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donnie919

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via - https://www.caranddriver.com/review...an-turbo-s-vs-2020-tesla-model-s-performance/

After eight uncontested years, Tesla's Model S finally has a rival in the 2020 Porsche Taycan.

By Dave VanderWerp
FEB 7, 2020

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We didn't set out to dangle the competition under Tesla's nose. The plan was merely to line up a Tesla Model S against a Porsche Taycan—the Tesla's first true challenger—to see if there's a new EV front-runner. But if you want to experience the most powerful Supercharger in the greater Los Angeles area, you're going to find yourself at SpaceX's Hawthorne headquarters, which is also home to Tesla's design studio.

As we set up the Model S for a max-charging session, Tesla employees mobbed the Taycan. Sizing it up on a granular level, they were visibly impressed by the build quality on the preproduction Porsche and genuinely excited about a new EV contender. Their level of open-mindedness—far exceeding what we've come to expect from Tesla owners and fanatics—is no doubt one of Tesla's strengths.

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It's easy to forget just how open-minded they were when creating the Model S, which launched in 2012. At the time, the prevailing approach to electric vehicles involved automakers taking one of their smallest and cheapest cars and stuffing it with a battery good for maybe 100 miles of range. With rare exception, this bare-minimum effort to meet regulatory mandates for zero-emission vehicles resembled a toddler pouting when faced with new rules. Those obstinate automakers were right about one thing, though: The winning formula was definitely not an expensive economy car with pathetic range and a giant battery taking up much of the cargo space.
What the world really wanted was the approach Tesla took, exemplified by the Model S, its first car built completely in-house. A large, attractive, and expensive luxury car with a massive battery pack enabling a 265-mile EPA range. At the time, that alone was enough to be outrageous.

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But Tesla went even further, rethinking details large and small. For example, the Model S has no ignition switch; employs an automatic secondary latch for the front trunk, eliminating the usual fumbling for the release; uses motorized door handles that extend to greet the driver; and features a giant 17.0-inch center touchscreen. Shortly after the Tesla's launch, General Motors reportedly compiled a lengthy dossier outlining the litany of its internal requirements that the Model S violated.

Tesla's ability to update the entirety of its software via wireless downloads is something other automakers are still enviously racing to match, as is its Autopilot suite of driver-assist features, which came out a few years later. Part of Tesla's mystique has become continual change, and the Model S has seen plenty. Its battery pack has grown by 15 percent, and its range even more, to an EPA-rated 373 miles on today's Long Range model. The sprint to 60 mph has been lopped nearly in half, and rear-facing third-row seats have come and gone, as have various models with smaller battery packs. Meanwhile, the price of the top-performing variant started at $105,400, rose to as high as $136,200, and is now back down to $101,190, which once again includes free use of Tesla's expansive Supercharger network.

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Thanks to the Model 3, which follows the Model S blueprint at a lower price point, Tesla is on the cusp of selling its millionth vehicle despite producing only four models thus far, none of which has yet to see a second generation. As much as Tesla has achieved, though, its most inconceivably difficult accomplishment is probably this: causing every other automaker to change course.

Which brings us to the Porsche Taycan, clearly a response to the Model S and that car's first real competitor. Molded into a swoopy and similarly sized four-door, packing a sufficiently large battery, and churning out 750 combined horsepower from its front and rear electric motors in the top model, the Taycan impressed us from the start. Then the bad news started trickling out: first, the absurdly high $186,350 starting price for the Turbo S, followed shortly by the absurdly low EPA range figure of 192 miles.


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But an EV can't be judged on range alone. So, we took a Taycan Turbo S to meet its inspiration, the latest Model S Performance, complete with Tesla's Raven updates (i.e, new suspension hardware and an upgraded front motor) that rolled out in 2019. In this thorough work-up of the pointy end of the EV market, we pitted the two cars against each other in head-to-head tests of performance, real-world highway range, and fast-charging speed, then honed our impressions in California's Angeles National Forest.

2nd Place:
Porsche Taycan Turbo S


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Highs: Arresting looks, time-warping acceleration, range is a nonissue.
Lows: Lacking in storage and rear-seat space, all-the-money price.
Verdict: Porsche creates the Porsche of EVs, applies Porsche pricing.

Getting in and out of the Taycan's low-mounted front seats and around the intrusively thick base of the B-pillars is moderately bothersome. But once you're in there, the view forward is the perfect blend of retreating hood and bulging fenders. Thanks to the aggressive roofline, the rearward view is, well, slitty, but the exterior presence it enables is totally worth it.

Driving it only furthers the sports-car sensation. It feels impossibly solid, so approachable and trusty that you find yourself comfortably flirting with its extremely high limits on the first on-ramp. Which is very Porsche, and very high praise for a car that weighs 5246 pounds. Part of the magic is in its great steering, with a tight on-center valley followed by linear effort buildup. And despite our car's 21-inch wheels, Porsche continues to impress in its unwavering commitment to ride quality.

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But these are all typical Porsche characteristics, and let's be honest, we fully expected the company to nail them. But does it move forward the EV state of the art?

Both cars are spectacular allies in a world of merging lanes and general traffic congestion. They can effortlessly vacate the space they occupied only an instant before, pouncing on the smallest of gaps. Enabling—no, encouraging—this megalomania are identical 1.1-second 30-to-50-mph and 1.6-second 50-to-70-mph acceleration times, the quickest we've ever measured.

But the Taycan's launch control hits harder than the Model S's, smacking us with 1.3 g's of initial acceleration long enough to befog our noggin. Is this what passing through a time-travel portal feels like? After we retrieved our hand-held radio, sunglasses, and clipboard from the back seat, we eyeballed the data: 60 mph in 2.4 seconds and the quarter-mile in 10.5 at 130 mph—the latter including a shift from the two-speed transmission that is on the rear axle. Unlike the Tesla, the Porsche will replicate those numbers over and over again. Plus, the Taycan's relative silence and ease of enabling launch control (select Sport Plus mode, hold brake and accelerator, release brake) means that it can be deployed nearly anywhere—at your neighborhood four-way stop, in a parking garage—without causing hysteria.

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More surprisingly, the Porsche held its own in our 75-mph range test. While the EPA says there's a 134-mile difference in the range between the two, extrapolating from our 100-mile run, the real-world difference amounts to 10 miles in the Tesla's favor. The Taycan also won the other speed test, with its consistently higher charging rate providing quicker recharging. Tesla's Supercharger network might have more stations, but it also has more users, and Tesla owners have faced long queues just to plug in during peak travel times. At the Electrify America outpost where we charged the Porsche, 15 other plugs went unused the entire time we were there.

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There was some disagreement over whether the Taycan's sci-fi electric soundtrack is appropriate or not, but the amplified Star Wars Landspeeder–esque noises are at least based in reality, originating from recordings of the Porsche's electric motors on a dyno. And not that the low and wide Taycan needs any help, but the whir does draw attention, creating visible confusion as bystanders try to identify the vessel zooming by.

And what a vessel it is. Judged from the driver's seat alone, the Taycan is the better car. It meets the high expectations of this storied brand, proves its real-world range, and moves the EV bar on a couple fronts. But price is always a factor; in this case, an insurmountable one.

1st Place:
Tesla Model S Performance


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Highs: Spacious and airy, still megaquick, one-pedal driving.
Lows: Dull handling, feels its size and weight.
Verdict: Eight years in, the Model S continues to impress.

"Tesla's vision for the future in 2012 is still relevant today," quipped deputy reviews editor Tony Quiroga. That is massively impressive given the Model S's advanced age. Sure, there are reminders that this car is from Tesla's early days, such as the Mercedes-sourced window switches, shift lever, and turn-signal and cruise-control stalks. And eight years in, the build quality is still tainted by egregious fit issues. The uneven gap between the hatch and the rear bodywork, for example, doesn't look as though it's improved one bit.

But the Model S still has a lot going for it. The interior continues to impress, particularly with the $2000 white leatherette in our car. And Tesla accurately predicted—or perhaps caused—the shift in cabin design where infotainment screens would come to define modern cars' interiors. The Model S's rear seat feels far larger than the Taycan's, sitting three back there versus the Porsche's two. Taller side glass makes it feel airier inside, too, and its rear cargo area is double that of the Porsche. Even with a larger battery pack and longer wheelbase, the Model S weighs nearly 250 pounds less than the Taycan, although that's probably part of the reason the Tesla is noisier than the Porsche at 70 mph.

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This latest Model S Performance is even more sophisticated and confidence-inspiring than before, thanks to the new air springs and adaptive dampers. Ride quality has certainly improved, and there's substantial adjustability between the three suspension modes. There's not much steering feel, though, and the turn-in from the Tesla's relatively giant steering wheel is far slower and less crisp than the Porsche's. The Model S is more competent than fun, and the harder you push, the less impressive it becomes. Stability control intervenes early—there's no way to dial it back—and the brake pedal went soft during our repeated stops from 70 and 100 mph, producing a warning message.

Tesla pipped Porsche in our rolling-start 5-to-60-mph test by a tenth of a second, but in every other test, the Model S proved slightly slower. Accelerating to 60 mph in a monumentally quick 2.5 seconds, it lurked just 0.1 second behind the Taycan. But the gap widened to more than three seconds by 150 mph. And for all the discussion of the Model S's fleetness, it is incredibly fussy to achieve its max-acceleration times. It must be fully charged, and using the Ludicrous Plus mode requires preheating the battery for 45 minutes. After the initial hero run, the Tesla's times fall off quickly, slowing to the point that we were jotting notes while waiting for the quarter-mile to arrive.

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The Model S excels in the city, where Tesla's expertly calibrated one-pedal operation introduces fluidity to stop-and-go driving. Porsche made a conscious decision to forgo one-pedal driving, and we missed it every time we hopped back into the Taycan, where the strongest coasting regen is barely noticeable. You drive Porsche's EV as you would any other automatic Porsche: with two pedals. Unlike those gas models, though, the Taycan's brake pedal is touchy and nonlinear.

Tesla wins this one largely on price, but the Model S's virtues stand on their own, too. Some spreadsheet fiddling suggests that the finishing order wouldn't have changed had we pitted the Tesla against the far slower $105,150 Taycan 4S. Given the Model S Performance comes at a $85,160 discount to the Taycan Turbo S, there's no question which is the better buy.

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Reg

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Lows, (tesla) Dull handling, feels its size and weight.
Lows, (Taycan) Lacking in storage and rear-seat space, all-the-money price.
Makes sense that if you are okay with dull handling, you may find a cheaper car more storage place with cheaper build as worth it.
The difference between a sports car and a land yacht.
 

jkjjpc

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This is a very informative comparison and makes me feel even better about my 4S order. Very interesting to see a second example of how high speed range is not that different between the Taycan and the Model 3 and Model S despite the large difference in EPA rated range. There is no range issue for either car for local day-to-day commuting with home charging for me, and now the long distance range advantage claimed for the Tesla seems not to be a major factor. I for one am willing to spend the extra money for the 4S. If the only option was Turbo S or Model S, I would probably stay with ICE since I just cannot love the Model S due to is build quality and lack of features that I find important in this price range.
 

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While I like the convenience, I don't think entire articles should be duplicated here without permission. Press releases, sure, but I keep seeing this here, and I'd hate to see something happen to the site because of the continued content rips...
 

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Looking at the repeated 0-60 times, after two runs a 4S would be killing the Tesla and give it a good run at the start
 

dryii

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Nice read. I really liked this part.
"After the initial hero run, the Tesla's times fall off quickly, slowing to the point that we were jotting notes while waiting for the quarter-mile to arrive."
:clap: I experience the same in my Model 3, so know exactly what they mean.

While I like the convenience, I don't think entire articles should be duplicated here without permission. Press releases, sure, but I keep seeing this here, and I'd hate to see something happen to the site because of the continued content rips...
Agreed. People should click on links and give the site their earned "views".
 

MissionC

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Tesla winning purely on price is kinda dubious. The test was Taycan v Model S, not a comparison of premium four-door EVs and they didn’t really articulate a value argument. I get that the car magazine testers don’t get the benefit of free EA for three years, but they didn’t even mention that leading to inflated perception of TCO when charging away from home. Otherwise, a good read.
 

dryii

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Tesla winning purely on price is kinda dubious.
Aye, they tried to spin in on how the Tesla has other great features, and it does. But price is the biggest standout.
"Judged from the driver's seat alone, the Taycan is the better car."
I think that quote says it a lot.
 

TriTaycan

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The comparison of these two vehicles is overdone and tends to be too simplistic. I was in the market for a new car, not necessarily an EV, and didn't even consider a Tesla. Some/most/all of this is opinion, but the Tesla exterior styling is dated and was just ok when it was new anyway. The interior finish is not on par with similarly priced vehicles and the giant tablet display is poor design and only done because it is cheap and easy. Perhaps most importantly, the after sales service of a Tesla is crap. None of the reasons I didn't consider a Tesla have to do with 0-60 time or range, which seem to be the only things people are focusing on in the comparisons.

Besides that, it seems glossed over how hard it is to get that Tesla to do its 0-60 time ... full charge, battery warmed up but not overheated, then a laughably difficult set of button presses to actually do it (video below). Try doing that at a stop light or freeway entrance, ha.

The Model S is no more similar to a Taycan than a Corvette is similar to a Ferrari.

 

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They actually have a "no, I want my mommy" option. the emotional IQ is amazing.

Your point is the correct one. The only reason the S is compared to the Taycan is because they are both EVs. Besides that, there is no reason to compare them since they are in two very different cars. I would never even consider the Tesla for the reasons you mentioned and for how they handle.

edit. And if you want to factor in price that much, then one may as well say the Bolt is the best EV since you can get a 3 year lease for between 100-200 a month depending on the incentives they are promoting. (there may be even cheaper EV deals, but you get the point).
 
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Dee

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Maybe I'm mistaken (correct me if I'm wrong) but there are a few things to consider.

Range.
The difference is only 10 mls.
But.....
The Tesla uses 95 kWh where Taycan uses only 83kWh from it's battery, right?
That makes the Taycan performs even better, right?

But why and how?
Cuz of the two-speed gearbox, very efficient in second and very aggressive in first gear, hence the 0-60 time matches the one of Tesla.
The Tesla also performs better in the city, that makes it quite logical right?

I think that gearbox seperates the car into two cars, one for fast accelerations, like the Tesla and one for efficient driving at higher speeds, unlike a Tesla.
The more I think about this, the more I see the huge benefits of a two-speed gearbox despite it's extra 200 kg weight penalty...
Well played Porsche!
 
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Reg

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But why and how?
Maybe the Tesla was optimized for the EPA circumstances that the EPA tests.

the more I see the huge benefits of a two-speed gearbox despite it's extra 200 kg weight penalty...
This is why i am trying to lose 200 kg before my Taycan arrives - so the impact of the weight of the gearbox would be minimized ;)
 

EnjoyTheDrive

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I think Tesla just send the numbers.
EPA didn't even test the Model S at the time.
As you can see the difference is not that big, unlike the numbers on paper...
no,, this is not correct, re- read the article. They ran both cars at 75 miles an hour for 100 miles To determine efficiency, it was not based on tesla having 95 kWh where Taycan uses only 83kWh. It was based on 75 mph for 100 miles. And this is where Porsche would do better, vs. at 55 mph.

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felixtb

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I think Tesla just send the numbers.
EPA didn't even test the Model S at the time.
As you can see the difference is not that big, unlike the numbers on paper...
Initially, they did not test the S because they did not think it was going to be a big volume car.... However, as far as I understand they do test them these days... SO I suspect that Reg has a point that they optimise for EPA numbers as Porsche and other EU manufacturers optimise for the WLTP standard..... Which is more lenient so it kind of works for Tesla as well......... But the EPA stings the EU manufacturers in its test but apparently not, luckily, in the real world. :)
 
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