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Hang on Tesla, Porsche may have a quicker Taycan to run at Nurburgring

It's been discovered that Porsche ran a Taycan Turbo, not the more powerful Turbo S model at the German racetrack.

2020 Porsche Taycan
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2020 Porsche Taycan

The electric performance sedan war is on.

Porsche

The Porsche Taycan and are becoming quite the rivals -- and the first Taycans haven't even made their way to owners yet. Nevertheless, the battle of Silicon Valley and Stuttgart is well underway, with competing Nurburgring Nordschleife lap times as the barometer.

In one corner, we have the Taycan with its official lap of 7 minutes, 42 seconds. In the other corner, the Model S "Plaid" prototype has reportedly lapped the 'Ring in just 7:23 during an industry pool session. Ah, but wait just one second. A new report from Car and Driver on Tuesday puts Porsche on the record saying it did not run its most powerful Taycan model.

That's right, the German sports car and luxury marque used a Taycan Turbo for its run around the Nordschleife. As a refresher, the Taycan Turbo boasts 670 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque. Above it sits the Taycan Turbo S, which houses 750 hp and 774 lb-ft. Theoretically, all signs point to the Turbo S as capable of clocking an even quicker time at the legendary German racetrack.

There are a few wild cards in the mix as to why Porsche didn't put its most powerful electric car on the track to start. Car and Driver theorizes the company likely took an educated guess and expected Tesla to try and outgun it. Thus, it has more power waiting. On the other hand, both Taycan variants suppress power down to 616 hp to keep the powertrain's heat at bay. In the end, the Taycan Turbo minus the S may have weighed less and still produced the same amount of power. There's no way of knowing if Porsche will unleash the full 750 hp for more than 2.5 seconds at a time -- the time figure Porsche quoted for its "overboost" function.

Porsche didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

It's also worth noting the Model S running at the 'Ring right now is reportedly as far as can be from the car buyers can purchase. Stickier tires, a gutted interior and a gurney flap are not on the options list for Model S buyers. The electric car also supposedly includes a three-motor powertrain for added gusto.

Whatever the case, don't expect this newborn rivalry to die down any time soon.

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Watch this: Porsche Taycan is ready to prove a point

2020 Porsche Taycan is a Tesla Model S fighter with up to 750 horsepower

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Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.

Updated Sept. 17, 2019 12:34 p.m. PT

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Written by  Sean Szymkowski
CNET staff -- not advertisers, partners or business interests -- determine how we review the products and services we cover. If you buy through our links, we may get paid. Reviews ethics statement
sean-szymkowski-headshot
Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
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