Tesla Just Set a New Lap Record for Production Electric Vehicles at Nürburgring

A breakthrough result from the Model S Plaid

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Tesla Model Y at the Tesla Showroom.
dpa/picture alliance via Getty I

An electric vehicle named for a Spaceballs reference set a new record in Germany. That might look like the result of an epic Mad Libs session, but it also reflects something that just happened at the Nürburgring race course. Tesla’s Model S Plaid took to the 12.9-mile course on Thursday and completed a circuit in seven minutes and 30.9 seconds. That set a new record for the course; according to Andrew J. Hawkins at The Verge, the previous record, held by a Porsche Taycan, was 12 seconds slower.

As Elon Musk pointed out on Twitter, the Model S Plaid arrived “directly from factory.” It’s an impressive demonstration of what the new iteration of the Model S is capable of — and, apparently, there’s more to come. Up next, according to Musk, will be a Model S Plaid with “added aero surfaces, carbon brakes & track tires” giving the track a go.

As with many a Tesla product, this new version of the Model S riffs on pop culture — in this case, a scene from Mel Brooks’s Spaceballs in which “Plaid” is the only level of transportation faster than “Ludicrous Speed.” Turns out that isn’t just boasting, either — a Motor Trend report from earlier this year dubbed the Model S Plaid “the quickest production car we’ve ever tested.”

It does raise one question, however. Now that plaid has been achieved, what will the next generation of Teslas strive for?

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