Back in February, esteemed motoring publication Car and Driver pitted the Tesla Model S Performance against the Porsche Taycan Turbo S. And while the publication ultimately granted the win to the Model S due to its value for money, the tests showed that the Taycan had the better performance between the two vehicles. This was especially true when it came to consecutive quarter-mile runs.
The Model S shone against the Taycan in rolling-start 5-60 mph runs, but in actual sprints to the quarter-mile, the Tesla ended up being slower than the Porsche. The publication noted that on its hero run, the Model S Performance was able to hit 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, which was only 0.1 seconds slower than the Taycan Turbo S’ 2.4 seconds. However, the gap between the two cars was about 3 seconds by 150 mph.
Shockingly, the Model S’ 0-60 mph times fell off rapidly after its first couple of runs, and by the 15th launch, the flagship Tesla sedan was hitting highway speeds nearly at the pace of the Chevy Bolt EV. That was the case, at least, until Tesla rolled out its Cheetah Stance update for the Model S. Once that was rolled out, everything changed.
With the exact same car on hand, Car and Driver opted to retest the Model S Performance’s capabilities with its Cheetah Stance update. The only difference was that this time, the test track used for the all-electric sedan’s launches was in Michigan instead of Southern California. Needless to say, the Tesla Model S got better after its update — a whole lot better.
The hero run of the Model S Performance was already impressive back in February, but with its Cheetah Mode update, the vehicle was able to show a 0-60 mph time of 2.4 seconds, matching the Taycan Turbo S’ best time. Inasmuch as the results from this past February were shocking, the results from the Model S’ retest were equally astounding. The vehicle’s 0-60 mph time only ranged from 2.7 to 3.8 seconds, and quarter-mile passes ranged from 11.3 to 12.9 seconds.
Ultimately, after 15 consecutive launches, the average time in both metrics dropped by around 2 seconds compared to the tests last February. This stunning improvement in consistency, which was evidently only due to new software, was something that truly impressed Car and Driver.
“Across all 15 runs, the average time in both metrics dropped by a massive two seconds compared to our previous test. That’s a staggering gain in performance from twiddling a few lines of code, and we continue to marvel at the breadth and depth of the changes Tesla is making with its continual software updates,” the publication wrote.
What is rather interesting is that the Tesla Model S Performance today is not done receiving improvements from the electric car maker. Tesla stands apart from the competition with its mastery of over-the-air software updates, and if Car and Driver’s tests are any indication, these improvements are incredibly evident. It could, for one, match the consistency and performance of a flagship electric car like the Porsche Taycan Turbo S, at a fraction of the price.