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Porsche sets indoor land speed record with the Taycan Turbo S

Here's how pro driver Leh Keen hit 102.6 mph indoors.

Porsche driver Leh Keen set the new indoor land speed record with a Taycan Turbo S.

When you think of a land speed record, you probably think of crazy cars at Bonneville or maybe the Bugatti Chiron blasting around Nardo. If you're weird, like me, you might even think of the band Husker Du's first album. What you probably don't think of, however, is an electric Porsche doing 102 mph in a convention center.

On Wednesday, Porsche announced that pro driver Leh Keen set a Guinness-certified indoor land speed record of 102.6 mph with the 2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo S, hitting that speed inside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Not only did Keen set a record, he also blew the old (and longstanding) one out of the water by 16 mph.

OK, so maybe you're not impressed with 102 mph in a convention center. The thing is, setting a record indoors is actually really hard. Even a building like the New Orleans convention center, which has around 1 million square feet of floor space, isn't that big when you talk about getting a car up to speed and then having to slow it back down.

"I didn't really appreciate the scale of the record attempt until my first exploratory run," Keen said in a post-record-attempt statement. "The surface is so unpredictable, so slick, that you have to have complete trust in your car. It truly was like ice -- and you're accelerating flat out, facing a really hard wall at the end. Suddenly, even in a massive space like the one we had, it seems very small."

Luckily, getting up to speed is one of the Taycan's best party tricks. With the ability to get to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds thanks to launch control and all-wheel drive, and with around 750 horsepower on tap, Leh and the Taycan were able to set the new record. 

Of course, I don't think they give you the record if you crash through the wall at the other side of the building, so having the ability to stop quickly is important, too. For this, Porsche's Taycan Turbo S comes with great big carbon-ceramic brakes. If you've never driven a Porsche with these stoppers before, the sensation of standing on the brake pedal and being hauled down from speed is pretty shocking in its effectiveness.

Will someone else step up to try and beat this extremely silly world record? Who knows. People are pretty bored these days, and Tesla did just announce its utterly bonkers Model S Plaid, so anything is possible.

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