PORSCHE has set a new lap record for four-door pure-electric vehicles at Germany’s fearsome Nürburgring Nordschleife with a prototype version of its Taycan sports GT.
As shown in the onboard video footage above, test driver Lars Kern completed the 20.6km circuit in 7 minutes 42 seconds, equalling previous timed runs set by the petrol-powered Cayman GT4 and 997 GT3, as well as a Lamborghini Murciélago LP670-4 SuperVeloce.
“The Taycan is also suitable for race tracks and it convincingly proved that here on the world’s most challenging circuit,” Kern said. “Again and again, I am impressed at how stable the all-electric sports car handles in high-speed sections, such as Kesselchen, and how neutrally it accelerates from tight sections, such as Adenauer Forst.”
Porsche says development engineers started running simulator tests of the dual-motor, all-wheel drive Taycan around the Nürburgring-Nordschleife at an early development stage. According to the car maker, one of the main goals of the computer runs was to fine tune the thermal management of the 800 volt electric drivetrain, which it says is an important contribution to achieving a good lap time.
Also important is the power output, of course. Final details are yet to be announced but reports suggest the company will offer versions of the Taycan with up to 603bhp, and this range-topper is expected to accelerate to 62mph in less than 3.5sec — as fast off the blocks as a 911 Turbo. Top speed is claimed to be “well over 200kph [124mph]”, and in the video the model used for the record run can be seen hitting 259kph (161mph).
The Taycan also uses Porsche’s “4D chassis control”, which analyses and synchronises the four wheel steering with the adaptive air suspension, electronic dampers, electromechanical roll stabilisation and torque vectoring systems.
The Taycan is not the fastest road legal electric car around the Nordschleife; that record belongs to the Nio Ep9 hypercar, which managed a time of 6min 45.90sec. But even the extraordinary EP9 is not the fastest electric car at the Green Hell: Volkswagen’s Pikes Peak- and Goodwood-conquering ID R, a purpose-built hillclimb racer, completed a lap in 6min 5.336sec with Romain Dumas at the wheel.
The fastest ever time at the circuit belongs to a Porsche, though. A modified version of the 919 Evo Le Mans hybrid racing car completed a revolution of the track in a mind-blowing 5min 19.545sec.
The Nordschliefe run is the latest of a series of tough tests for the Taycan. The company ran it for 24 hours at the Nardò (Italy) high-speed track, covering a distance of 3,425km (2,128 miles) at speeds between 195kph and 215kph. Then, at the end of July, a prototype was accelerated from zero to 200kph 26 times in succession to check its durability under extreme stress, averaging under ten seconds per run.
Stefan Weckbach, Vice President of the Taycan product line, said: “The Taycan mastered its Triple Endurance Run superbly … Numerous factors contribute to this performance and the efficiency of the powertrain, also at high speeds. These include the chassis systems that react within a fraction of a second as well as the outstanding aerodynamics.”
The production version of the Taycan will make its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month ahead of its arrival in Britain in early 2020. In 2022, an estate crossover model version is also expected.