TopGear Drag Races the Tesla Model S Against the Porsche Taycan But the Results Are Controversial
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the sort of battle that has the potential to change the EV segment forever. So far, Tesla’s viciously quick Model S has been kicking supercars and muscle cars to the curb in drag races around the world to the delight of Elon Musk’s fanbase. However, it looks like the electric sedan has met its match and then some in the squeaky-new Porsche Taycan. TopGear took the two EVs out for a spin that culminated with both a drag race and a top speed run on the Autobahn. Let’s see how that went, shall we?
2020 Porsche 99X Formula E Electric Racer
Porsche returns to single-seater racing after a +30-year hiatus this year as it embarks on a new adventure in Formula E, the world’s top EV racing series. The factory-backed Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E team will field a pair of Porsche 99X Electric cars for Messrs Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer, both formerly part of the company’s LMP1 program. Expect to see this 335-horsepower red, white, and black beast battle at the sharp end of the field in the 2019-2020 season that’ll kick-off later this year.
Porsche halted its involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship, where it raced in the top-flight LMP1 class with a pair of hybridized 1,000-horsepower prototypes, to race in Formula E. The German automaker will thus move forward in its quest towards electrification by competing in the first all-electric racing series in the world with a car powered by a 900-volt battery, just like the 2021 Taycan sedan. But you’d rather see Batman ride in this low-flying spacecraft than the Taycan and that’s why Porsche hopes to garner a new, younger, and tech-savvy crowd through its participation in the eco-friendly championship.
Nothing to See Here - Just a Porsche 911 Tearing Ass Through a German Rally Stage
Petrolhead or no petrolhead, you simply can’t say no to a video of a 1979 Porsche 911 Carrera RS ripping through a picturesque rally stage that runs through a lot of farmland and forest areas in Germany. And you might be surprised, but the lightweight sports car can hold its own in front of more modern, turbocharged AWD cars.
Porsche is officially going to have several versions of its Taycan all-electric model, one of which will be an estate or wagon model that will most likely be called Sport Turismo. The Taycan Sport Turismo is exactly the same as the sedan model, but with a bigger trunk and more practicality.
It’s actually going to be the first mass-market, purpose-designed, all-electric wagon ever, and no, the handful of coach-built Tesla Model S wagons don’t count.
The rest of the package remains unchanged, so it’s only going to be sold with an all-electric powertrain (don’t be fooled by the fake exhausts on the back of the camouflaged prototype in these photos provided by our spies) which will provide great performance, as well as a large lithium-ion battery pack for decent range.
Design-wise, expect a slightly more toned down version of the Mission-E Sport Turismo concept that debuted at the Geneva motor show this March. Porsche is apparently also going to make a higher-riding crossover-style version of this wagon, but it will be the sedan and wagon that will be the two main models.
But even if Tesla doesn’t make a production wagon variant of its Model S, that model is going to be the Taycan and Taycan estate’s main rival because it is already quite well established in its segment.
Updated 10/28/2019: The 2021 Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo was spotted testing in the wild once again with some minor changes as it moves closer to its launch for the 2021 model year. Check out the latest images in our spy shots section below!
Porsche Taycan vs. Tesla Model S
After years of promises, teasers, and concept cars, Porsche finally unveiled the Taycan. A major turning point in the company’s history, the Taycan is the first Porsche with an all-electric drivetrain. What’s more, the Taycan is an EV of the high performance variety, so it goes against one of the most popular electric vehicles on the market, the Tesla Model S. A strong seller in the United States and a market leader in some European countries, the Model S is tough to beat. The big question is whether the Taycan has what it takes to give the Model S a run for its money and that’s exactly what we will find out in the comparison below.
Porsche’s Newest Concept Is a Spaceship for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Porsche is creating a new concept vehicle, only this time, it’s not the kind of concept that we’re accustomed to. The German automaker is teaming up with Lucasfilm — yes, Lucasfilm — to create a spaceship — yes, a spaceship — for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The intergalactic vehicle isn’t expected to be included in the movie, but it will be created and displayed at the premiere of the new Star Wars movie extravaganza on December 20. The timing of this Porsche-Lucasfilm collaboration could point hints to the possible use of Porsche’s new Taycan — Porsche’s first-ever EV is also slotted for a December world debut — in the design and development of the aforementioned spaceship. It’s a curious thing to say, let alone imagine a Porsche-designed spaceship for the Star Wars universe.
2020 Porsche 911 Turbo Convertible
Porsche is currently gearing up for the release of the next generation 992-era 911, offered as a follow-up to the current 991-era 911. Per usual, Porsche will offer a variety of body styles and equipment levels, including high-end speed and unlimited headroom with the up-and-coming 911 Turbo Convertible.
Updated 10/21/2019: The 992-gen Porsche 911 Turbo Convertible was caught testing on public roads again and, while it doesn’t sport that cool red top we saw last time, there are some small changes that tell us this baby is ready to debut. Check out the new pictures and the details in our Spy Shots section below!
Porsche 911 GT3 - A Complete History
Porsche is known for continuously bringing race-bred technology into its road cars. The Stuttgart-based manufacturer that has been perfecting the rear-engine formula for over five decades now is also famous for its homologation specials, road-worthy counterparts built by Porsche to race thoroughbred competition machinery in production-based classes of sports car racing. 20 years ago, Porsche introduced the latest model that would spawn a myriad of racing versions: the Porsche 911 GT3, a track-oriented 911 that could be used as a daily driver (if you dared). It came at the same time as the not-for-the-purist 996 generation but, in spite of this, can you now imagine a world without the 911 GT3 in it?
Where were you in 1999 when Porsche unveiled the 996.1-generation Porsche 911 GT3? Well, you probably weren’t at the Geneva Auto Show where Porsche took the wraps of what was, in essence, the road-legal version of the newest Porsche 911 Cup car that would compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and later in the Porsche Supercup sharing the bill with the Formula 1 World Championship. The first 911 GT3 looked a bit tame but, as years rolled by, it evolved, growing bigger, more aggressive, and more insane and overshadowed with ease the 911 GT2, a model we originally thought it’d replace before Porsche decided to continue making GT2 models, somewhat as even more extreme versions of the 911. This is the story of the GT3, a model more famous than all of the track-focused 911s that have come before it, even the Carrera RS 2.7 of 1973.
2020 Porsche Taycan
The Porsche Taycan is an all-electric sports sedan based on the Mission E concept. It’s also Porsche’s first-ever production electric car, designed to go against the Tesla Model S. Previewed by the Mission E concept, the Taycan sports design features borrowed from the show car, but also includes styling features seen on the Panamera sedan and 911 sports car. Powered by a couple of electric motors, the Taycan generates in excess of 700 horsepower in its range-topping version.
While considered laughable just a decade or two ago, the idea of a high-performance electric vehicle is now widely accepted in even the most traditional of speed circles. Porsche took full advantage of this and designed a sleeker Panamera that’s notably more powerful and quicker. Granted, it’s not as spectacular as the Mission E concept, but it’s definitely an exotic appearance even when compared to full-fledged sports cars. However, does it have what it takes to compete with the Tesla Model S? Let’s find out in the detailed review below.
Updated 10/14/2019: Porsche added a new member to its Taycan lineup. The new Taycan 4S has been announced in two different battery configurations. Check the Drivetrain section for more details.
2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Sports Cup Edition
Porsche’s a big fan of letting the world know about its motorsport roots. After all, the brand’s success on the race track is something that deserves to be put out there, and the same applies to any sort of motorsport-related Porsche anniversary.
Meet the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Sports Cup Edition, a limited special-edition model that features a motorsport-inspired design and an interior that’s been luxed-up by Porsche’s very own Exclusive Manufaktur to mark the 15th anniversary of the customer and club sport series “Porsche Sports Cup Germany.”
2020 Porsche 911 GT3
The Porsche 911 GT3 has been around since 1999, continuing Stuttgart’s habit of unleashing high-performance spec iterations of its iconic sports car originally started in the ‘70s with the incredible Carrera RS. Now, with the imminent arrival of an all-new 911 (also known as the 992 generation) by the end of 2018, we’ve been waiting for details on the next GT3. Luckily, it looks like we got just that, as our spy photographers snapped a few shots of a possible undercover 992-spec GT3 out and about undergoing some cold weather testing. As such, we drew up a quick speculative review on what to expect.
Update 10/07/2019: The Porsche 911 GT3 has been spotted doing some on-road testing, only this time, it was spotted wearing the touring package. Check out the new 911 GT3 Touring in our spy shots section below.
Arrogance Meets Design at Porsche Production Facilities Everywhere
There’s something to be said about attention to detail, and we’re all for it – especially when we’re talking about cars that venture across the six-figure barrier or even the seven-figure barrier. But, at what point to attention to detail become an OCD problem or, even worse, arrogance? Well, we’re not really here to argue that, but we are here to tell you that Porsche is so anal about its cars that the center caps in each wheel have to be aligned in a certain way. We’re not even kidding, folks. Get a load of this.
What is the Cheapest Porsche?
The cheapest Porsche currently for sale in the United States is the Macan, a luxury compact crossover SUV that starts from just $49,900 before you add all the extra taxes and charges and any dealer premium. The entry-level Macan is fitted with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, enough for a 0-60 mph time of 6.3 seconds without the Sport Chrono package and a top speed 141 mph. The Macan arguably bests all of its rivals in terms of the driving experience but it’s also more expensive than its peer with a Range Rover starting at just $42,650 and an AWD X2 setting you back some $38,400.
The cheapest sports car that Porsche currently makes is the 718 Cayman with a base MSRP of $56,900. With 300 ponies at its disposal from the turbocharged 2.0-liter flat-four engine, the 718 Cayman needs under five seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the manual transmission while the top speed is 170 mph. While cars like the Toyota Supra cost under $50,000, the 718 Cayman isn’t the most expensive car in its segment and it counters with great performance, great feeling behind the wheel, and a well-sorted cabin.
What is the Sportiest Porsche?
The sportiest Porsche out there is the model that spearheads the 911 lineup, the mighty GT2 RS - a track-oriented beast that’s somehow allowed to be driven on the road too. The 991-generation GT2 RS is motivated by a 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged boxer six-pot that develops 690 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 553 pound-feet of torque at 7,200 rpm. It goes from naught to 60 mph in just 2.7 seconds en route to a top speed of 211 mph but still pulls 21 mpg on the highway!
The GT2 RS is monstrous even compared to other ultra-fast Porsches such as the last 991-based GT3 RS with its 4.0-liter boxer capable of 520 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of twist. The GT3 RS will be left in a speck of dust by the GT2 RS on an unrestricted bit of the Autobahn as the GT3 RS doesn’t surpass 193 mph but it’s also significantly cheaper with a 2018 MSRP of $187,500 compared to the $293,200 price tag of the GT2 RS. It’s hard to make the case for spending over $100,000 more on the GT2 RS but Porsche still sells its Nurburgring-devouring car quite well Stateside.
What is the Most Popular Porsche?
Porsche sold a total of 57,202 vehicles in the US alone, a far cry from the early days when craftsmen in Gmund, Austria, were barely able to finish a few dozen cars a month. Porsche thus ended 2018 as its ninth year of continuous growth and the best-selling model in its lineup is, coincidentally, the cheapest. No less than 23,500 Macans were delivered in 2018, more than double the total amount of Cayennes sold last year (10,733, down by some 2,000 units compared to 2017).
What may surprise you is that the third best-selling Porsche is not the Panamera, but the legendary 911 of which 9,647 units were sold over the 12 months of 2018, over 1,000 more than Panamera. This solidifies the 911’s status as a favorite among Porschephiles. The 911 is also, undoubtedly, a favorite of many gearheads as one of the best drivers’ cars money can buy and the company’s symbol.
What is the Most Expensive Porsche?
The most expensive model is the 911 GT2 RS that starts at $293,200. As far as base models go, the most expensive Porsche is the new 992-generation Porsche 911 that starts at $97,400 (for a 911 Carrera) making it $6,300 more expensive than the outgoing 991.2 911 Carrera that’s still available Stateside.
What is the Fastest Porsche?
The fastest Porsche is also the one that’s the sportiest and the most expensive - the 911 GT2 RS. With its 211 mph top speed, it’s 18 mph faster than the GT3 RS and almost 30 mph faster than the 992-generation 911 Carrera. To put it into context, the 911 GT2 RS is as fast as the 918 Spyder, Porsche’s last mid-engined supercar, and 6 mph faster than the Carrera GT.
Are Porsche Cars Reliable?
In 2015, a survey conducted by British outlet WhatCar? in conjunction with WarrantyDirect found out that Porsches were the second least-reliable luxury cars in the UK, just pipping Bentley in terms of reliability. Having said that, the most recent J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study stated that Porsche is the third most reliable brand, trailing only Lexus and Toyota in the study that looks at the dependability of three-year-old cars. Porsche surpasses in this study luxury segment stalwarts like BMW or Mercedes-Benz.