• Feb 24th 2010 at 8:05PM
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Tesla Roadster vs. Porsche Boxster on the track – Click above to watch the video after the jump

We've been fortunate to drive a number of different Tesla Roadsters over the years including, most recently, a keeping one long enough for a week-long review. Owners of high performance sports cars sometimes like to take their cars to the track for some of the kind of fun you can't really have when you are constantly on the lookout for hidden constables. One of the favorite cars for such activities is the Porsche Boxster.

Motor Trend's Kim Reynolds and Art St. Antoine took the latest edition of the Boxster, the new Spyder, to Willow Springs recently, along with a Roadster Sport. It makes for very interesting comparison since the Boxster Spyder is the most minimalist version of the Porsche and the Tesla has a slightly more upscale interior than its Lotus Elise progenitor.

At nearly twice the price of the German, the Tesla offers tremendous performance but requires a bit more effort to learn its limits, in part because of the reduced feedback. St. Antoine in particular was surprised at how well the "science experiment" works. Even with the Roadster's abilities, the car makes no sense compared to the Porsche when considered purely in a bang-for-your-buck perspective. The main reason people have bought them is to help finance the future, a fun future. Check out the video after the jump.

[Source: Motor Trend]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well someday we can have the best of both worlds when Porsche makes an ev.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I was Matt Damon... so the Porsche it will be. I won't spent the huge price difference on CO2 abatement measures that do make sense either :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Some good points there. Who would have guessed that Porsche made a great car? I sure didn't see that coming. And, yeah, $130K prices the Tesla sport out of my reach. But, whoa, who doesn't have $70K to drop on tricked-out Boxter with no door handles?
      And, exhaust fumes in morning traffic ... (sniff) ... smells like victory.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm not sure it's fair to compare a car with decades and decades of refinement and expect a first generation (ok, generation 1.1) electric car to compare with it on any level.

      How many iterations did it take a Porsche to get that handling and braking? What would the price of the Porshce be if they'd only produced 900 or so TOTAL cars vs. 10,000 a year...for decades?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ok, then let's compare the Boxter Spyder to a Yaris:
        Both have 4 wheels, and engine and a steering wheel. Both get you from point A to point B.

        The Yaris holds 4 people and the Spyder only 2. The Yaris costs $12k the Boxter costs $65k.

        Ok, clearly the Yaris wins...Right???

        Clearly the Spyder is a better car than a Tesla from a price and performance perspective. But to some of people it's important to stop sending our money out of this country to buy foreign oil and stop sending our troops into the middle east to protect the shipping lanes and pipelines.

        And let's face it, any of us that spend over $50,000 on a car are pretentious idiots anyway because the Yaris/Fit/Focus/etc does just fine....and yes, I'm one of those pretentious idiots too. I've had a Porsche, Mercedes and Jag and I'm sick of them all of them. They cost a fortune and they're always broke. I miss the little Celica I bought when I graduated college. LOL

        • 5 Years Ago
        Of course it is a fair comparison! If you're looking to buy one of these cars, you'd be crazy to not compare them head to head...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting how they stopped the video before admitting that the Tesla won the drag race at the end. We wouldn't want any embarrassing defeats for their favorite car (Porsche) now would we?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think they want you to buy the magazine for the rest of the story. Just a thought, it's that whole capitalist thing.

        Also, it just really demonstrates how much better the Brits have it than we do here in the US: Top Gear, Fifth Gear, and Chris Harris over at Evo -- all do fantastic in-car testing that captivate you. These guys are probably great writers/journalists, but they are terrible at doing this type of video.

        • 5 Years Ago
        They also don't mention that current battery technology would allow tesla to build the roadster (maybe not as well) with a 450 lb battery pack instead of the 900 lb battery pack that they have now. I remember recently reading an article about the 18650 cells with 44% higher energy density. Electric cars are coming fast (no pun intended) and they will take market share.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My thoughts exactly - who won the drag race? It looked like the Tesla was ahead off the line... As to price, if Tesla made 10000 a year for many years, I imagine the component prices would be similar. I'd like to see a Porsche Boxter EV, that would be a nice car!

        I've got a Zero-X Extreme, and it isn't just another motocross motorcycle. It's a new sport entirely. Kind of like the invention of the mountain bike or the snow board was way back when. Don't know if the experience of a Tesla compares or not...
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Dan Mosqueda
        Top Gear's colorful commentary and comparing how fast a car goes around one particular track under completely different weather hardly qualifies as "in-car testing".
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just test drove one of my client's beautiful Tesla around town today and I am dead set on getting that car!!!! Sorry guys...no more Porsche for me!!! The takeoff torque from the stop line is euphoric. I swear I had a near death experience!!! Probably from the whiplash....you gotta try it!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      How freaking cool is that?? No noise...no emissions out of the tail, wonderful.

      Tesla doesn't do the dynamics of this car do they?

      Heavy steering....it's call real steering without pussy assist. He's clawing for excuses.

      As far as acceleration goes, I honestly probably spend 99.99% of my life below 90 MPH....

      After 2-3 iterations of these cars, they'll blow away any IC engine out there.

      But the Porsche guy sounds like many people here....he just doesn't want to give something new a chance.

      Reducing your environmental footprint is why you pay so much more for the Tesla. Few people ever consider that side of cost.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Few people ever consider that side of cost."

        What is the real cost of oil and who is paying it? If you guessed the rich SOBs driving these fancy sports cars and Hummers you're wrong. If you guessed the poor and middle class (more so than anyone else) you are right. If gasoline were required to pay its actual cost to our society it'd be over $10 a gallon.

        Google "real true cost of oil" if you want more info.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The review may be passive aggressive but I've heard the Bassist, Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers said his Tesla makes his Porsche feel like a "golf cart". I'm totally excited about getting an electric car. I don't think I'll be able to afford a Tesla, but the leaf is coming my way.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Whats's this nonsense about not wanting CO2? CO2 is good.

      And don't be mistaken, I would buy the Tesla if I could afford it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This "review" is totally passive-aggressive about EVs. The basic message is that a Tesla is a good enough sport car "for an EV", but doesn't hold a candle to a junior Porsche.

      I dunno, maybe I just didn't feel the passion from the guy in the Tesla...Next time, take a couple of Red Bulls before shooting.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm taking the more positive view from the concluding remarks. Reynolds (the guy driving the Tesla) basically says it shows a lot that the Tesla is even worth comparing to.

        And objectively, the heavy rear weight balance (esp compared to a relatively neutral car like the Boxster; the Tesla is closer to the rear engined 911 in weight distribution) and the relatively weak brakes (they are the same ones on the Lotus Elise, which weighs 700lbs less; 4 piston calipers and larger discs like the Boxster would likely help a lot) probably is the downfall of the Tesla in terms of handling.

        Also there is a bit of a learning curve for an EV (regen braking is probably something they have to deal with). They mentioned that if they did the figure 8 first with the Tesla to get more familiar with the limits of the car before attacking Willow Springs, they probably would have a much better time.

        Reynolds did mention that Porsche is able to build a car like the Boxster Spyder because of a couple decades of heritage, so that kind of hints at what Dave D is saying below.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Learn to drive regen. and tune out the Roadster's energy saving toe alignment and it should handle better. While you are at it, put a 400 lb motor in it for track days.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought this would be an interesting comparison. I was wrong.

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