Which is The Best Electric Super-Saloon : Tom's Opinion
The battle between these three has reached the ultimate test... Me.
Coming off the back of the Monaco Grand Prix, which was somehow simultaneously thrilling and a bit dull, I felt like letting my creative liquids ooze onto the keyboard. Plus, I am on the cusp of an end-of-semester exam, so I thought I’d quickly use my brain for something other than matrices, determinants and eigenvectors. Anyway, onto the main subject of this article, which of course you already know is to do with the current range of electric saloons/estates. I am all for these cars and I am ready to embrace the electric motor. I am certainly not saying I want ICEs to go extinct, I still far prefer them to an electric or hybrid vehicle, but it is not all doom and gloom as these cars demonstrate. As a quick disclaimer, I have never driven or even sat in any of these cars, my opinions are only what I have seen in images or watched in reviews.
There is a range to choose from in terms of electric vehicles with plenty of room, leather and technology, but I will be going with the top 3 in my mind. Carwow recently did a drag race with these 3 (sort of), and they are the Audi RS e-tron GT, the Porsche Taycan Turbo S and the Tesla Model S Performance. I say ‘sort of’ in reference to the drag race because they used the Turbo, not the Turbo S but we can just gloss over that. As figures go, there is only one small figure, being the 0-60 time. Each of them can launch their hefty weights to 60mph in 3 seconds or less, which is pretty impressive considering they are all in excess of 2 tonnes. The weight is just an introduction to the large numbers with the horsepower figure being 590hp for the e-tron, 778hp for the Tesla and 751hp for the Taycan. All of us car nerds love our numbers, so here are some of the biggest ones to round it off: the price. These are very technologically advanced cars, a lot of development went into them with expensive materials being used across the board too, so we are expecting big money here. The Tesla starts at around £89,000, the Audi at £112,000 and the Porsche at £139,000, so you’re gonna have to make sure that wallet is nice and chunky when you walk into a dealership.
So, let’s give some meaning to these numbers. Starting with the horsepower and relating back to Carwow’s drag race, we saw the Model S basically in-line with 2 significantly less powerful rivals. I believe this was down to the different gearbox, since the VAG cars had a 2-speed gearbox in the rear, giving them more top-end grunt than the American milk-float. So, the German machines appeared to use their power better in a drag race situation. But let’s not forget that the maniacal ruler of the Tesla kingdom, Elon Musk, made the essential decision that the Model S should have over 1000hp in the Plaid edition. Because of course it should, I always passionately believed that it was a bit lackluster. You can’t really put much more of a meaning onto the prices, except for the quite obvious fact they don’t fall into the category of ‘budget electric vehicles’, do they?
Now onto some slightly more subjective topics starting with the looks and get ready for a rant. I do really like the look of all of these. They are sleek, very futuristic, a nice blend of curves and creases, all in all, very pleasant to look at. All of them oozing aggressions with sprinkles of 'saving the world'. But which dud has been dragging the slobbery slob that is himself around the automotive industry telling big car companies “you should put these ugly, unnecessary, hideous, grotesque, unsightly, deformed, loathsome slabs of pig iron that I am calling wheels onto your electric cars, because of efficiency or something.” Someone please assassinate him. Why do they do it? All three of these cars are beautiful pieces of automotive design, then they go and put those drag-efficient wheels on them and ruin it. You may not know what I am talking about, but I will put some images below of these horrendous things. A notice will probably come up stating that these images aren’t for the faint hearted. I may come across as quite passionate, but I am a lover of good wheels on a car, like those people that are really into shoes. But these are always some blocky design, that is just so unsatisfying to my eyes. All of the images of the Audi that I have seen have been sporting tome sort of peace-hippie eco-friendly low-consumption design, but I have seen the occasional half-decent Tesla ones and the only good Porsche ones are the ‘Mission E’ wheels that they teased on the concept car of the same name for a few years.
(For the wheels below, first are the nice Mission E Porsche wheels, followed by a few atrocities).
Another matter of opinion are the interiors and more specifically the aesthetics. Bear in mind that I have not sat in any of these, so I am just going off of images that I have seen. Starting with the model S, the interior is cool. ‘Cool’ is the main word I can think of, since that’s how I imagine you would respond whilst wanting to move onto something more exciting. Yes, it does have that big screen, but that’s largely it. It’s a boring, that’s why they had to put some gimmicks on the central tablet to stop people falling asleep at the wheel. Next is the Audi and I hate bias… however, I do like a German interior. Leather here, leather there, some piano black, some brushed aluminium, I love it. In the e-tron everything is done very right, with a pleasant, organised layout with physical buttons and high-quality materials. Downsides of this interior are the cluttered-ness, it looks like there is just a bit too much going on. And of course, the four rings can’t get the wheels right both inside and out, since they have a bulbous wheel inside the cabin too! Finally, onto the lovely Porsche. Since it is also a part of the Volkswagen group it shares many upsides with the e-tron, but with a bit of Stuttgart finesse. And again, I might be a bit biased since this Porsche steering wheel is my favourite steering wheel of all time. I know it’s an odd favourite thing to have, but there you go. The only downside I can’t think of is that the main touch-screen looks a bit difficult to operate at high speeds, but then again the other two also share that problem.
Time for a conclusion. I do believe the world is ready for these cars. I have been seeing an increased number of electric vehicles on the road so far and have yet to see one pulled up on the side of the road, longing for electricity. The infrastructure isn’t perfect, but it is sufficient and always improving. Out of the 3 cars, I would take the Porsche. I love the design, the slight power deficit doesn’t bother me, a very prestige and compelling interior and some good ol’ German build quality. Just to add an exciting twist to the end of this article, I’ll say that I prefer the Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo, since I think the styling is better. Also apologies for the unprofessional introduction, but I am freelance, with emphasis on the ‘free’ (hint hint – no magazine has snatched me up yet – hint hint).