The Taycan Turbo S has a two-speed transmission that gives it better straight-line performance than most one-speed transmission electric cars, like the Tesla Model S. Engineering Explained goes into detail on why the Porsche Taycan is faster Tesla. As you will learn, the Turbo S may be quicker than Porsche claims! Oh and theory aside, Top Gear proved this in a Taycan Turbo S vs Tesla Model drag race.
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How the Porsche Taycan's Two-Speed Transmission Makes It Quicker Than the Tesla Model S
Recently, Top Gear pitted the Tesla Model S Performance against the new Porsche Taycan Turbo S in a drag race. Despite the Tesla's weight and power advantage, it was the Taycan that came out on top in the 0-60 sprint. Weird, right? Well, straight-line performance is more than just power and weight, as Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained lays out in his latest video.
In the Top Gear test, The Taycan achieved a 2.61-second 0-60 time, while the Model S came in at 2.68 seconds. So, right on point for Porsche's factory-claimed time of 2.6 seconds, but a couple of tenths off Tesla's claim of 2.4 seconds. The Porsche's quarter-mile was done in 10.69 seconds versus the Tesla's 11.08.
The real reason why the Porsche won? It all comes down to gearing, according to Fenske. Instead of using a one-speed transmission, as most electric cars do, the Taycan uses a two-speed unit in the rear, and a one-speed unit in the front. That first gear stays in place up to 62 mph, meaning it can multiply the torque factor coming from the electric motor and going to the ground before shifting into the more economical second gear.
Using a bunch of equations, Fenske points out that despite the quoted power figures and higher weight, the Porsche is able to produce more wheel torque and thus more g forces in that first gear. Once the car reaches the 62-mph mark, the torque figures for either gear level out, so the car shifts to second, allowing the rear electric motor to spin at a lower speed.
The Model S, on the other hand, has just one, fixed ratio to work with. That means it has to use its single ratio at both low and high speeds. It can't multiply its wheel torque on demand like the Taycan can, which means less real-world performance. That's just a simple explanation, though. Check out Fenske's video above for the full rundown.