The Porsche vs Tesla Rivalry Actually Doesn't Matter
I'm sure all of you know by now about the insane depths the Porsche vs Tesla rivalry has sunk down to. Nurburgring battles, Top Gear controversies and so, so much more has been being poured into this crazy rivalry between a relatively new company born out of Silicon Valley's tech bros and a super old, super established performance car manufacturer from the early years of Germany's automotive industry. To give my honest opinion on the matter, it's making me very annoyed. Why? Well, I'll tell you why.
The simple fact of the matter is, at the end of the day they are two very different cars designed for very different markets. As much as it might hurt some of you for me to tell you this, Teslas are not designed for car people. Teslas are designed for tech people. There is a difference. A Tesla Model S is a technological tour de force full of big screens and clever computers, as well as having lots of comfort features including big comfy seats and lots of adjustment. They may accelerate fast, sure, but that acceleration cuts off past normal motorway speeds. A high powered Supercar like a Lamborghini Huracan Performante or a Porsche 911 GT3 RS would smoke a Tesla Model S P100D eventually given enough straight road. Both of those cars would also more than certainly outclass the big, heavy Tesla in the corners, despite the Model S's fantastically low centre of gravity due to the placement of its batteries and motors. Teslas are not drivers' cars. They were never intended to be. They were intended to be luxurious, fast cruisers with lots of technology and environmentally-friendly credentials. A future of the premium luxury car in a lot of ways and I have to stress that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's a solid basis on which to design a new car.
The Porsche Taycan is none of those things. Yes, it is technologically very advanced. Technology isn't the focus, however. The focus of the Taycan is being... well... like all other Porsches, a Porsche. An ultimate driving machine. It may be a big luxury saloon like the Tesla, but it's no one-dimensional dragster that can also cruise around with no noise. This is a car that's designed to tear up the corners as well as the straights. Those huge brakes give that away immediately if you look at the car. Those massive dinner plate carbon ceramic discs make the Tesla's relatively standard brakes look almost childish. There's absolutely no question that, in a real world situation, the Taycan would obliterate a Tesla Model S on a twisty mountain road. Why is this important? Because, at the end of the day, they are incredibly different cars. The only thing they share in common is the fully electric drivetrain. It's the starkest representation of how different the philosophy of two companies can be, even in an era where things are moving more and more towards electrification.
So, what's the point of me pointing out this huge difference between how two very different companies have made a similar class of car? It's because both cars are very, very different and because they're both so different, it's made comparing both cars ridiculous. The ridiculousness has been reinforced even further by the fact that Tesla are using a test mule running the plaid drivetrain and Porsche's comments about them not using the Taycan Turbo S for the Nurburgring lap. Just stop it, guys. Stop trying to compete with each other when your cars are so different competition is ridiculous. People who like Porsche will buy the Taycan. People who like Tesla and/or lost of fancy tech will buy the Model S. It's as simple as that. That is how real life works. This rivalry is taking up unwanted time and attention and, outside of a few small enthusiast circles and steadfast Tesla loyalists, nobody is going to care about it. It reeks of two big manufacturers flexing their egos over who has the fastest car.