Tesla Model 3 chases down Porsche Taycan Turbo S lap time, and comes very close

(Credit: Rex Raikkonen/YouTube)

While the Porsche Taycan Turbo S and the Tesla Model 3 Performance are very different vehicles, both electric sedans are capable of handling the demands of track driving. The Turbo S far exceeds the Model 3 Performance in terms of price, however, with the German-made super-sedan starting at a price roughly equal to three Model 3 Performance units. 

The wide gap between the Model 3 and the Taycan Turbo S’ price encouraged racing enthusiast and EV owner Rex Raikkonen to see just how far he could push his Tesla on the track. Going into the 2020 SCCA Time Trial Nationals, Raikkonen tried to see if his Model 3 Performance could catch the lap set by the Porsche Taycan Turbo S at the National Corvette Museum (NCM) track. 

Raikkonen’s Model 3 Performance did have suspension upgrades from EV tuning house Mountain Pass Performance, but the all-electric sedan was still running on street tires. The Tesla owner’s goal for the lap was ambitious, seeing as the Taycan Turbo S ran a 2:15.3 lap with professional driver Andy Pilgrim behind the wheel. The Taycan’s run, featured on Automobile Magazine’s Pro Racers show on YouTube, showed just how well-tuned the electric super-sedan was for the circuit. 

Raikkonen pushed his Model 3 Performance hard around the NCM track, and though the Tesla owner noted that his car could not match the Taycan Turbo S’ raw speed during the straights, the American-made EV was able to impress nonetheless. The Tesla Model 3 Performance was ultimately able to complete a lap around the NCM track in 2:15.8, just half a second behind the Porsche Taycan Turbo S. 

Comments about the run posted on the r/TeslaMotors subreddit mentioned that the Model 3 could have actually matched or even beat the Taycan Turbo S’ 2:15.3 time if Raikkonen had driven a bit more aggressively during his hot lap. With a set of better tires and a more aggressive driving style, the reasonably affordable Model 3 could have exhibited an even more impressive lap. 

While he fell 0.5 seconds short of the Taycan Turbo S, Raikkonen remarked that he was not disappointed with his Model 3 at all. The vehicle, after all, only cost about $70,000 including its Mountain Pass Performance upgrades. That’s just a fraction of the Taycan Turbo S’ premium price, which usually reaches well into the $200,000s when specced. 

Watch the Model 3 Performance’s run around the NCM track in the video below. 

Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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