While Elon Musk has been busy tweaking his line of Tesla models over the years, Porsche has been working on its own luxury EV – the Taycan.
The German automaker unveiled the Taycan on Wednesday, and auto enthusiasts have already begun to wonder aloud whether it can be the long-fabled “Tesla killer” – $150,900 price tag notwithstanding.
To be clear, $150,900 is the price for the base model, the Taycan Turbo. The upgraded Taycan Turbo S starts at $185,000.
Tesla’s most expensive vehicle is the Model S. It starts at $75,000 for the base model, while the “loaded” version costs $133,000. That’s a sizable advantage for Tesla, even if luxury car purchasers are willing to pony up for a top-shelf EV.
However, given Porsche’s baked-in brand loyalty, the heftier price tag might not be a deal-breaker. Then there’s the sheer ingenuity of anything built by the luxury automaker known for speed.
The Taycan is Porsche’s first all-electric car.
Hans Dieter Pötsch, the chairman of the executive board of Porsche SE, talked about it during a shareholders meeting in June. He boasted that the four-door vehicle would be the “world’s sportiest electric car.”
However, some auto enthusiasts were less than impressed. For example, reviewers at Surface Magazine complained that the Taycan’s form was too similar to Tesla’s Model S.
“What is, at least from our perspective, somewhat of a surprise, is the beauty on offer here. Spy shots of the Taycan under camo suggested a form very similar to Tesla’s Model S that, while keeping with Porsche’s intensely guarded, almost never shifting aesthetic, seemed somewhat of a letdown—an automotive wet noodle from what should be a maker of inspiring cars.”
Reviewers at Teslarati bluntly referred to the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S as “the best non-Tesla electric cars on the market today.”
“With their distinctly Mission E-esque design, their clean lines, and classic Porsche performance, the two vehicles have a very good chance of becoming one of the German carmaker’s most successful vehicles in its lineup today.”
Tesla boss Elon Musk remained mum on the Taycan launch, but Porsche North America CEO Klaus Zellmer hasn’t been quiet.
During an interview with CNBC, he said Tesla “deserves a lot of respect” for bringing attention to the market.
“The EV market is getting to a turning point. But for us, it was more important to focus on what we want to achieve and to make it a real high-performance sports car. Now let’s see what consumers say about it.”
But while the launch might not have fazed Musk, Tesla shareholders flinched ahead of the closing bell. TSLA shares shed their early gains and ultimately slid 1.8%, though the Taycan wasn’t the only thing Tesla stock had to worry about.