Tesla Model S vs Porsche Taycan Turbo S real road race proves mainstream tests were a joke

(Credit: Brooks Weisblat/Instagram)

The Tesla Model S Performance and the Porsche Taycan Turbo S may not exactly belong to the same segment, but both flagship EVs are bound to be considered as rivals thanks to their equally-impressive specs. Unfortunately, real-world races featuring the two vehicles are incredibly rare, and results from previous mainstream tests have proven questionable. 

On paper, the Tesla Model S Performance and the Porsche Taycan Turbo S’s acceleration and top speed are comparable. The Tesla holds an edge in range and tech, and it costs just over half of the Porsche, but the Taycan leads the Model S in classic build quality and track performance. In a lot of ways, races between the two vehicles should be nail-biting rounds, but so far, this has not been the case. 

The Tesla Model S Performance and Porsche Taycan Turbo S have been raced against each other by mainstream motoring outlets in the past, such as Top Gear and Car and Driver. However, in both cases, the results of the races have been very strange. In Top Gear’s case, for example, the Taycan dominated, but videos of the race showed that the Model S was in Range Mode and launch control was not enabled. The publication also admitted to using old Model S results from a previous test against a Mercedes-AMG E63S. 

Car and Driver’s race results were also a bit strange. The Taycan also soundly beat the Model S, but the publication stated that the Tesla’s 0-60 mph dropped to over 4.0 seconds by the third consecutive race. This was an observation that was contested strongly by some owners of the flagship sedan, several of whom have raced their vehicles consecutively. Fortunately for the electric car community, a real race between the two vehicles has finally been shared online, thanks to the efforts of veteran drag racer Brooks Weisblat of YouTube’s DragTimes

In a recent video, the DragTimes host was able to get his hands on both a Tesla Model S Raven Performance with the latest Cheetah Stance update, as well as a $206,000 Porsche Taycan Turbo S. The two vehicles could not be tested on an actual drag strip due to the ongoing pandemic, but the two flagship EVs were able to lock horns in a series of road races nonetheless. 

The races between the two vehicles played out precisely as their specs would suggest. In the first round, the Taycan got the jump on the launch, and it beat the Model S. The second race went to the Tesla, with the Model S Performance pulling hard enough to snatch the win. Two rolling races followed, and the results were pretty much the same. Overall, two things became very evident. One, the Porsche Taycan definitely holds an advantage in higher speeds thanks to its two-speed gearbox, and two, the Tesla Model S Performance is not a car that could be toyed around by the German-made EV. 

Ultimately, Weisblat noted that the results of a real Tesla Model S Performance vs. Porsche Taycan Turbo S drag race would likely depend on the capabilities and reaction times of the two vehicles’ drivers. Both cars are insanely quick, and both are definitely at the top of their class. Ultimately, the Tesla Model S Performance and the Porsche Taycan Turbo S’ rivalry may just be beginning, considering the upcoming release of the Plaid Model S, which will be capable of track driving. 

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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