Model S News

Tesla Model S Plaid crashes at the Nürburgring during test laps


Back in July, Tesla took the 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid to Germany, in a quest to break some lap records at the Nürburgring race track. Now reportedly, this Model S Plaid has crashed during one of the test lap attempts.

First reported by Road and Track, Plaid was not the only sports car that crashed on the ring’ yesterday. A BMW M8 test mule and a 2022 Corvette Z06 prototype also suffered damages at the hands of this difficult track aka the Green Hell.

Tesla Model S Plaid sideswiped a barrier in the Klostertal sector of the Nürburgring track. As I have marked the Klostertal area in the race circuit map image below, this track location comes just before the Karussel hairpin turn. It is considered to be the most dangerous corner of the Nürburgring track.

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Nurburgring race circuit diagram with the Tesla Model S Plaid crash location marked at the Klostertal area. Credits: Pitlane02 / Wikimedia (CC by SA3.0).

When the Tri-Motor Plaid Model S project was in the prototype stage in 2019, Tesla shipped two prototypes to Nurburgring, Germany. The American automaker tested these prototypes for calibration and validation purposes at the time.

But this time Tesla was aiming to break some records, this crash has temporarily halted those efforts. Unfortunately, there is a very limited supply of photos of the Model S Plaid testing at the ring’. The only ones I could find are taken by MotorAuthority, these pics show the modified Plaid Model S with a fairly lowered suspension and different wheels and wider tires.

Tesla Model S Plaid at the Nurburgring race circuit Germany. Equipped with special wheels and wider tire compared to the production version. Credits:

Currently, the Model S Plaid production cars delivered to the customers have a software-locked top speed of 163 mph, waiting for the right wheels and tires expected to be released in fall 2021 — to unlock the 200 mph (322 km/h) top speed of the Model S Plaid.

The new wheels and tires shown in the image above are most probably the 21″ option that Tesla is waiting to release towards the end of this year.

Related: Tesla Model S Plaid vs. Dodge Demon drag race

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Nurburgring video documentary showing how tough this race track actually is.

By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii