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2020 Porsche Taycan vs. Tesla Model S: Performance EVs compared

The Tesla Model S is no longer the only electric performance sedan in town. Here's a look at how it stacks up against the 2020 Porsche Taycan in both 4S and Turbo configurations.

2020 Porsche Taycan
The 2020 Porsche Taycan is the Tesla Model S' first true competitor.

The Tesla Model S isn't the only big-body electric car in town anymore. Following the introduction of the 2020 Taycan in its hi-po Turbo and Turbo S trims, Porsche has now unveiled the less expensive 4S, which is available with an optional Performance Battery Pack option that turns up the performance wick a smidge, in addition to piling on the range.

For this comparison, we'll be looking at Tesla's Model S Performance and the Taycan Turbo S, which align pretty closely, but we'll also be pulling both 4S variants into the mix to explore the breadth of options available.

Click here to read our first drive of the 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo.


Since the Taycan Turbo S and Model S Performance sort of compete against each other, it's not a surprise that they're similarly sized. In terms of overall length, the Model S is just 0.3 inches longer, and its width trails both Taycan variants by just 0.1 inches (although it grows to be 1.8 inches wider when incudling mirrors). The cars may have similar lengths, but the Tesla's wheelbase is 2.3 inches longer. The Tesla has the widest rear track of the three, but what's most interesting here is that the Taycan's front track (the distance between the center of the front wheels) is wider than the rear track in both variants. Interesting.

The Tesla is a full 2.6 inches taller, and its hatchback gives it some serious storage capacity: 26.3 cubic feet of rear cargo space, compared to the Taycan Turbo S' 12.9 and the Taycan 4S' 14.3. The Porsche wins the frunk battle, though, with 2.8 cubic feet of space compared to the Model S' 2.1.


Model Length (in) Width (in) Height (in) Wheelbase (in) Front track (in) Rear track (in) Rear cargo space (cu. ft) Front cargo space (cu. ft)
Porsche Taycan 4S 195.4 77.4 (84.4 w/ mirrors) 54.3 114.2 67.3 66.7 14.3 2.8
Porsche Taycan Turbo S 195.4 77.4 (84.4 w/ mirrors) 54.3 114.2 66.5 65.2 12.9 2.8
Tesla Model S Performance 195.7 77.3 (86.2 w/ mirrors) 56.9 116.5 65.4 66.9 26.3 2.1


Teslas have always touted their range, and the Model S Performance is no exception, despite lagging behind its Long Range variant sibling. Since the EPA has yet to rate the Taycan, we'll be going off Porsche's own WLTP estimates for its range, which are currently 256 miles for the Turbo S, 253 miles for the base 4S and 288 miles for the 4S with the Performance Battery Pack option. It's interesting that Tesla can pull the range it can from its 100-kWh battery, considering the Taycan Turbo S and 4S with PBP aren't too far behind at 93.4 kWh. The 4S has the smallest battery of the bunch at 79 kWh.

While both cars have two electric motors, one on each axle, the motors themselves are slightly different. The Taycan uses two permanent-magnet synchronous motors, while the Model S Performance has a permanent-magnet synchronous motor in the rear, but an older induction-type motor up front.


Model Battery size (kWh) Max range (mi, WLTP) Number of electric motors Motor locations Battery location
Porsche Taycan 4S 79 253 2 Front, rear axles Floor
Porsche Taycan 4S w/ PBP 93.4 288 2 Front, rear axles Floor
Porsche Taycan Turbo S 93.4 256 2 Front, rear axles Floor
Tesla Model S Performance 100 365 2 Front, rear axles Floor


Things are pretty close here, too, between the Turbo S and the Model S Performance, although the 4S' specs are pretty solid, too. The Taycan Turbo S is capable of over-boosting for short periods of time to produce about 750 horsepower and 774 pound-feet of torque, enough to shove the car to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, continuing on to a top speed of about 162 mph. Without the over-boost function, the motors produce 616 horsepower. The 4S' base variant over-boosts from 429 to 522 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque, while the 4S with the Performance Battery Pack raises output to 482 hp (563 hp with over-boost) and 479 lb-ft of torque. Both 4S variants will reach 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, and both have a top speed of 155 mph.

The Model S Performance, on the other hand, produces approximately 762 horsepower and 723 lb-ft of torque from its motors. Sixty mph arrives in a slightly quicker 2.4 seconds, and the top speed is a smidge higher at 163.

The Taycan 4S is the slipperiest of the three cars, with a drag coefficient of 0.22 versus the Taycan Turbo S' 0.25 and the Model S Performance's 0.23. The Taycan Turbo shares the same figure as the 4S, as well.


Model Power (hp) Torque (lb-ft) Acceleration, 0-60mph (s) Top speed (mph) Drag coefficient
Porsche Taycan 4S 429 (522 overboost) 472 (overboost) 3.8 155 0.22
Porsche Taycan 4S w/ PBP 482 (563 overboost) 479 (overboost) 3.8 155 0.22
Porsche Taycan Turbo S 616 (750 overboost) 774 (overboost) 2.6 162 0.25
Tesla Model S Performance 762 (est.) 723 (est.) 2.4 163 0.23

Tesla has a giant center tablet while Porsche scatters several screens across the Taycan's cabin.



Tesla is a master of the big-screen game, being the first to debut a positively monstrous 17-inch portrait-style infotainment touchscreen in its vehicles, in addition to a 12-ish-inch screen replacing the gauge cluster. Tesla's own infotainment system lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but it does allow for Bluetooth music streaming, in addition to built-in Slacker Radio capability and over-the-air updates.

The Taycan, on the other hand, splits its screens up a bit more. The gauge cluster is a 16.8-inch screen capable of displaying multiple features at once. There's a centrally located 10.9-inch infotainment screen, with a second 8.4-incher for climate controls and handwriting recognition. Apple CarPlay is standard, as is a new digital assistant that answers to "Hey, Porsche." If that's not enough, there's also an optionally available infotainment screen just for the front passenger.

And then there's Autopilot. Tesla's lane-holding highway assist has been kicking around in various iterations for years, with more features being tacked on along the way. Porsche lacks a system with such capability, but then again, who really wants to let their Porsche do the driving?

The Porsche Taycan is a lot more expensive than the Tesla Model S.



Here's where Tesla seriously has the upper hand. The current Model S Long Range starts at $79,990 before factoring in local incentives, and climbs to $99,990 for the Performance. With added extras like premium paint colors, 21-inch wheels, the black-and-white interior and the not-yet-released "full self-driving" feature, a fully loaded Model S Performance comes in at $114,900.

At market launch, the Taycan Turbo will set you back $153,310, with the Turbo S shoving the price further northward to $187,610. The 4S variants make for a much lower starting point, however, with the base 4S starting at $103,800, while the Performance Battery Pack upgrade bumps the price up to $110,380.


Model MSRP at launch
Porsche Taycan 4S $103,800
Porsche Taycan 4S w/ PBP $110,380
Porsche Taycan Turbo $153,310
Porsche Taycan Turbo S $187,610
Tesla Model S Performance $99,990

Down to brass tacks

On paper, the Porsche Taycan Turbo S and the Tesla Model S Performance are pretty darn similar. Yet, the Taycan appears a fair bit more performance-oriented than the Model S, thanks to inclusions like standard carbon-ceramic brakes. The Model S, on the other hand, keeps things a little more livable, with more cargo capacity, interior space and range. The Taycan 4S variants still err on the performance side, but they sacrifice some figures compared to the Turbo models in order to keep the price more sensible. It all comes down to how you like your steak prepared, really.

Now playing: Watch this: 2020 Porsche Taycan is ready to tackle Tesla

Originally published Sept. 4.
Update, Oct. 14: Added comparison points for Taycan 4S variants.