Just watch this video.
Last March, when the Porsche Taycan was still being referred to as the Mission E, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume stated that “Tesla is not a benchmark for us.” Well, that’s not exactly accurate. How do we know? Here’s proof, thanks to the folks at Taycan Forum. This recently filmed spy video shows not one, but two Taycan advanced prototypes testing with a Tesla Model S P85D on Italy’s famed Stelvio Pass. No benchmarking, right Oliver?
Can’t say we’re in the least bit surprised, but why did Blume even state that in the first place? The most likely answer is that Porsche wants the Taycan to be seen as a Porsche first and an EV second.
Porsche also probably doesn’t want to admit it’s being forced to benchmark against what many consider to be a California-based startup that has no business being in the car business. Tesla doesn’t play by the so-called industry rules and established brands don’t like that.
Also interesting to point out here is that the Model S in question is not the most powerful trim you can buy today. That would be the P100D, which can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds and has a 315-mile range per charge. The P85D had a 253-mile range a 3.2-second sprint to 60. Shouldn’t Porsche be benchmarking the top trim Model S? It surely is, but these Taycan test mules could themselves be lower trims.
Set to go on sale for 2020, the Taycan will be the first all-electric Porsche; more will come soon. But even if the Taycan initially outperforms the Model S in every major category for all trims, we need to take another factor into account: a major Model S update is planned for some time in 2019 or 2020.
Early reports suggest this update will mainly focus on the interior, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see exterior styling changes as well. Will Porsche’s benchmarking that’s not really benchmarking ultimately pay off? We’ll find out next year.