Drag Times recently took a Porsche Taycan and a Model S Plaid out to the track. Obviously, the Plaid won, but I was a little shocked by just how hard it trounced the Taycan. Keep in mind that The Taycan was pulling pretty damned hard already, and had beaten a Model S not too long ago. Also, it speaks volumes that the Porsche owner whipped his phone out and ordered a Plaid on the spot.
As you can see in the intro, Drag Times isn’t new to the EV scene, and that shouldn’t be any surprise for anyone who has been following EVs for decades. Everyone who had ever messed with an electric forklift or golf cart knew that there was some serious torque available from electric motors, but that the battery technology just wasn’t there yet in the 1960s–80s.
When I was a kid asking my dad (who ran a transmission shop, and had rebuilt or replaced just about every ICE part out there) why there weren’t any electric cars, even he knew the truth. “Yeah, there are electric motors that could break your neck and make you pass out from the torque, but the batteries would weigh too much.”
In other words, the real, knowledgeable automotive enthusiasts and people working in drag racing saw this coming, but weren’t sure when it would start happening. Now that it’s happening, it’s hard even for the ignorant to ignore, and watching these electric luxury cars have a torque arms race is getting very interesting.
Let’s look at some of the highlights
In the last race, the Taycan beat a Model S with Ludicrous mode by about a car length. Porsche had put together a pretty stout vehicle, and the two-speed transmission helped it get enough of a second wind to beat the best Tesla had to offer at the time.
Months later, Tesla is ready to strike back, and unlike last time, the competition wasn’t even close, despite the advantages Porsche brought to the table.
“Holy Crap, He’s Gone!”
On the first race (starting at about 2:45 into the video), you can see the view from the Porsche Taycan and you can see just how quick the Porsche’s speedomer is climbing. It’s taking off so hard that it looks almost like it’s counting by tens to 100. Just looking at the sides of the screen, you can see how quick the Taycan is. It’s no slouch by anybody’s standards.
But within a few seconds, you can see the Tesla pulling away rapidly and disappearing from the chin-level view of the helmet camera. When I watched the video, my wife asked what I was freaking out about, because I first saw the pull the Porsche had and then saw the Plaid S pulling away that — much — harder.
Definitely check it out for yourself. It’s uncanny, and that’s before you see the view from the Tesla’s cameras and before you find out that the Plaid S wasn’t in Drag Strip Mode.
“I’m Buying A Tesla”
After this run, the Taycan’s owner (who is apparently pretty well off) whipped out his phone and ordered a Plaid S, right from the drag strip. He later said, “You’ve been able to troll literally everybody and their brother on the road, man. You know?”
He goes through some of the great numbers the car had already pulled, even in bad conditions with a 60% state of charge in some cases.
In the second race, probably with Drag Strip Mode activated, the Tesla pulled even harder against the Taycan. At one point, the Taycan seems impossibly small in the camera view. In this case, the Tesla’s driver had a much better reaction time, which contributed to the near disappearance of the Taycan. Still, it’s wildly apparent just how much faster the Plaid was. It’s obviously far above and beyond any reaction time differences.
In the post-race discussion, the men discuss the things they’ve seen the car do, and know that even faster performance is coming from the “cheat code” car. Hitting speeds of 150 MPH within a quarter mile is no joke, and they point out that not everyone can safely drive a car that goes that fast. And, obviously, they’re right.
Watching two very fast cars race almost makes them seem like they aren’t going as fast as they are, but imagine what it takes to get the average car even to 120–130 MPH. If you haven’t done this, go to “Mexico” and do this sometime. To think that a car can make it all the way to those speeds in such a short distance feels a lot more insane when you make that kind of comparison.
Featured image by Tesla