When it comes to electric car luxury, the Tesla S has completely dominated in a market without any competition. Seven years have passed since the introduction of the Tesla S. Now Porsche is making its entry into the electric car market with the release of the Taycan. Backed by reliable german engineering, the Porsche Taycan serves as the first true competitor to the Tesla S. Going head to head, which electric luxury vehicle comes out on top in the battle of Tesla S vs Porsche Taycan? We’ll discuss the matchup between the two cars below!
The Tesla S – A Groundbreaking Electric Car
The Tesla Model S is definitely one of the most impressive vehicles ever manufactured. Designed by Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc, the Model S was unlike any other car on the road when it debuted in 2012. Yes, there were other electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and a model variant of the Ford Focus, but nothing even came close to the ingenuity of the Tesla S.
What made the Tesla Model S so different? Simply the combination of exceptional performance, incredible safety, lightning-fast speed, modern technology, long driving range, sleek appeal, fully electric, and genius design all at a relatively affordable price point. Unlike any other vehicle on the road, the Tesla S was entirely designed to be a 100% electric car. Other vehicles, like the Ford Focus, were modified from an originally gas-powered car.
All of these features mashed together into one beautiful vehicle, which is now only 2nd to the Nissan Leaf in terms of total sales of an electric vehicle. Through the end of 2018, more than 260,000 Tesla Model S vehicles have been sold. The Model S is consistently regarded as one of the most satisfying vehicles to own. This number will surely soar over the next few years as a result.
As of late 2019, the Model S is available in two variants, the Model S Long Range and the Model S Performance. Like the name suggests, the Long Range model prioritizes battery capacity for a longer driving distance. On the other hand, the Performance model sacrifices this for greater horsepower and acceleration.
The Porsche Taycan – Storied Quality Meets Electric
Tesla had seven wonderful years to enjoy the success of the Model S. Things have changed in 2019 now that Porsche has released its Taycan model vehicle. The Porsche Taycan is the company’s iteration of a fully electric sedan, quite similar to the Model S. The Taycan is an athletic vehicle offering freedom in the form of an electric car. It combines the legendary German manufacturing of Porsche and modern technology to create a powerful and smart vehicle.
At its introduction, the Taycan is available in three different models; a 4S, Turbo and Turbo S. The Turbo model serves as the base variant and has a slightly longer range than the Turbo S. This makes it comparable to the Tesla Model S Long Range. The Turbo S can over-boost to increase horsepower and torque, which makes the model faster and a better comparison to the Tesla Model S Performance.
Tesla S vs Porsche Taycan – Performance
The first comparison we can look at is raw performance. This takes into account horsepower, torque, top speed, and acceleration measured by 0-60 MPH time.
Horsepower – The Model S Long Range produces 417 hp, but the Model S P100D/Performance produces up to a whopping 794 hp. Looking at the Taycan, both models make 617 hp, but the Turbo S can reach up to 751hp when over boosting.
Torque – For Tesla, the Model S Long Range produces 487 ft-lb of torque, while the Model S Performance is a massive upgrade to 1,013 ft-lb. The Porsche Turbo can do 626 ft-lb while the Turbo S can easily output 774 ft-lb and do it over and over again. While the Tesla S is definitely more powerful, it simply can’t produce such a big amount of power for as long as the Porsche can.
Top Speed – Not that you would ever need to reach it, but the Tesla Model S Long-Range can get as fast as 155 MPH. The Model S Performance boosts this to 163 MPH. Both Porsche models top out at 161 MPH.
0-60 Time – Here’s where things really get fun. The Tesla Model S Long Range takes just 3.6 seconds to reach 60 MPH, but the Model S Performance can do it in a blistering 2.3 seconds. Taking a look at Porsche, the Turbo reaches 60 MPH in 3 seconds flat, while the Turbo S improves this to 2.6 seconds.
Tesla S vs Porsche Taycan – Range
The driving range is arguably one of the most important features of an electric car. Tesla has been a powerhouse when it comes to this and the head to head with Porsche makes this pretty clear. Both Tesla models clearly outperform either Porsche models, making Tesla a clear cut winner here. For reference, the Model S Long-Range can drive up to 370 miles on a full charge, while the Model S Performance can do 345 miles. Porsche Taycans have seen varied results, but the Turbo can drive between 236 and 279 miles while the Turbo S is somewhere between 241 and 256 miles.
Tesla S vs Porsche Taycan – Features
When it comes to features, there isn’t exactly a runaway winner here. Both cars have incredibly advanced computers and two main dashboard screens. These offer information about the vehicle and a gauge cluster for the driver. What the Porsche Taycan has going for them is two additional screens, one for climate control and another info screen for a passenger. The Taycan also has an intelligent digital assistant that can be spoken to. These features are certainly cool, but they definitely aren’t better than the autopilot function of the Model S.
Tesla S vs Porsche Taycan – Price
Tesla already seems to be leading the Taycan in the head to head matchup. However, the race is entirely over when it comes to price. Both Porsche Taycan models are nearly twice the price of their comparative Tesla model. The Taycan Turbo starts at a shocking $150,900, while the Turbo S stretches to $185,000. Tesla is more conservatively priced, with the Model S Long Range starting at $79,990 and the Model S Performance increasing to $99,990.
Update: Porsche Adds the Taycan 4S to the Lineup
Originally, the Porsche Taycan was available in two powerful, yet expensive models. In mid-October of 2019, they added the 4S model, which serves as a more budget-friendly variant with less performance to compensate. The Taycan 4S will start at $103,800, making it more comparable to the Tesla Model S Performance in price. It can be purchased with two different batteries; the standard that produces 522 hp and an upgraded “plus” version that will reach 563 hp. The standard battery should last around 225 miles on a charge, while the plus version should reach 260. Both battery types will allow the Taycan 4S to go from 0-60 MPH in 3.7 seconds, slower than either Tesla models. To make the new model stand out from its stronger siblings, the front fascia is slightly different along with other minor cosmetic changes to the body. The Taycan 4S also has smaller wheels and tires.
Nurburgring – The Real Battle
It’s easy to compare and dispute the specs of the Tesla Model S and the Porsche Taycan. Actual results are much more impactful. The best place to test the performance of any vehicle is at Nurburgring Nordschleife, a racetrack stretching 12.8 miles. Porsche sent a prototype Taycan to the track in August and achieved a lap time of 7:42.
In response, Tesla sent a couple prototype Model S vehicles to Nurburgring to outdo the competition. The fastest time either car achieved was a 7:23 lap, a solid 19 seconds faster than the Porsche Taycan. While Tesla’s superior lap time is certainly impressive, there is an important caveat to this.
The Tesla Model S was not production-spec, meaning that most of the interior was stripped out. This allows the vehicle to be lighter, making it easier to achieve a faster time. In comparison, the Porsche Taycan was production spec and also had a roll cage, both of which made it heavier. Despite this, the 7:23 lap time from the Tesla Model S is still very impressive.
This is especially so considering that Tesla had very little time to actually get set up at Nurburgring. There was not a convenient supercharger location near the track. Instead, Tesla shipped diesel generators to charge the vehicles. This was shortly after replaced with an actual supercharging station, which was critical for testing purposes.
Both prototype Model S vehicles were only able to run a single lap before needing a charge. This is due to the extreme amount of power required and is not at all abnormal for a high power electric vehicle. One of the cars did end up stopping before completing a lap, but the reason for this was not disclosed. Neither car had any issues completing their laps once the supercharger was installed.
The Tesla S Reigns Supreme
Even if the Tesla Model S vehicles used at Nurburgring are pre-production, it still shows that Tesla is a force to be reckoned with. The Model S is extremely fast and is constantly being improved. With the recent release of the Porsche Taycan, Elon Musk is frantically working to keep the Model S as the premier electric luxury vehicle. For now, the Tesla Model S is still a runaway winner in the race of Tesla S vs Porsche Taycan due to slightly better performance, a superior driving range, the autopilot function, and a much friendlier price point.