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?
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.
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 Panamera 10 Years Edition
Ten years ago, Porsche launched a model that was derided far and wide for running counter to the German automaker’s spirit and ethos. Like the Cayenne SUV, the Porsche Panamera upset a lot of people, not the least of which were the so-called purists who scoffed at the idea of Porsche broadening its appeal beyond its two-door, mid-engined sports cars. The Cayenne was a big enough departure from tradition on its own and the Panamera was looked at with the same level of disdain. It’s funny how things have turned out, right? Today, the Porsche Panamera is one of the most popular models Porsche has in its lineup, lasting long enough to earn a special edition model that’s dedicated solely on its 10th anniversary. This, folks, is the Porsche Panamera 10 Year Edition, and, if for nothing else, it’s a symbol of validation for Porsche to show to those who scoffed at the idea of a luxury four-door sedan wearing a Porsche badge. The Porsche Panamera 10 Year Edition hits the market in the first quarter of 2010 at a starting price of $104,650.
2020 Porsche Taycan by Hennessey
Hennessey is famous far and wide for its fully loaded tuning programs for some of the finest performance cars in the world. That’s a reputation the tuning company has earned after 30 years of delivering goods packed with jacked and juiced V-8 engines that oftentimes defy our imaginations. But just as Hennessey’s reputation for these programs is iron-clad, the tuner isn’t afraid to test the waters in other areas of the aftermarket world. Well, it’s doing just that after announcing plans to create an aftermarket program for an electric car. Mind you, this isn’t your typical electric car project, either. Hennessey isn’t creating a program for the Nissan Leaf. Instead, the tuner is setting its sights on the Porsche Taycan. As far as ambitious projects go, this one’s right up there for Hennessey, though if there’s one tuner that can pull it off, my money’s on John Hennessey and his boys. Prepare to enter a new world of EV tuning, folks. This is going to be good.
Now That the 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S Are Here, What’s Next for Porsche’s First EV?
A few years ago I was working on a piece about the Porsche 911 991, and I had to count the number of available versions of it. I stopped at 25. It is a somewhat similar story with the Porsche Panamera, which is, right now, available in 18 different guises. Why am I telling you this then?
Well, the Porsche Taycan is available in only two guises for a start - the Taycan Turbo and the Taycan Turbo S - I wonder how many more versions can we expect?
The Porsche Taycan Gets Ludicrously Expensive with Options
Nobody was expecting the Porsche Taycan, the brand’s first mass market all-electric vehicle, to be cheap. And it isn’t, even when just talking about its base asking price. When you start piling on the options (and if you’re configuring one of these, make no mistake, you will), the price quickly soars to astronomical levels.
Porsche Taycan Quirks and Features
The problem with small craft beer companies isn’t about the quality of their products or the innovation behind it. It is about the scale. When the demand picks up, they cannot deliver - the quality goes down, and waiting time goes up. That is why not many alcohol drink representatives want to work with small scale craft beer producers. I am telling you this because we have something similar in the car world as well. When the demand picked up for the Tesla-produced cars, the company could not meet the expectations. No matter what it did. So, when a car like the Porsche Taycan comes to the market, it is a whole different story. It has Porsche and the entire Volkswagen Group behind it. These people do meet expectations, and these are all the quirks and features you need to know about the Taycan to believe it.
The Taycan Isn’t Porsche’s first Electric Car
Porsche just unveiled the Taycan, an all-electric sports sedan aimed at the Tesla Model S. The Taycan is Porsche’s first mass-produced EV, but it’s not the first electric vehicle produced by the company. Porsche’s history with electrification goes back more than 100 years ago, long before Ferdinand Porsche established his iconic firm in Stuttgart, Germany.
The Porsche Taycan Is Cool and All, But It’s Not as Quick as the Tesla Model S
The highly anticipated Porsche Taycan made its global debut ahead of the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. Essentially a competitor for the popular Tesla Model S, the Taycan signals the beginning of a fierce battle in the high-performance electric car segment. And needless to say, the Taycan looks like it has what it takes to give the Model S a run for its money. On the other hand, Porsche’s EV isn’t as quick as the American sedan, which is a letdown for performance enthusiasts.
Elon Musk and Jalopnik Trade Blows on Twitter Over the Taycan’s Name and We Agree With Elon on This One
The 2020 Porsche Taycan is the hot topic of the hour in the automotive world. But while most enthusiasts praise its design and compare its performance to other EVs on the market, some point out that Porsche is using the "Turbo" badge inappropriately. Tesla boss Elon Musk is among those who believe that the range-topping Taycan shouldn’t be wearing the Turbo nameplate and was quick to tweet about it. It didn’t take long for the entire thing to blow up with replies that Tesla is misusing the Autopilot name, but we think that Musk has a good point.
Porsche Taycan Walkaround - Your First Real Look at the Interior
After what seemed like an eternity waiting for the production version of the Mission-E Concept, Porsche finally pulled the covers off of the Taycan, the German automaker’s first-ever production all-electric vehicle. To add to the surprise, Porsche introduced not one, but two versions of the Taycan with the all-too-familiar Turbo and Turbo S nomenclature. Confused? There’s a reason for the use of the names, or at least Porsche says so. In any event, the Taycan is here, and among its most intriguing features, apart from its all-electric powertrain, is its interior. It’s the first time we’re getting a good, clean look at the Taycan’s interior, and as you can imagine, it’s a very Porsche-like interior. It’s clean yet sophisticated, luxurious yet functional. There are some issues with space, but for the most part, sitting inside gives you the feeling that you’re sitting inside a Porsche. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Porsche’s Latest Stunt With the Taycan Is Marketing Gone Wrong
It was November 2006 when a Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI pulled the 155-ton Boeing 747 for 150 meters at 5 mph. Since then, it seems, car manufacturers all around the world look to put their cars through some bizarre challenges for PR reasons. And it works. Everyone watched the Ford F-150 or the Land Rover Discovery pulling a train. As one of the latest PR stunts that should demonstrate the prowess of the new vehicle, Porsche released its new Taycan on the deck of an old U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. There, the Taycan managed to accelerate to 90.58 mph and stop before running out of the 869-feet deck.
Porsche Revealed The Taycan And It Is An Electric Game Changer
The global reveal of the new Porsche Taycan, held at three different locations - at Niagara Falls, a solar farm in Neuhardenberg near Berlin, and the wind farm on Pingtan Island - represents the pivotal point for the company that embarked on a whole new automotive pilgrimage.
The new Porsche Taycan, spectacularly revealed by former Formula 1 driver Mark Webber, has two electric motors with a combined power output of 761 horsepower, a four-wheel-drive system, and four doors. It is not a replacement for the Panamera or just one more cash-cow for the company, though. The new Porsche Taycan, with a 93.4 kWh battery and a range of 280 miles launches the brand into the brave new world of electric cars. Considering its low center of gravity, Porsche build-quality, and spirited performance (0-62 mph in 2.8 s), the Taycan will be a drivers sweetheart just as the first Porsche 911 became instantly when it was launched in 1963.
Watch the Live Reveal of the 2020 Porsche Taycan EV Right Here!
The new Porsche Taycan is one of the most teased and highly-anticipated debuts of 2019. So Porsche fan or not, you’ve been expecting this moment for a while now and you can finally enjoy it through a live stream of the Taycan’s premiere.
Porsche’s first-ever all-electric sports car could represent today what the 911 meant back in the day. So, there’s no surprise that Porsche is broadcasting the model’s premiere on three continents simultaneously. Those three places are not randomly selected. In fact, Porsche is targeting its main markets, namely Europe, the U.S., and China.
In Europe, the Taycan will be revealed at a solar farm in Neuhardenberg, near Berlin. Niagara Falls will be the venue selected for the EV’s U.S. launch, while in China, the Taycan debuts at the wind farm on Pingtan Island, which sits some 150 kilometers off the city of Fuzhou, in the province of Fujian. There’s even greater symbolism to these locations that you might have expected - the solar farm represents solar power, the wind farm wind power, and the Niagara Falls - you guessed it; hydro power.
Porsche says the launch event will last for about half an hour. Former Formula 1 race driver and Porsche brand ambassador Mark Webber will host the even from Berlin. You also don’t have to worry about the language barrier, since Porsche is streaming the event in five languages - English, Mandarin, Spanish, French, and German. Once the streaming is completed, the world premiere will be available as a video on demand.
What we can tell you at this point about the Porsche Taycan is that it will feature an interior concept that’s rather new for Porsche. Gone is the multitude of buttons and in are up to five screens. Now, it might sound overwhelming, but there’s a strong logical backbone behind Porsche’s use of touchscreens inside the Taycan, so drivers and passengers won’t get confused. Moreover, the cabin has modern-twist cues reminescent of the original 911, and these do a good job in toning down the ultra-modern feel.
What Porsche’s officials also stated in the past has to do with the Taycan’s pricing, which is expected to slot between that of the Cayenne SUV and the Panamera. That means that in the U.S., the Taycan could start at around $75,000, more or less. That will be the base price, obviously, so expect heftier pricing for higher-echelon versions of the EV. If you’re looking to secure your Taycan slot, then you should know that Porsche is accepting a $2,500 deposit.
When launched, the Taycan will offer 605 electric horsepower via two permanent-magnet synchronous motors - one for each axle. The magic behind these two motors is actually derived from Le Mans, as Porsche used the know-how it acquired with the 919 LMP1 Hybrid when developing the Taycan’s powertrain; which, by the way, will also recuperate (some of) the heat energy generated during braking. Elsewhere, two battery packs are rumoured to be offered - 80 kWh and 95 kWh. Regardless of what you pick, the Taycan will offer 800-volt fast-charging capabilities, meaning that you’ll be able to replenish the range with 60 extra miles in just four minutes.
Someone Caught the 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo and 2020 Porsche Taycan on Camera
The 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo is expected to come later this year, but we don’t have to wait to see it. The car has been spotted doing test runs out in the open sans any clothes. The car looks super sexy in black, driving sedately behind a cement mixer. In another instance, even the Porsche Taycan was spotted from the rear roaming the streets. We get to see the huge ass taillights and turn signal in action as well. Another prototype of the Porsche Taycan was spotted sprinting with blue dressing with ‘soul electrified’ and ‘Taycan’ decals on it. Although these sightings are fun, it makes the wait seem even longer. Can we just have the cars already, Porsche?!
You Can Have Up to Five Screens Inside the New Porsche Taycan
As Cartoon Network’s boy-genius Dexter would put it, 2019 was a good day for science in the car world. Chevrolet launched its first-ever mid-engine Corvette in the shape of the C8 Stingray, Audi decided to finally bring the RS6 Avant in the U.S., and Porsche is taking a major step towards a full-electric sports with the new Taycan, formerly known as Mission E. Now, as it’s customary with pretty much every debut these days, there are things we know about the Porsche Taycan and some other things Porsche is likely to keep behind closed, well, lips until the EV makes its official debut on September 4. The latest development in the things we know about the Porsche Taycan has to do with the electric sports car’s interior, which Porsche saw fit to unveil in all its digital splendor.
The Porsche Taycan Enters Final Round of Testing as Production Nears
As the automotive industry gears up for a full-blown EV onslaught over the next decade, Porsche is confidently stepping into the space with the new 2020 Porsche Taycan sport sedan. As if it weren’t obvious, the Taycan is a critical development for the Stuttgart brand as it looks to explore what it means to offer Porsche-style performance without the dinosaur juice. We’re currently about six months away from the Taycan’s official debut, but we’re still getting a few tasty tidbits to sate our appetite before the final sheet pull. The latest is an official update from Porsche as the Taycan enters the final round of pre-production testing.
Please Buy a Porsche Panamera Rather Than the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
Porsche just unveiled the 2020 Cayenne Coupe, which is a lot like the standard Cayenne, but with a “sportier” roofline. As a fan of fast cars and less of a fan of fast SUVs, I feel as though it’s my duty to encourage anyone considering the Cayenne Coupe as their next vehicle purchase to instead take a gander at the Porsche Panamera lineup, which offers more performance, equal levels of luxury, and nearly equal practicality.