Can a 1972 Beetle with an electric powertrain beat a stock 991 Porsche 911 GT3 RS on the drag strip?by Sidd Dhimaan, on
The Porsche 911 GT3 RS is arguably one of the best internal combustion-engined cars on the drag strip. It has even beaten the likes of the Audi R8 Spyder. So, why even bother to put it up against an old-school, 1970s Volkswagen Beetle? Well, because this Beetle has been electrified and makes 450 horses! The Porsche makes more horsepower, but can the instant torque of the Beetle prove to be too much for the sports car?
The Electric Beetle Has More Torque And Is Lighter
The 991 Porsche 911 GT3 RS comes with a 4.0-liter, flat-six, naturally aspirated mill that makes 520 horses and 347 pound-feet of torque.
A seven-speed PDK powers the rear wheels. This free-flowing engine revs all the way up to 9,000 rpm! The car weighs 3,153 pounds.
The Volkswagen Beetle in question is a 1972 1303S model that was also commonly known as the Super Beetle. The original car was powered by a naturally aspirated four-pot engine that put out around 50 horses and 78 pound-feet of torque.
This example, however, has been electrified and now draws power from a Tesla Model S-sourced electric motor. It puts out 450 ponies and 498 pound-feet of oomph!
Despite the batteries and the motor, the car weighs just 2,315 pounds, thanks to the carbon fiber panels all around. This makes it almost 850 pounds lighter than the Porsche.
The Beetle Sure Made The Porsche 911 GT3 RS Sweat Profusely!
In the first drag race, the Porsche got off to a great start and was quicker off the line. It managed to keep the lead till the very end, but the Beetle wasn’t too far behind. So, they gave it another shot, and this time, the Beetle showed its true colors. Even though the PDK is known for its lightning-quick shifts, these little ‘breaks’ were enough for the single-speed e-Beetle to race past it and secure a win.
With one point apiece, they raced again to decide the winner. Richard Morgan, the owner of the electric Beetle, and Mat Watson swapped cars this. They were neck-and-neck at the start, but the Beetle soon unleashed itself and got the lead. It looked like the 911 GT3 RS was catching up in the end, but not before they touched the finish line, thus giving the Volkswagen a 2-1 win over its rival. As for the times, the electric Beetle completed the race in 11 seconds and the Porsche GT3 RS finished it in 11.1 seconds.
Next up was a rolling race from 30 mph. The Porsche started in the first gear in this round. The Beetle had a much better kickdown and since there are no shifts required, it sailed past the GT3 RS. But, it isn’t a high-speed car which meant it hit a wall in the early three-digit speeds, which gave the 991 Porsche a chance to get past it and beat it at the half-mile mark. If not for the top speed limitation, the Beetle would’ve won this race without breaking a sweat.
The second rolling race round was from 50 mph with the Porsche engaged in the second gear. The story was the same, though - the Beetle got the lead, hit a brick wall, let the GT3 RS go past it. From what Richard had to say, the Beetle maxes out at 130 mph.
The last round was the brake test from 70 mph. The Beetle wears 996 Porsche’s brakes, but they aren’t as effective as the 991 911’s brakes. The same was proved when the Porsche managed to stop in a shorter distance.
This was one of the most interesting EV versus internal combustion engine races we’ve seen in a long time. What are your thoughts on the cars and the race? Watch the video below and share them with us in the comments section.