Useful Car Tips

The Two Best Performance EVs

September 25, 2019
Driving a sports or performance car. It conjures images of a fast, fun car taking sharp canyon corners and roaring down the road. It’s stylish and loud, with an intoxicating and endearing exhaust note. But what if a car was all of the above, just without the sound? Enter electric vehicles. Well, performance electric vehicles. You’ve probably seen a Nissan Leaf on the road, or a Chevy Bolt, or even a Jaguar I-PACE. All of these are fully electric vehicles; they require no gasoline to operate their motors. They’re designed to be capable daily drivers and they perform their duties admirably, but what if you’re looking for something a little more . . . exciting? Traditional car enthusiasts may scoff at the idea of a performance electric car. The major—and perhaps lone—factor is the lack of an internal combustion engine. There’s no exhaust sound, no way to hear the engine rev, no way to hear a crackle on an upshift or a deep grumble on idle. However, electric vehicles have several advantages in their favor that might be enough to entice car enthusiasts to add one to their own garage, among them being instantaneous torque and low upkeep costs for a daily (no gasoline expenditures), which can leave one with more money for a fun ICE car. Not quite convinced? Here’s just a few examples of what we mean.


One of the most popular electric car companies in the US is of course Tesla, creators of the Tesla Roadster and Model S, 3, and X. While the Model 3 Performance is a stellar car, we’ll focus on the Model S. Even taking a look at the base model, the AWD version of the 75D (which was discontinued earlier this year), it boasts a very impressive 0-60 time of just 4.2 seconds. What’s better than a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds? A 0-60 time of just under 2.3 seconds! Yes, the Tesla Model S Performance—a two-and-a-half ton behemoth of a car—has a 0-60 time unmatched by any street-legal production car save for the Porsche 918 Spyder, an all-wheel drive hypercar with almost unmatched performance even six years after its release. Although these two cars cannot truly be compared, as the 918 is a marvel of engineering and a bonafide hypercar in every sense of the word, and the Model S is a family-oriented liftback, the Model S Performance nearly matches it in one performance metric at less than 1/6th the price: US$133,000 for the Performance and a bank account-emptying US$845,000 for the 918. While the Model S never has and never will directly compete with the 918, Porsche has a new kid on the block that does compete with the Model S in its market segment, and it’s good.


The recent release of the Porsche Taycan marked the first time a fully electric vehicle was sold in the brand’s storied history. First unveiled as a concept car in the Mission E, the Taycan has stayed surprisingly true to the original concept’s design language and aesthetics. It’s sleek, sculpted, and undoubtedly modern in design. Housed inside the flowing exterior are two electric motors which not only provide all-wheel drive, but a whopping 616 horsepower in the presently available Turbo and Turbo S trims. Activate launch control though, and you’ll truly unleash the beast inside. What exactly do we mean? Try 670 horsepower in the Turbo and a face-melting 750 horsepower in the Turbo S, just 12 horsepower less than the Model S Performance. Not only is the horsepower there, but Porsche is focusing on lap times too. With Porsche’s expertise in chassis management on display, the Taycan Turbo set a respectable time of 7:42 on the Nurburgring. At present, Porsche and Tesla are still locked in a war of Nurburgring lap times with no clear winner yet, other than potential buyers getting to witness these titans of horsepower face off. One of its few disadvantages may be its strange name: if you were wondering how to pronounce it, you’re not the only one. In fact, Porsche recognized the public’s confusion and even released a video showing you exactly how to pronounce "Taycan".


In one corner is the Model S, which—especially in top Performance trim—is a brute. It’s extremely quick, has excellent range, and has plenty of space and practicality due to its liftback design: it’s essentially a hatchback with a fastback profile, with the effect being that the trunk opening is much larger compared to a sedan. The Kia Stinger also shares this design feature. In the other corner is the brand new Porsche Taycan. In both Turbo and Turbo S trim (as well as the lower level trims Porsche will introduce in the coming months), it’s also extremely quick and has excellent range, but with some cargo space compromised. What it loses out it in cargo space though, it makes up for in premium feel and quality of material over its Tesla competitor. However, you pay more for the Porsche. Much more. At $159,000, the Turbo costs $26,000 more than the top-trim Model S Performance. Choose the more powerful Turbo S and you’re looking at a base price of $185,000, so close to the $200,000 mark that a handful of options from Porsche will surely push it over the edge. So, the Porsche has a more luxurious interior, has more torque, and gives you the prestige of owning a car from one of the world’s best brands. The Tesla has more power, a little more space, and a much cheaper price. Although they’re technically competitors, we can’t choose a clear winner. There is no consensus on the brand-new Taycan yet, while the Model S has been on the market for some time now. Regardless of their differences, these cars will undoubtedly be competing for sales and performance figures in the coming years, and you will undoubtedly be very happy to be able to own either one: two of the best performance EVs on the market!
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