that inevitable outcome as long as possible, because once it happens potential Porsche buyers will realize that the ICE is obsolete. Porsche will then have to rapidly shift its business while trying to minimize losses due to rapidly depreciating assets. This is Elon’s objective for all the industry.

  10. Please remove your lips from Porsche’s tail pipe. Compare EVs to EVs. If the Taycan is superior to the Model S so be it. That’s the race here. Noone cares about last centuries technology.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here