Well, that must've been fun.

Inside Line really took one for the team by road-testing the battery-electric Tesla Model S and the Porsche Panamera GTS against each other. It's a tough life.

Inside Line decided the Panamera GTS was the closest competitor to the Model S based on performance, price and size, even though the Porsche's base price of almost $112,000 is around $18,000 more than the "base" Model S Signature, the only version currently available (but who's going to quibble about that when you're in that type of tax bracket).

Not surprisingly, performance was off the charts by any vehicle standards, let alone two vehicles with an average weight of about 4,500 pounds. Both vehicles were in the low four-second range when it came to 0 to 60 mile-per-hour acceleration testing, with the Tesla showing "just endless forward thrust," while the Porsche was "unreal" in the slalom. The Model S "felt pretty precise" in the handling tests and IL was also impressed with the suspension in the slalom runs, especially using the "standard" suspension mode.

And in the true, apples-to-oranges fashion of testing an EV against a conventional "super-sedan," no winners were declared. Except for the guys running the tests, of course. For all the numerical test results, click here.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can't turn off stability control on the Tesla? That's a drag for track work.
        jkirkebo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        Do you REALLY want to do that, with 600Nm available from 0 rpm ? And it isn't targeted at "track work" anyway. Turning TC & stability control fully off on normal roads is a recipe for disaster with so much torque and RWD...
          Dave R
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jkirkebo
          At the very least, many sports cars have a couple settings for stability/traction control. Typically some variation of the below: One setting for regular driving. One setting for sporty driving which allows greater slip angles. One setting for track driving which allows even higher slip angles. And turning it off completely.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jkirkebo
          Yes, I really want to do that. And this car doesn't have more torque available at the wheels at any track speed than any car of similar speed, so I wouldn't worry about it being harder to control.
        sandos
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        Remember that this is not an ICE. No ignition shuts off due to this, you dont loose revs or torque etc.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @sandos
          What do you mean you don't lose revs or torque? The torque goes down as the speed goes up, just like on an ICE car. At 60mph, you have half the torque you have at 30mph. In the ICE it's due to gearing, with the Tesla it's due to the torque curve of the motor.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        I have no problem with Tesla not allowing stability control to be shut off in these early cars. Driving a high power EV is going to be a very new experience for drivers. Having a bunch of people turn off stability control and slide the darn thing off the road when they figure out too late that it doesn't respond the same as a gas car would be a PR nightmare. If Tesla wants to make a race-specific ecu flash that allows this to be shut off, or modified, they certainly could do that in the future. Maybe 3rd party chip tuners can figure out how to defeat it the same way they defeat 155 MPH limiters on all the European gassers. That is fine too. But the last thing Tesla needs is another irrational sh!t storm from the long list of the usual suspects of haters.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          Rotation Get a copy of the torque and HP curves for these two cars, and see how very, very different they are. I expect to see very different behavior on trailing braking, on mid-corner lift-off, on off-camber turns over rises, throttle on at corner exit, etc. You have to remember that the weight distribution on the Tesla is about 48% front, 52% rear. This is the opposite of what gas car drivers expect on the track when controlling weight shifts between tires, especially over rises. The torque band and instant pedal response is going to change throttle-on timing. There is no "engine braking", so how much the regen matches expectations on lift-off is unknown. Drivers who pushed the Roadster also found unexpected handling characteristics very different than the Lotus it was based upon. You might think owners are ready for all this, but I personally don't have any problem with there being some electronic help to make sure they don't get it all wrong while driving around on city streets, and everyone trying to blame the car.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          PR: Do the math on torque and gearing and see how different they aren't. You're talking about torque at the engine. You don't drive torque at the engine. ICE cars have massively higher torque at the wheels at slow speeds also due torque multiplication in lower gears. I think it's hilarious you're talking about a comparison involving a Porsche and talking about the rearward weight balance on the non-Porsche. Have you seen the historical weight balances on 911s? I don't care if you think the car is different. I don't care if the car actually is different. If you can't handle it, leave the traction and stability control on. That's no excuse to make it impossible to turn it off. Why do people think wanting to be able to turn the stability control and traction control off is the same as wanting it removed for everone? I said this would be bad FOR TRACK WORK, not on city streets. There are ridiculous levels of irrational defense of Tesla and EVs in general on here. The Model S seems like a good car, maybe even a great car. But that doesn't mean it does everything right!
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          That doesn't make sense. If you can't handle it, don't turn it off. And I think you guys are far out of your heads if you think this car is vastly different in track handling than an ICE car. Let drivers drive. That's what performance means. It's time for the bubble wrap to come off the car. Let the owners drive their cars.
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        Yea the model S with its "endless forward thrust" seems like a real drag to drive on a racetrack.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      Come on Tesla, take the Model S to the Nurburgring!
      downer
      • 2 Years Ago
      so how the two cars compare at an enurance race at Lime Rock? Say 300 miles?
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @downer
        How about we rate the two cars on how efficient they both are? Oh, that plays to the strength of the electric car and it's unfair to the car with the gas engine. So it's easier to fill up a gas car, who gives a flying cr@p, unless you plan on driving that distance on a regular basis. And if so, then just don't buy the car. No one has said that you have to buy it. You think that limiting your buying choices is somehow a good thing? Well, it's not.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      This had Pilot Sport S2s, that's very sticky rubber. I'm sure this was a performance model, the listed HP is that of the performance model.
      Spiffster
      • 2 Years Ago
      Werent they planning on an AWD model? Twice the motors, twice the traction, even more power? RWD is fine here in CO with the right tires, but people here tend to avoid RWD anyway.
        AddLightness
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spiffster
        The Model X has AWD, and Elon has said that the Model S is AWD capable meaning it has room for the system that will be in the Model X. There is a good chance that it will be a future option on the S, perhaps around the time Model X debuts with the system or shortly after. I totally agree with you, AWD would make it even more of a beast and more driveable in all conditions. Having reduced range in the winter is bad enough, you wouldn't want to be stranded in the snow too :)
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AddLightness
          Getting stranded in the snow rarely has anything to do with drive wheels. You get stranded because of ground clearance on the road or because you went into a ditch. The Model S and X won't have any ground clearance regardless of drivetrain and AWD doesn't keep you out of ditches. Brakes and steering keep you out of ditches and all cars have 4 wheel braking and 2 wheel steering.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AddLightness
          As someone who lives in a snowbelt state I agree that traction/stability control is more important for snow than AWD. But, for winter driving FWD is preferrable to RWD as it lets you keep on the throttle and pull yourself around corners. When I was in college I had a POS buick century($700) and was driving back to school when it was snowing - slipper, low visibility. As I got closer to campus a souped up street rod flew up on my tail as if I was driving too slow. I figured that the jerk was probably also a student driving back to campus. The campus entrance is an off camber turn, which is a little tricky in the snow, but I knew that if I cranked the wheel and floored it(95hp!) my FWD would pull me through the turn. So I took the turn without slowing down and looked in my rearview mirror just in time to see the RWD car behind me lose traction and slam into the snowbank on the opposite side of the road. I did not stop to offer assistance.
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AddLightness
          @peterwesterberg LOL! I think we have all seen some random idiot learn that sort of lesson the hard way... usually they have out of state plates.
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spiffster
        Model X has AWD.
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          Whoops, I should have clarified... an AWD (version) of the Model S.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spiffster
        With about 2400lbs over the drive wheels (remember, the motor is in the back) the Model S won't be lacking for grip.
      George Parrott
      • 2 Years Ago
      Times are not really comparable unless the testing is done under identical conditions. Testing a month apart with different drivers means the times simply are not really to be trusted as reliable.
      George Parrott
      • 2 Years Ago
      NO, Inside Line did NOT do a comparative test of these two cars! They cobbled together TWO separate tests done a MONTH APART with two different drivers! Yikes, in comparative testing the "devil is in the details," and the "results" presented by Inside Line should NOT be taken with much credibility here.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @George Parrott
        Very true. I don't see anything to get angry about though. They verified what Tesla has been saying all along that the Model S is as good, if not better, than its gas car equivalent. Where the Model S is better in all the areas that an EV is better than an ICE. It's TCO will blow away the Panamera's TCO. The Panamera will have a much more luxurious, but cramped compared to the S's, interior. Since the infrastructure is there for the ICE (gas stations) it can go for long distance driving quite easily - but expensively.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Marcopolo - " If you look back only 5 short years ago, it would have seemed impossible. " You're talking about the Panamera there, right? ;) Way back in 2007, who'd have thought Porsche would build that?
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          @ Grendal, I'm not a big fan of the Panamera, but as you quite rightly point out, what defines luxury is a matter for individual aesthetics. Luxury EV design requires compromise between heavy luxury features and the effect on performance and range of the additional weight. The ICE model can just increase the power of the engine. Designing a test to show aspects of the Model S Tesla at the expense of the lumbering Panamera, and saying "see, Tesla "blew away" 'Porsche'," is a bit pointless. But Tesla is to be congratulated for creating a totally unique vehicle, providing convincing evidence of the ability for EV's to replace ICE technology. The Tesla Model S is an astonishing achievement. It's unimaginably good ! If you look back only 5 short years ago, it would have seemed impossible. But the model S does have the same short comings as every EV. The energy storage capacity, lacks size and ability to fast charge in the same time as ICE vehicles. In addition, it's very expensive. These are the true challenges for EV development, and the model S, like the UK LEVRR, is frustratingly close.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          As usual Marco - I agree. EV's are in their infancy and have a long way to go. The Model S is just one of the very first steps in a transition off the ICE. Tesla's strategy is proven in the platform. We'll see where they take it. They have positioned themselves correctly, built the product they said they would, and with capabilities close to what they said it would have. They fell a little short on the luxury. Now they have to do the hard part and build them in production numbers and at a profit margin to make it all worthwhile.
      oollyoumn
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Tesla being quieter was no surprise, but it also had a shorter stopping distance! I didn't expect that.
        1guyin10
        • 2 Years Ago
        @oollyoumn
        Don't forget the re-gen braking. In the case of the Tesla only part of the work is done by the brake system so it can be more efficient. The Porsche has to rely entirely on its rotors to drag it to a stop.
        BipDBo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @oollyoumn
        Lower center of gravity.
          BipDBo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BipDBo
          Dave, It's not just the front to back location of the center of gravity, but also its height. Although it's not definitive how the car will roll based upon the height of the center of gravity versus the axle lines, the roll is dependent on the center of gravity as it relates to the car's specific suspension geometry.
          BipDBo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BipDBo
          Correction: Since we're talking about braking, I shouldn't say "roll." I should say "dive," or, "pitch," but the same ideas apply.
          Dave R
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BipDBo
          @PR - Axle line doesn't have anything to do with braking balance. It's simply center of gravity and how far back from the rear wheels the center of gravity is located. No matter what, under braking weight will shift to the forward wheels unless you can locate mass under the ground. Axle center lines have nothing to do with it and most certainly weight under the axle center line doesn't counter dive. If you moved your axles higher or lower (for example, with larger/smaller diameter tires) with everything else remaining the same, that would not affect brake balance.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BipDBo
          Dave, Yes, just raising the rotational axis of the moment of inertia higher compared to the center of mass will change the vector of the forces. I think you are confusing the counter-rotational force of slowing the rotation of the wheel itself, with the force slowing the momentum of the vehicle. These are two different forces. It sounds like you are trying to analyze these as a single force. The rotational center of the forces slowing the vehicle's weight itself is the moment of inertia described by "I" where I = the sum of the point mass moments of inertia described by m sub i times r sub i squared. The angle of these point masses compared to the center of rotation determines what direction of rotation each point mass applies around the axis. OK, so that might be a little too deep. Let me try and and describe it another way. The wheel itself is acting as a lever against the center of rotation of the wheel. The contact patch is a lever the length of r (the radius of the wheel) that is slowing the rotation of the wheel. The center of the wheel is then acting upon the weight of the vehicle through the suspension to slow the forward momentum of the vehicle. Dive is the mass of the vehicle attempting to rotate around the center of the wheel. The center of the wheel is the axis of rotation, not the ground. Your math would have the vehicle rotating on the front tire contact patches. But that isn't what is happening. The contact patches are slowing the rotation of the wheel, which decelerates the forward motion of the entire wheel. The force of the entire wheel slowing its forward progress (not to be confused with slowing its rotation) is pushing at the center of the axle, through the suspension, and forcing the car to slow down. Picture the center of the axle as a point in space moving at a constant speed with the rest of the vehicle behind it. As the center of the axle decelerates, the mass of the vehicle pushes against the axle center through the suspension. The weight of the vehicle attempts to rotate around the point acting against it. I hope this makes sense.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BipDBo
          I agree with BipDBo. When Tesla was developing their brake system, they found that they could get much more braking from the rear wheels due to having more weight below the axle center-line. They actually ditched the original smaller rear brakes for larger rear brakes after initial brake testing. The front "axle" acts as a pivot point on hard breaking. Weight above the axle induces dive and lifts the rear wheels. Weight below the axle center counters dive, and plants the rear wheels. More even weight under braking from front to rear means more tire patch on the ground slowing you down faster. You can see how Tesla used this to their advantage when you look at the brakes on both vehicles: Model S: Brake Type (front): 13.2-inch ventilated steel rotors, four-piston fixed calipers Brake Type (rear): 14.4-inch ventilated steel rotors, four-piston fixed calipers Panamera GTS: Brake Type (front): 15.4-inch one-piece ventilated cast-iron discs with six-piston fixed calipers Brake Type (rear): 13-inch one-piece ventilated cast-iron discs with four-piston fixed calipers Porsche had to add 2 pistons and make their front rotors larger, while the Model S actually uses the larger rotors in the rear! Tesla is getting crazy amounts of braking power off of the rear wheels, unlike most gassers where the engine above the front axle forces the front wheels to do way more of the work.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      It was Musk's car that they had previously tested. The Panamera 4 has AWD so testing the RWD version is a closer match. As for the handling and skid pad numbers, Porsches have always been great handling cars. I suspect the Model S needs some suspension tuning to improve tha handling, which will undoubtedly affect the range especially if they put stickier rubber on the car.
      1guyin10
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Tesla really isn't bad, especially when you consider how close it comes to a car from a company that has had decades to hone its chops.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Realistically, they are comparing a $112,000 car to a Performance Model S which only costs $84,900. So there's really a $27,000 difference in price.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        Looking at the base price listed in the article it is $94k to $112k. That works out to about $16k.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, the Model S just keeps impressing. The car is clearly showing the benefits of an EV, done right, drivetrain.
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