Porsche North American President and CEO Klaus Zellmer said at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show that they respect Tesla as a sports car manufacturer, adding that they “love competition.”
Zellmer told CNET Roadshow’s Tim Stevens that there “aren’t that many ways to prove that it is a true sports car,” saying that the Nurburgring is almost like a meter for testing a company’s status as a sports car manufacturer.
“Anyone who’s trying to go there to see how you’re doing, we have great respect for. We love the competition. It’s their business. We respect them. They’ve prepared many markets for electric cars. They probably lowered the bar [of entry] for other markets opening up and for other brands entering the EV space, which is great. And whatever they want to do, if they want to take us up on the Nurburgring Nordschleife, it’s their call,” he said.
“That’s obviously going to limit [Tesla’s] relevance of what they’ve been doing,” he added, referring to Tesla’s modified Model S.
The Tesla Model S is already practising and testing at Nurburgring in preparation for their lap competition with Porsche’s Taycan, which set a lap record at Nurburgring for electric sports cars recently. The Model S versions practising on the track are reportedly modified, yet the modifications remain unknown.
One of the modifications is assumed by Insidevs to be the upcoming “Plaid” powertrain, with three motors and other performance-enhancing upgrades, with which a Model S just set a new record at the Laguna Seca track in California. For Nurburgring, the Model S is officially on the schedule for 21 September.
Musk challenged Porsche to a race while roasting the German company’s latest electric car, the Taycan Turbo S. The rivalry drew the attention of netizens and race-lovers worldwide, including former Formula One World Champion Nico Rosberg, who even volunteered to be the electric car maker’s test driver.