Finally, the Porsche Taycan Turbo S and the Tesla Model S Performance have been thrown against each other in an incredibly comprehensive comparison test and review by Car and Driver. The results are in, and we’re here to pick apart everything that the team found out. While the Porsche EV is incredibly competitive with a high performance, the Tesla remains to be the go-to electric car.
The Porsche Taycan Turbo S was never going to win on paper, with a claimed 0-60mph time of ‘only’ 2.6 seconds thanks to 750hp and an EPA-estimated range of just 192 miles. At a price of $185,000, it’s much more expensive than the Model S Performance which is priced from around $100,000. The Model S also boasts a 0-60mph time of 2.4 seconds and an EPA-estimated range of 348 miles.
The Porsche is consistent
Porsche realises that it falls behind the Tesla in regards to its performance, but it says the car’s consistency is what pushes it ahead of the competition. The Tesla, on the other hand, has degrading performance as you start driving it harder and for longer. The Porsche has incredible heat and battery management.
And its range?
Porsche has explained that the 192-mile range by EPA is incredibly conservative and that it should actually be closer to that of 278 miles in the real world.
Thankfully, Car and Driver is here to test all of these figures. Here’s the first list with the Taycan Turbo S on the left and the Model S Performance on the right.
- Rollout, 1 ft: 0.2 sec; 0.2 sec
- 60 mph: 2.4 sec; 2.5 sec
- 100 mph: 6.0 sec; 6.4 sec
- 130 mph: 10.5 sec; 11.9 sec
- 150 mph: 15.2 sec; 18.5 sec
- Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 2.9 sec; 2.8 sec
- Top gear, 30–50 mph: 1.1 sec; 1.1 sec
- Top gear, 50–70 mph: 1.6 sec; 1.6 sec
- ¼-mile: 10.5 sec @ 130 mph; 10.7 sec @ 125 mph
- Top speed (mfr’s claim): 162 mph; 163 mph
- Braking, 70–0 mph: 155 ft; 156 ft
- Braking, 100–0 mph: 306 ft; 313 ft
- Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.99 g; 0.92 g
As you can see, the Porsche bests the Tesla on almost every test except for top speed, which came to 162mph for the Porsche and 163mph for Tesla. The team also tested both cars with repetitive quarter-mile times with the results plotted on the graph below (by Car And Driver).
The Porsche Taycan Turbo S was constantly on top of the Model S Performance, with the latter quickly losing performance as the testing was carried out further. This was the story from 0 to 60mph, 0 to 100mph, 0 to 130mph, and 0 to 150mph, and obviously this also meant the German EV was faster on the quarter-mile, too, beating the Tesla by 0.2 seconds. It must be noted that this also includes a shift from first to second gear on the Porsche. The Porsche could also brake harder from both 70 and 100mph.
Porsche has often said that they built a car first, an electric car second, and this has been proven with the figures that have been independently mined by Car and Driver.
“[For] all the discussion of the Model S’s fleetness, it is incredibly fussy to achieve its max-acceleration times,” Car and Driver says. “It must be fully charged, and using the Ludicrous Plus mode requires preheating the battery for 45 minutes. After the initial hero run, the Tesla’s times fall off quickly, slowing to the point that we were jotting notes while waiting for the quarter-mile to arrive.”
They found the Tesla to be lacking in build quality, with multiple panel gaps and questionable finish. The Porsche, on the other hand, had a much better build quality and overall finish.
But what do we think about the testing?
Car and Driver wasn’t able to test the cars’ top speeds so stated mfr’s figures. They also only drove the cars an average of 75mph over 100 miles on an oval track to measure efficiency. It resulted in both cars showing an average of 70 MPGe, despite the Tesla supposedly having a combined efficiency rating of 104 MPGe. Jalopnik also mentions that EVs lose efficiency over 70mph, so a test at 75mph could be bending results.
The testing conditions are also unknown and how they measured the car’s performance isn’t noted in the article.
So which is the better car?
Car and Driver reveal that the Model S is the better car on paper, but from the driver’s seat, the Porsche continues the brand’s ideas of being great sports cars.
“Judged from the driver’s seat alone, the Taycan is the better car. It meets the high expectations of this storied brand, proves its real-world range, and moves the EV bar on a couple fronts. But price is always a factor; in this case, an insurmountable one,” the Car And Driver article concludes.
As usual, it sounds like money is the answer. If you have the cash, choose the Porsche. But the Tesla will always be the go-to EV.