• Porsche Invents Another Pointless Record With the Taycan

It’s another record for Porsche, but the attempt does have its merits

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Anything can be turned into a world record these days, and you don’t have to look far to see where that’s happening. Mercedes-Benz just reclaimed the fastest luxury car and fastest production car at the Nurburgring titles a few days ago. Last month, the SSC Tuatara wrestled the fastest car in the world title from the Koenigsegg Agera RS, albeit in a controversial fashion. There’s a world record for every automaker these days, including Porsche, which set the Guinness World record for longest drift by an electric car with the Taycan, going sideways for 26 straight miles with an average speed of 29 mph. Even with all these records popping up, it’s hard to deny that the achievement was impressive, especially when you consider that driver Dennis Retera had to sustain the drift for almost an hour.

What’s so special about this record?

Answering that question is tricky because a lot of what makes this record special is in the eye of the beholder.

On the one hand, Porsche driver Dennis Retera deserves a lot of credit for setting the record for longest drift by an electric car.

Retera achieved the record at Porsche’s Experience Center on the Hockenheimring, turning in a staggering 210 opposite-lock drift laps in the Taycan, or the equivalent of 26 miles.

It took Retera 55 minutes to claim the record, averaging 29 mph in the process. When you look at the numbers, it’s incredible that Retera managed to maintain peak levels of concentration for almost an hour, especially when he only had a 200-meter (656-foot) skidpad to work on. Porsche kept the skidpad wet for the duration of the Retera’s drift, but there still wasn’t consistent grip to make the drift easier. On that end, the record looks all sorts of impressive given the physical and mental challenges that came into setting it.

Porsche Invents Another Pointless Record With the Taycan Exterior
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On the other hand, the record attempt is another example of the growing infatuation among automakers to claim world records, throwing the phrase “world record” around like a sack of potatoes. Everything is being turned into a “record” these days to the extent that owning a world record that really matters is losing its prestige. What Retera accomplished is impressive. There’s no doubting that. But at the end of the day, it’s a record for longest continuous drift by an electric car, which doesn’t sound all that prestigious, let alone interesting, to begin with.

Porsche even went the extra mile certifying the results.

The Taycan was inspected before and after the record-setting run. Numerous tracking systems were used to document the attempt. There’ even a roof-mounted camera on the Taycan to record the entire 55-minute run of the electric car drifting.

Porsche Invents Another Pointless Record With the Taycan Exterior
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Now, if the Taycan managed to beat the existing record of longest continuous drift that was set by BMW Performance Driving School instructor Johan Schwartz and his BMW M5 F90, that would be something that we can really say is a record worth beating. Mind you, Schwartz drifted without stopping for eight hours, covering 232.5 miles in the process. That attempt was so nuts that the M5 was fuelled up five times as it was drifting, requiring a second BMW model to drift with the M5 as it was getting gas.

2020 Porsche Taycan specifications
2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Porsche Taycan 4S Porsche Taycan 4S Performance Plus
Electric motors power 616 horsepower (670 horsepower with overboost) 616 horsepower (750 horsepower with overboost) 530 horsepower 571 horsepower
Battery 93 kWh 93 kWh 79.2 kWh 93.4 kWh
0-60 mph 3 seconds 2.6 seconds 4.0 seconds 4.0 seconds
Top Speed 161 mph 161 mph 155 mph 155 mph
Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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