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Porsche Taycan 4S Drag Races Tesla Model 3 Performance, It's Unbelievably Close

Porsche Taycan 4S vs Tesla Model 3 Performance drag race 21 photos
Photo: CSL AutoTime on YouTube / edited
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Porsche's first series-production electric vehicle comes in many flavors. The car sourced by CSL AutoTime of Thailand for a series of drag races at their usual filming location is the pre-facelift Taycan 4S, which means that it's gifted with a dual-motor setup that includes a two-speed box for the rear axle. Why two ratios and not direct drive?
As it happens, first is a relatively short to improve acceleration, whereas the long-ratio second gear improves efficiency at high speeds and – of course – allows for higher speeds than direct drive. Tang from CSL AutoTime lists the Taycan 4S as having 435 metric horsepower by default, 530 with launch control, and 640 Nm of torque at full chatter.

Those numbers are indeed correct, with said metric figures converting to 429 continuous mechanical horsepower, 523 peak mechanical horsepower, and 472 pound-feet. Equipped with an 800-volt electrical system for greater retention of power and some other advantages over 400-volt electric vehicles, the Taycan 4S weighs a little over 2,200 kilograms (4,850 pounds) in its most basic spec.

Tesla's pre-facelift Model 3 Performance is lighter still, which is only natural for a smaller vehicle. Tang claims 1,844 kilograms, a little over 500 metric horses and 660 Nm for the red-painted Model 3 Performance in the featured video. That's 4,065 pounds, less power than the Taycan 4S, and 487 pound-feet of torque from two electric drive units.

It goes without saying that Porsche Taycan 4S versus Tesla Model 3 Performance is an apples to oranges comparison, but hey, who doesn't like a dash to the quarter-mile mark on an unprepped surface? For all its fancy tech and the iconic badge, the Taycan 4S couldn't do better than 11.67 seconds compared to a best of 11.63 clicks for the M3P.

Porsche Taycan 4S vs Tesla Model 3 Performance drag race
Photo: CSL AutoTime on YouTube
According to the Dragy app, the Model 3 Performance required less time to reach 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) than the Porker. Said Taycan 4S could've been a bit quicker, but it's not clear if the person driving, the launch control system, tires, or something related to the battery held back the car from hitting the claimed 0-100 acceleration time.

As for the proverbial elephant in the room, one cannot ignore how big of a difference separates these vehicles in terms of starting prices. The facelifted Taycan 4S retails at $118,500 in the United States at press time, whereas the Highland Model 3 Performance can be yours from $54,990.

As cool as the American brand's logo may be, it pales in comparison to the magnetism of Porsche. That's why someone in the market for a Taycan 4S rarely considers the Model 3 Performance as an alternative, whereas many among those with enough money to purchase said Model 3 wouldn't refuse an upgrade to the German electric sedan.

Looking at the bigger picture, Tesla has the last laugh as one of the world's leading electric vehicle manufacturers. Large though it may be, the Volkswagen Group does not produce or sell as many electric vehicles as Tesla on a yearly basis. The Taycan posted double-digit gains in 2023, having moved 40,629 units compared to a staggering 1,739,707 sales for the Model 3 and Y.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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