For years, the Tesla Model S has gone unchallenged in the electric luxury sedan arena, but it will soon face a new challenger in the way of the Porsche Taycan.

It’s unlikely that Porsche would be making the Taycan if it weren’t for the Model S, which caught the automotive industry off guard with its contemporary looks, refined electric powertrain, and impressive 17-inch interior tablet display. The world’s performance car manufacturers were blindsided by the ridiculous performance of the Tesla Model S P100D, as well, which is among the fastest accelerating cars on the planet.

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The Porsche Taycan will make its debut this year before going on sale in Europe. We don’t know too much about the Taycan just yet, but Porsche has dropped some small details here and there. In this post, we’ll compare what we know about the Taycan with the official statistics for the Model S, hopefully leaving curious EV shoppers with a better idea of which of these electric luxury cars is better suited to their needs.


Design

Porsche Taycan: The Porsche Taycan has not yet been unveiled yet, so it’s hard to compare its design to the Model S, but spy shots show it will take on a similar fastback sedan shape to the Model S. It will be a bit wider and flatter when viewed from the front or back, though, which makes sense given that Porsche want this car to perform well not only on the road, but on the racetrack too. The Porsche Mission E Concept (above), which previewed the Taycan, also gives us some hints as to what the production Taycan will look like.

Tesla Model S: The Tesla Model S is a handsome, carefully styled sedan that has aged extremely well. We think the Model S is one of the better-looking sedans on sale today and is certainly the best-looking mass-market EV. It’s hard to fault the Model S’s styling, although it could perhaps use an exterior update and some new options such as different wheels.

Bottom Line: The Taycan is shaping up to be fairly imposing with its wide, flat stance. The Model S will probably look less sporty by comparison and thus more mature. It’s hard to draw a conclusion here without having seen the production Taycan, though, so let’s wait and see what Porsche has in store for its first EV.

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Space/Practicality

Porsche Taycan: The Porsche Taycan will probably have comparable interior dimensions to your average sedan. EVs are typically a bit tighter inside than internal combustion engine cars due to the batteries, though, which is something to consider if you are a first-time EV buyer. It’s expected to have room for four passengers in a layout similar to the Porsche Panamera’s available 2+2 seating layout. A rear liftback will provide access to a sizable luggage compartment. The above image is of the Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo concept’s interior. Porsche is known for having impeccable interiors, and the Taycan will be no different.

Tesla Model S: The Tesla Model S has 31.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 58.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. It has front headroom of 38.8 inches and front legroom of 42.7 inches, along with rear headroom of 35.3 inches and rear legroom of 35.4 inches. All in all, the Model S is a well-packaged five-person, four-door sedan that is extremely practical — especially for an EV.

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Bottom Line: It does seem as though the Model S will be more practical than the Porsche Taycan. With what appears to be a larger footprint and more traditional sedan packaging, the Model S will probably have a bit more cargo space and bit more room for passengers than the Taycan, but perhaps Porsche will surprise us.


Powertrains

Porsche Taycan: We will have to wait until the Porsche Taycan debuts for the official powertrain statistics, but Porsche has already hinted at what to expect.

One version of the sedan, called the Taycan Turbo, will have two permanently excited electric motors that together make 600 hp and propel the sedan from 0-60 mph in around 3.5s. The Taycan also will have a lithium-ion battery pack that provides a Porsche-estimated range of 310 miles, along with an 800V fast-charging system that can add nearly 250 miles of range to the car in around 15 minutes. Porsche has also made it a priority to ensure the car’s battery electric powertrain does not heat on the track or in spirited driving scenarios.

Porsche will probably sell two or three different versions of the Taycan, offering different amounts of range and varying levels of performance. The base model is also expected to be rear-wheel drive, while better-equipped versions will be all-wheel drive.

Tesla Model S: The Tesla Model S is offered in two versions: 100D and P100D.

The 100D has two electric motors that are good for a combined output of 417 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque, which can take the sedan from 0-60 mph in 4.1s and on to a top speed of 155 mph. With a 100 kWh battery pack, the Model S 100D has an EPA-estimated range of 335 miles.

The P100D, meanwhile, makes 762 hp and 687 lb-ft of torque thanks to a more powerful rear performance motor. This is enough to take the sedan from 0-60 mph in around 2.5s and on to the same top speed of 155 mph. The Model S P100D is, simply put, one of the fastest accelerating production cars on the planet and an extremely impressive offering from a brand that has never before made a performance sedan.

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Bottom Line: The Porsche Taycan will be an extremely fast car and should perform better than the Tesla Model S on a racetrack, but Porsche will have trouble beating the Model S in a 0-60 mph sprint. Tesla’s electric performance motors, along with the software that runs them, were a step ahead of what many automakers were capable of when introduced and to be honest, not much has changed over the years. If you like nice handling and refined driving characteristics, the Taycan will probably be for you. If you just want to accelerate fast, the Model S may be the preferred vehicle of choice.


Driving Dynamics

Porsche Taycan: This is another area that’s impossible to judge the Taycan on without anyone having driven it. Porsche has been spotted putting the EV through its paces at the Nurburgring, though, and hopes the sedan can complete more than a single lap of the daunting circuit before having to come in to cool off its motors and batteries. This will be the first mass-produced EV that’s truly meant for the track, it seems. Porsches are nothing if they can’t perform and have truly excellent driving dynamics, and we think the Taycan will live up to or exceed expectations in this area.

Tesla Model S: We haven’t driven the Model S since 2013 and the sedan has received quite a few updates since then. Even back then, though, we said the Model S “glides over even harsh surfaces, and yet when you throw it into corners, it handles very well.” Our reviewer also said that “Tesla has worked hard on sorting this car out and it shows.” While some new luxury cars with more advanced suspension systems will ride better, the Model S drive solid, and you will never tire of a Tesla’s instantaneous torque, either.

Bottom Line: This is impossible to judge right now. We’re expecting the Taycan to be stiffer and sportier than the slightly squidgy Model S, but we’ll have to wait and see.


Technology

Porsche Taycan: This is where the Taycan may blow the Model S out of the water. The Taycan will be a much more up to date and recent product when it debuts, so it will probably have more advanced in-car entertainment technology. A large vertically mounted touchscreen is expected to occupy the center console, which will be joined be a large digital dashboard display. A multi-function steering wheel with scrolling wheels similar to the Tesla Model 3’s is expected as well. A suite of semi-autonomous functions will likely be standard, but we’ll have to wait for Porsche’s announcement for official details.

tesla model s interior

Tesla Model S: The Model S still has impressive technology despite its age. With a large 17-inch tablet display occupying the dashboard, a digital dash display, and an available Autopilot semi-autonomous driving function, it’s certainly not hurting in the tech department. German manufacturers have nicer-feeling infotainment displays and things like driver monitoring systems with eye tracking, though, which would be great to see on the Model S. A head-up display is always good to see on performance cars as well, Tesla.

Bottom Line: Both of these cars come with advanced technology, although the Taycan’s will be more up-to-date when it arrives with more recent digital display screens and other new hardware. The Model S could use an update to get higher resolution screens and other features that new luxury cars have, in our opinion, especially at this price point.


Pricing

Porsche Taycan: Prices for the Porsche Taycan are expected to start in the low $90,000 range for the standard rear-wheel drive model, with the dual-motor version costing in the high $90,000 range, most likely. Prices for the range-topping Taycan Turbo are anybody’s guess, but $150,000-$200,000 seems like a reasonable estimate. Porsche options also add up quickly.

Tesla Model S: The Tesla Model S starts at $95,000 for the 100D model, with the performance-focused P100D starting from $133,000. Minimal options are available as well, with the most expensive being the Enhanced Autopilot system for $5,000.

tesla model s

Bottom Line: The Model S will probably prove to be the less expensive vehicle. While base prices are similar, Porsche’s options are notoriously expensive, so Taycans with any amount of equipment on them will probably sell for $100,000 or more, but again, we’ll have to wait and see.


The Verdict: Porsche Taycan vs Tesla Model S

It’s hard to come to conclusion between the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan right now. As it stands, with the Taycan still yet to debut, the Porsche seems to the sportier and more handling-focused offering, while the Model S may have superior everyday usability and slightly longer range in 100D form. The Model S P100D may be quicker accelerating than the Taycan Turbo as well, but we’ll have to wait and see who comes out on top in that regard, too. Porsche build quality is also impeccable, while Tesla has run into issues with its quality control in the past.

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These two will also be priced similarly, it seems, so the decision may come down to which brand you like better and which car is better suited to your lifestyle. Be sure to check back to this story later this year, which will we update following the debut of the Porsche Taycan.

This article originally appeared on AutoGuide.com

 

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