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Before Porsche broke the Nürburgring;s record for fastest EV sedan with the Taycan Turbo, leading test driver Lars Kern drove a Tesla Model S P90D to gather intel on the car.

According to e-racing365, it was the "best way for Porsche to understand where it needed to go with the Taycan."

They spoke with Kern and here's what he told them:

“We do it all the time,” Kern tells e-racing365.

“Our competitors are better than us on some parts and on other parts we are better.

“If we feel there’s somebody doing a good job, we will buy or rent the car and just have a look at it.

“There was no competitor to Tesla [before the Taycan] so if you built an all-electric car you had to have a look at what they did, so this is what we did.”


He also shared a lot of insight about what the Taycan's Nürburgring Testing was like.

Kern was the right person to sample the Tesla because his job at Porsche is to give feedback on future road cars to make them perfect for paying customers.

He felt the session behind the wheel of the P90D was useful in deciding how best to manage the Taycan’s twin electric motors at peak performance.

It also helped to light a fire under the cause for a legitimate competitor to Tesla in the four-door EV market.

“We went to the Nürburgring and expected to do an OK lap because on the street the car feels pretty good,” recalls Kern.

“But actually, I drove four or five kilometers and it was overheating and the lap time was about 9:30, but just because it didn’t give any power.

“It was pretty interesting for us. Then it was funny that as soon as we did a lap record with the Taycan, the guys in the USA jumped on it.

“It’s the best marketing because we just did the lap and they made it big, so everyone was talking about it.

“Then Tesla came in with the wings [on the Model S series]. For them, it’s good because they’re going to gain experience. We like the competition, so we are happy.”

After Kern’s sampling of the Tesla, Porsche went back to Stuttgart to concentrate on developing the Taycan.

Porsche’s final product is a marvel of EV engineering with the top Turbo S model capable of producing 560 kW (750 hp) from its front and rear-mounted electric motors.

Perhaps the most impressive element, from Kern’s side, was how nimble and balanced the 2,300 kg (5,000 lb) Taycan could be when pushed to the edge.

“I don’t think it’s much related to the powertrain,” he says. “I think it’s more related to the centre of gravity because it sits so low and because the battery is fixed from underneath.

“This just gives you a completely new way to drive the car. Even with a [Porsche 911] GT3 R, the centre of gravity is higher than in a Taycan.

“But then you start to drive the Taycan and the nose isn’t dipping, and you say to yourself, how is this possible? For a customer, it gives them the chance to get close to the limit of the car easily.

“It’s like a simulator: you do something, and the car just does it. You can even drift it.”
 
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