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Porsche Taycan Turbo Schooled on Track by Tesla Model 3 with Track Package

Ever since its launch, the Porsche Taycan had one thing to say to all those who pointed the finger at it and said "yeah, but Tesla Model S has greater range, better acceleration, and faster charging": "That's true, but I can kick its butt on a race track because I'm a Porsche and that's what I do."
Porsche Taycan 73 photos
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While that statement hasn't really been put to the test so far as both manufacturers seem content with not finding out how things really stand and, it is generally believed to be true. The Taycan had set a seven minutes and 42 seconds Nurburgring time, which was the record for an electric sedan at the time. Tesla did not send a Model S to Germany to rectify that, since it would have been futile, but used a prototype Plaid version. That ran the circuit in seven minutes and thirteen seconds, 29 seconds faster than the German EV, but since it's not a production car, it doesn't count. The question, then, still stands: which is quicker, the Model S or the Porsche Taycan?

A Chinese motoring website called Dongchedi took the two contenders to the EV crown on a racetrack (the Goldenport Circuit) for a 24-hours super test that would decide once and for all which is the best option. Funnily enough, it turned out that if racing is what you're after, the best choice is a Model 3 Performance with the optional Track Pack, but more on that later.

The two cars chosen for the test were a Tesla Model S "Performance" (we suppose that means P100D) and a Porsche Taycan Turbo. Not the "S," for some reason, though the top model is very much available in China. A weird choice that was probably dictated by the availability of the Porsche, and not by any bias on the testers' part.

Even so, the Porsche managed to put on a more than decent fight, winning the track duel with the Model S by quite a large margin (1:15.97 for the Taycan and 1:19.26 for the Tesla) and losing the 400 meters (roughly a quarter of a mile) drag race by 0.43 seconds (10.56 for the S and 10.99 for the Turbo).

The Taycan did surprisingly well in the endurance test as well covering 452 kilometers (280 miles) on a full charge compared to the 505 kilometers (314 miles) of the Model S. You'd say the Tesla won that easily, and you would be right, but it's worth pointing out that the Porsche was only 10 km short of its NEDC rating of 462 km (287 miles), while the Tesla strayed a lot further from the official NEDC rating of 613 kilometers.

It's the track where the two cars were sent home packing, and not by some tuned up track car that needs to be put on a trailer to leave the circuit, but a smaller, cheaper electric sedan. Granted, the Model 3 Performance had the Track Package installed, but even so, it still costs less than a third of the Taycan's price on the Chinese market.

The Model 3 completed the lap in 1:15.78, which is 0.19 seconds quicker than the Taycan Turbo and a full 3.48 seconds quicker than the Model S. The smaller, lighter Model 3 would always make a good track car, particularly on a relatively short circuit like the Goldenport one in China (1.49 miles or 2.4 km), but here it's also helped by the company's optional Track Package.

That includes a brake fluid replacement, high-performance brake pads, and 20" Zero-G Performance Wheels - nothing Earth-shattering, but enough to give it an edge. By comparison, a standard Model 3 Performance (different driver) lapped the same circuit in 1:18.62 back in early 2019, so the package does what it says on the box.

Bottom line is that Taycan lives up to the expectations and can easily defeat a Model S on the track even in the plain Turbo form. The Model 3 Performance with the Track Package proved a tougher nut to crack, but given the tiny difference, you feel like the Turbo S would get the job done. Granted, while costing four times as much, but a win is a win.


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