Tesla Model S finally takes on Porsche Taycan in electric heavyweight battle

The Tesla Model S Performance and Porsche Taycan Turbo S have finally gone head to head. Tesla’s flagship sedan which was first released in 2012 has been waiting for a worthy competitor, and it finally received a rival when Porsche unveiled the Taycan in September 2019.

Automotive publication Car and Driver pegged the two Dual Motor electric sedans up against each other to see what vehicle was superior. After testing everything from performance to comfort, they determined the winner was the Model S.

A neutral party was exactly what the electric vehicle community needed to determine which performance-level car was superior. Car and Driver noted that while the vehicles both had positives and negatives, neither truly disappointed overall. It was clear the reviewers were happy with both the 778 horsepower Model S “Raven” and the 750 horsepower Taycan, but only could be the winner.

The Taycan held the upper-hand during the performance test. The Porsche’s 30-to-50 MPH and 50-to-70 MPH acceleration rates were the fastest they had ever seen in a vehicle. The Taycan also offered 1.3 G-forces of initial acceleration, comparing it to what they thought a time-travel portal would feel like.

Another point was given to the Taycan after charging the vehicles. The Taycan utilized 350-kW Electrify American chargers that were never occupied by another electric car during the duration of the Porsche’s charging session. It also charged at a consistently higher rate than the Tesla Supercharger C&D used for the Model S. “Tesla’s Supercharger network might have more stations, but it also has more users, and Tesla owners have faced long queues just to plug in during peak travel times.”

While C&D did state they feel the Taycan is a better vehicle “from the driver’s seat alone,” it was not enough to justify the drastic price difference between the two vehicles. The Tesla Model S Performance is available for $99,990 on Tesla.com, while the Taycan Turbo S is $188,960 on Porsche’s website.

The Model S offered the reviewers a fast, spacious, and comfortable driving experience. They recognize the vehicle’s catalytic effect on the growth of not just electric vehicles, but the automotive industry in general. The car’s interior, including its huge infotainment screens, which have spread to internal combustion vehicles, was just one of the reasons the Model S was superior.

While the Taycan outperformed the Model S in eight of the thirteen different speed tests that included a one-foot rollout, 0-60 MPH, 0-100 MPH, 0-130MPH, 0-150 MPH, 5-60 MPH rolling start, top gear tests from both 30-50 MPH and 50-70 MPH, a quarter-mile race, top speed, braking from both 70 and 100 MPH, and roadholding tests on a 300-foot diameter skidpad, the reviewers stated they missed other features when they started driving the Porsche. The biggest was Tesla’s “one-pedal driving” feature, “we missed it every time we hopped back into the Taycan,” Dave VanderWerp wrote.

  • Porsche Taycan Turbo S
    • Rollout, 1 foot: 0.2 seconds
    • 0-60 MPH: 2.4 seconds
    • 0-100 MPH: 6.0 seconds
    • 0-130 MPH: 10.5 seconds
    • 0-150 MPH: 15.2 seconds
    • 5-60 MPH rolling start: 2.9 seconds
    • Top Gear, 30-50 MPH: 1.1 seconds
    • Top Gear, 50-70 MPH: 1.6 seconds
    • Top Speed (according to Porsche): 162 MPH
    • Braking, 70-0 MPH: 155 ft, 100-0 MPH: 306 ft
    • Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.99 g
  • Tesla Model S Performance “Raven”
    • Rollout, 1 foot: 0.2 seconds
    • 0-60 MPH: 2.5 seconds
    • 0-100 MPH: 6.4 seconds
    • 0-130 MPH: 11.9 seconds
    • 0-150 MPH: 18.5 seconds
    • 5-60 MPH rolling start: 2.8 seconds
    • Top Gear, 30-50 MPH: 1.1 seconds
    • Top Gear, 50-70 MPH: 1.6 seconds
    • Top Speed (according to Tesla): 163 MPH
    • Braking, 70-0 MPH: 156 ft, 100-0 MPH: 313 ft
    • Roadholding, 300-ft-dia-skidpad: 0.92 g

One surprising portion of the comparison was range. The Model S boasts an EPA estimated 348 miles per charge, while the Taycan only offers 192 miles. However, a test where both vehicles traveled at 75 MPH for a total distance of 100 miles proved that the Model S only held a slight advantage with only 10 more miles of range after completion.

While both cars were impressive and offered something special, the nearly $190,000 price tag of the Taycan Turbo S was simply too high for what it offered. The Model S was a better car all-around as its virtues were simply undeniable and proven after eight years of continuous top-notch performance. “There’s no question which is the better buy,” they said, and it is the Model S.

The full comparison of both vehicles from Car and Driver is available here.

Joey Klender: Writer covering Tesla, Elon Musk and other EVs. Penn State Alum, Environmentalist, Mixed Martial Arts fanatic, Washington Capitals' biggest fan, and poker player. Inspired by Elon Musk.
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