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Tesla Model S will take on famed Nürburgring racetrack, Elon Musk says

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Musk throws down the gauntlet with Porsche

Earlier this week, Porsche released its first all-electric sports car, the Taycan, at an event that was simulcasted from three different locations around the world: Canada, Germany, and China. Leading up the announcement, the German automaker boasted that a prototype version of the Taycan “conquered” the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife racetrack in Germany with a record time of 7 minutes and 42 seconds.

While not really relevant to your average car buyer, beating the so-called “Green Hell” racetrack is nevertheless an important feather in Porsche’s cap as it seeks to market its new model as the fastest and most high-tech EV in its class.

In what I assume is completely unrelated news, Elon Musk tweeted on Thursday that Tesla will be taking a Model S to the famed Nürburgring next week. There’s no doubt that this timing is completely coincidental and has nothing to do with the release of another so-called “Tesla killer” that critics claim will put Musk’s company out of business.

To be sure, Tesla makes, dare I say, ludicrously fast cars. The performance version of the Model S boasts a 0–60 mph acceleration of 2.4 seconds, which is a hair faster than the 2.6 seconds that Porsche says its Taycan Turbo S takes to make a similar sprint. Whether Musk’s car can take the 12.9-mile (20.8 km) track faster than 7 minutes and 42 seconds, though, remains to be seen.

Musk was clearly watching the Taycan’s debut with a high degree of interest. In addition to his Nürburgring tweet, the Tesla CEO also tweaked Porsche for naming the two versions of the Taycan “Turbo” and “Turbo S.” (The car does not actually have a turbocharger.) Musk seems to be spoiling for a fight, and depending on how well the Model S performs in Germany next week, it looks like he’ll get one.

Updated September 6, 2019 2:56 pm ET: Tesla’s track run is now a little less certain. A spokesperson for the Nürburgring told Road & Track that it hasn’t received any request from the company, and may not be able to accommodate Tesla even if it had.

“Tesla did not send us a record request and did not rent an exclusive time slot.” The representative further said that the [Nürburgring-]Nordschleife is “fully booked through the season,” and added, “I think that there is no availability for Tesla to set up a record attempt in the next days.”