Porsche and Tesla represent two of the most recognizable brands in the electric vehicle market. The German sports car icon Porsche debuted its first all-electric model, the Taycan sedan, in 2019. Tesla‘s Model S pioneered the concept of a practical, long-range EV when it launched in 2012.
Nearly a decade later, the second-generation Model S continues to evolve, offering blistering performance and distinctive styling. Meanwhile, in just a few short years, the Taycan has established itself as Porsche’s flagship EV, combining the brand‘s racing lineage with an electric powertrain.
On the surface, the Taycan and Model S occupy similar territory as high-performance electric luxury sedans. But a closer examination reveals key differences that set them apart. Here‘s an in-depth look at how these two EVs compare across the most important categories for buyers.
Exterior Design and Styling
The Taycan follows Porsche‘s timeless sports car design language, with a sleek profile, pronounced fenders, and signature lighting. The lightweight body structure incorporates aluminum and steel for rigidity and safety. Signature Porsche styling cues include the front fascia, headlights, and LED light bar spanning the rear.
In contrast, the Model S has a more conventional four-door sedan silhouette. The latest refresh streamlined the front and rear styling. Tesla offers fewer exterior customization options compared to Porsche. Unique features include auto-presenting front door handles and a panoramic glass roof.
Interior Design and Technology
Step inside the Taycan, and you’re surrounded by premium materials like leather and Alcantara. The five-gauge instrument cluster provides classic Porsche feel, while the 10.9-inch infotainment touchscreen offers modern convenience. Porsche‘s PCM system includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and integrated apps. The Taycan also offers optional high-end Bose and Burmester audio.
The Model S interior highlights its massive 17-inch center touchscreen and minimalist vibe. Instead of classic gauges, a single 15-inch screen provides digital instrumentation behind the steering wheel. The cabin lacks some of the rich materials found in the Taycan but offers seating for five adults. Tesla‘s infotainment system enables over-the-air software updates but lacks CarPlay and Android Auto.
Performance and Powertrains
Performance lies at the core of both of these electric sedans, though their approaches differ. The Taycan 4S generates up to 522 hp, allowing 0-60 mph in as little as 3.8 seconds. The 750 hp Turbo S cuts that time to 2.6 seconds thanks to launch control. Adaptive air suspension, rear-wheel steering, and torque vectoring sharpen handling.
Tesla takes performance to another level with the tri-motor Model S Plaid, achieving a staggering 1,020 hp. The claimed 1.99-second 0-60 mph sprint leaves the Taycan in the dust. But some critics argue the Model S lacks the Taycan‘s refinement and finesse. An adaptive air suspension improves handling and ride comfort.
Range and Charging Capabilities
When it comes to driving range, the Model S also dominates thanks to its 100 kWh battery pack. EPA-estimated ranges stretch from 396 miles on the Plaid to 405 miles for the Long Range. These real-world ranges still outpace the Taycan, rated at up to 227 miles by the EPA. However, independent testing recorded over 300 miles for the Taycan.
Both EVs offer excellent fast-charging capabilities. With 270 kW charging, the Taycan can add 60 miles of range in just 5 minutes and charge from 5% to 80% in under 23 minutes. The Model S accepts up to 250 kW, adding 200 miles in 15 minutes. Tesla‘s vast Supercharger network gives it an edge over Porsche’s more limited charging infrastructure.
Technology and Safety
As expected, both sedans come loaded with technology. The Taycan offers a wider array of driver assistance features like a night vision system and advanced parking assist. The Model S boasts Tesla‘s cutting-edge Autopilot system with semi-autonomous capability but fewer available active safety features.
Cargo Space and Passenger Room
The Model S provides more interior room thanks to its dedicated EV platform. Front and rear legroom measure 44.3 inches and 35.4 inches respectively. Cargo volume behind the second row is 28 cubic feet. The lower, sleeker Taycan has tighter passenger and cargo space at 15.7 cubic feet, although the two rear seats provide adequate room.
Pricing and Trims
The Porsche Taycan carries a higher starting price but also soars into a higher bracket with its top trims. The base 2023 Taycan starts at $92,700 with the Taycan 4S at $120,700. Stepping up to the 750 hp Turbo S Cross Turismo rockets above $200,000. Tesla‘s Model S pricing spans from $105,490 for the dual-motor Long Range to $137,490 for the high-performance Plaid.
Choosing between the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S ultimately comes down to priorities. The Taycan delivers a more refined, engaging sports car experience and exclusivity for a premium price. The Model S provides jaw-dropping, tech-focused performance and unrivaled range at a more affordable cost. For pure acceleration and battery efficiency, it‘s hard to beat the Model S Plaid. But buyers seeking a world-class luxury EV will find their match in the Taycan.