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Model S Plaid vs Porsche Taycan Turbo S vs my Model 3 Performance (after having driven all three).

WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
3,937
5,170
Seattle, WA
So this isn't a full review of any sort, because I have not spent extended periods of time in either the Plaid or Taycan Turbo S - though I do currently own a Model 3 Performance, and have driven and been a passenger in the other two vehicles.

First, the Taycan Turbo S:

1.) It looks pretty great. Looks are subjective, but this is a good-looking car, minus the weird bit on the side that juts out and looks like two cars welded together at this location.
2.) It drives very well, - except.... there's no one-pedal driving which is a complete deal killer for me. Sitting in traffic in the Taycan Turbo S is way more work than it needs to be, requiring constant foot movement from brake to accelerator for no apparent reason other than Porsche's stubbornness. It's a much more jerky ride all the way around. It simply doesn't compare for ease of driving to even the cheapest Standard Range Model 3, and that's sad, because Porsche could easily patch this into a software update.
3.) Interior. Maybe about the same seating space as a Model 3, and what appears to be less trunk space. Peculiar for a car in the same size class as the Model S.
4.) It sounds really good. Especially from the outside as it pulls away, - a lovely sound from the future. And yes, leave the fake/synthesized sounds off when inside - it doesn't need it, - no idea why Porsche even has this option.
5.) Speaking of software updates, my buddy let me know that for larger updates it's required for the driver to bring the Taycan to the dealership to have this done, as there have been bricked cars. Not a good look.
6.) Far too many screens. Some may like the car for this - I do not.
7.) Still with the silly analog clock on the middle of the dash, reflecting onto the windshield at night. Come on, Porsche. Do better!
8.) Driving dynamics are great when not in traffic. I get that Porsche wants to cater to its existing fanbase, but there's no reason they couldn't have options for those of us who have moved on and recognize that one-pedal driving is just the BEST for daily driving, - something 99.9% of Taycan owners will be doing.
9.) Fantastic acceleration. But...

Model S Plaid:

1.) Absolutely destroys the Taycan Turbo S in terms of accelerative performance. The difference is NOT close, especially above 60mph, where the Plaid throws you into the back of the car under acceleration with ferocity, whereas the Turbo S is relegated to merely being fast. This is next-level stuff. For those not convinced the Plaid is worth the difference over the standard Long Range Model S, I'll say this: The Model 3 Performance features similar performance to the new Model S Long Range, though the Long Range S is a tad quicker to 60 and onward. The Plaid is miles quicker. It's a completely different class of vehicle. It's not comparable. Not in any way/shape/form.
2.) Interior space greater than the Taycan, though with my 6'5" frame in the driver's seat there's not much room behind me for an adult at all, which never comes as a surprise for me.
3.) Trunk space is glorious, - that hatch space just can't be beaten. I've missed that so much in my Model 3 Performance since this is my first non-hatch car in forever.
4.) The sound. When you punch it at 60mph, the sound is unbelievable. I've not seen anyone touch on this, but my goodness it's this alien, futuristic tone which simply has no comparison in the automotive world. It's addictive.
5.) The yoke is awful. It's bad. It's awkward, making tight maneuvers and three-point turns a nuisance. The turn signal buttons are just utterly rubbish, with even the lightest brush on them actuating them, and really - it's just a step-back, - a huge step back. Same goes for the changing from Park to D or R. I get that Elon wants this to all be automated so it won't even matter, but this is yet another case of getting ahead of of himself, and I sincerely hope this yoke thing goes away, and soon. It hasn't stopped me ordering a Plaid, but it's definitely something I'm going to have to learn to live with rather than be excited to experience. In my Model 3 Performance, I can switch from P to R or D or turn signal without even thinking. In the S? It takes thought, and ugh... it makes me pretty angry even thinking about it.
6.) The backup camera frame-rate: FINALLY we have a smooth backup camera. My Model 3 P with HW3 has had a janky backup camera frame rate since day 1, and with the new Model S we have a smooth frame rate. Everything is just much smoother on the display. Panning the map, loading apps, backup camera, FSD visualizations, - everything. Just night and day better than previous Teslas.

So there you go. The Plaid, as Elon mentioned at the delivery event, - crushes. But that yoke... good grief.
 

oktane

Active Member
Oct 25, 2016
1,717
1,768
USA
For those not convinced the Plaid is worth the difference over the standard Long Range Model S, I'll say this: The Model 3 Performance features similar performance to the new Model S Long Range, though the Long Range S is a tad quicker to 60 and onward. The Plaid is miles quicker. It's a completely different class of vehicle. It's not comparable. Not in any way/shape/form.

Have you drive the 2021 Model S refresh LR? I should have a Plaid soon, but debating the LR. Just curious where the data is coming from, this isn't me questioning your opinion. I really appreciate the review.
 

WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
3,937
5,170
Seattle, WA
Have you drive the 2021 Model S refresh LR? I should have a Plaid soon, but debating the LR. Just curious where the data is coming from, this isn't me questioning your opinion. I really appreciate the review.

No, I haven't driven the LR. But just going by data (0-60 times) and seeing some dash cam footage of Model 3 P racing Model S LR both from a dig and from a roll, the LR is definitely quicker, but it's more of a walk away. The Plaid is entirely next level.
 
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oktane

Active Member
Oct 25, 2016
1,717
1,768
USA
No, I haven't driven the LR. But just going by data (0-60 times) and seeing some dash cam footage of Model 3 P racing Model S LR both from a dig and from a roll, the LR is definitely quicker, but it's more of a walk away. The Plaid is entirely next level.

Makes sense. I'd love to hear from someone that has driven both, or see a head-to-head video. Probably won't be available for several weeks.
 

P100D_Me

Active Member
Nov 12, 2018
1,041
1,001
Australia
The yoke, removal of stalks, a classic case of change for the sake of change even if it is a worse experience for the user.

Just remember the MCU1's started out life working just fine, what happens in 'x' years if the new Plaid MCU starts having issues where you lose the screen function? At least when the current MCU has a meltdown and reboot you can still drive (well, select drive).

Taycan is a nice car, well they look nice enough and Porsche know a thing or two about build quality and pride in what they ship out of the factory.....but VW, I'd rather take the bus than give them money.
 

BrandonLive

MS LR Blue/Black/FSD 19s -> 21s RN11455, VIN!
Sep 24, 2018
340
598
Seattle
Just remember the MCU1's started out life working just fine, what happens in 'x' years if the new Plaid MCU starts having issues where you lose the screen function? At least when the current MCU has a meltdown and reboot you can still drive (well, select drive).

What are you talking about? You can of course drive even if the infotainment system / MCU is disabled, rebooting, etc.
 

TessP100D

Member
Jan 15, 2018
419
295
La Quinta, Ca
So this isn't a full review of any sort, because I have not spent extended periods of time in either the Plaid or Taycan Turbo S - though I do currently own a Model 3 Performance, and have driven and been a passenger in the other two vehicles.

First, the Taycan Turbo S:

1.) It looks pretty great. Looks are subjective, but this is a good-looking car, minus the weird bit on the side that juts out and looks like two cars welded together at this location.
2.) It drives very well, - except.... there's no one-pedal driving which is a complete deal killer for me. Sitting in traffic in the Taycan Turbo S is way more work than it needs to be, requiring constant foot movement from brake to accelerator for no apparent reason other than Porsche's stubbornness. It's a much more jerky ride all the way around. It simply doesn't compare for ease of driving to even the cheapest Standard Range Model 3, and that's sad, because Porsche could easily patch this into a software update.
3.) Interior. Maybe about the same seating space as a Model 3, and what appears to be less trunk space. Peculiar for a car in the same size class as the Model S.
4.) It sounds really good. Especially from the outside as it pulls away, - a lovely sound from the future. And yes, leave the fake/synthesized sounds off when inside - it doesn't need it, - no idea why Porsche even has this option.
5.) Speaking of software updates, my buddy let me know that for larger updates it's required for the driver to bring the Taycan to the dealership to have this done, as there have been bricked cars. Not a good look.
6.) Far too many screens. Some may like the car for this - I do not.
7.) Still with the silly analog clock on the middle of the dash, reflecting onto the windshield at night. Come on, Porsche. Do better!
8.) Driving dynamics are great when not in traffic. I get that Porsche wants to cater to its existing fanbase, but there's no reason they couldn't have options for those of us who have moved on and recognize that one-pedal driving is just the BEST for daily driving, - something 99.9% of Taycan owners will be doing.
9.) Fantastic acceleration. But...

Model S Plaid:

1.) Absolutely destroys the Taycan Turbo S in terms of accelerative performance. The difference is NOT close, especially above 60mph, where the Plaid throws you into the back of the car under acceleration with ferocity, whereas the Turbo S is relegated to merely being fast. This is next-level stuff. For those not convinced the Plaid is worth the difference over the standard Long Range Model S, I'll say this: The Model 3 Performance features similar performance to the new Model S Long Range, though the Long Range S is a tad quicker to 60 and onward. The Plaid is miles quicker. It's a completely different class of vehicle. It's not comparable. Not in any way/shape/form.
2.) Interior space greater than the Taycan, though with my 6'5" frame in the driver's seat there's not much room behind me for an adult at all, which never comes as a surprise for me.
3.) Trunk space is glorious, - that hatch space just can't be beaten. I've missed that so much in my Model 3 Performance since this is my first non-hatch car in forever.
4.) The sound. When you punch it at 60mph, the sound is unbelievable. I've not seen anyone touch on this, but my goodness it's this alien, futuristic tone which simply has no comparison in the automotive world. It's addictive.
5.) The yoke is awful. It's bad. It's awkward, making tight maneuvers and three-point turns a nuisance. The turn signal buttons are just utterly rubbish, with even the lightest brush on them actuating them, and really - it's just a step-back, - a huge step back. Same goes for the changing from Park to D or R. I get that Elon wants this to all be automated so it won't even matter, but this is yet another case of getting ahead of of himself, and I sincerely hope this yoke thing goes away, and soon. It hasn't stopped me ordering a Plaid, but it's definitely something I'm going to have to learn to live with rather than be excited to experience. In my Model 3 Performance, I can switch from P to R or D or turn signal without even thinking. In the S? It takes thought, and ugh... it makes me pretty angry even thinking about it.
6.) The backup camera frame-rate: FINALLY we have a smooth backup camera. My Model 3 P with HW3 has had a janky backup camera frame rate since day 1, and with the new Model S we have a smooth frame rate. Everything is just much smoother on the display. Panning the map, loading apps, backup camera, FSD visualizations, - everything. Just night and day better than previous Teslas.

So there you go. The Plaid, as Elon mentioned at the delivery event, - crushes. But that yoke... good grief.
Thanks for a good story. if Tesla comes to their senses and removes the yoke and returns the stalk controls I’m in.
 

pabla

Member
Oct 17, 2016
302
160
Vancouver
So this isn't a full review of any sort, because I have not spent extended periods of time in either the Plaid or Taycan Turbo S - though I do currently own a Model 3 Performance, and have driven and been a passenger in the other two vehicles.

First, the Taycan Turbo S:

1.) It looks pretty great. Looks are subjective, but this is a good-looking car, minus the weird bit on the side that juts out and looks like two cars welded together at this location.
2.) It drives very well, - except.... there's no one-pedal driving which is a complete deal killer for me. Sitting in traffic in the Taycan Turbo S is way more work than it needs to be, requiring constant foot movement from brake to accelerator for no apparent reason other than Porsche's stubbornness. It's a much more jerky ride all the way around. It simply doesn't compare for ease of driving to even the cheapest Standard Range Model 3, and that's sad, because Porsche could easily patch this into a software update.
3.) Interior. Maybe about the same seating space as a Model 3, and what appears to be less trunk space. Peculiar for a car in the same size class as the Model S.
4.) It sounds really good. Especially from the outside as it pulls away, - a lovely sound from the future. And yes, leave the fake/synthesized sounds off when inside - it doesn't need it, - no idea why Porsche even has this option.
5.) Speaking of software updates, my buddy let me know that for larger updates it's required for the driver to bring the Taycan to the dealership to have this done, as there have been bricked cars. Not a good look.
6.) Far too many screens. Some may like the car for this - I do not.
7.) Still with the silly analog clock on the middle of the dash, reflecting onto the windshield at night. Come on, Porsche. Do better!
8.) Driving dynamics are great when not in traffic. I get that Porsche wants to cater to its existing fanbase, but there's no reason they couldn't have options for those of us who have moved on and recognize that one-pedal driving is just the BEST for daily driving, - something 99.9% of Taycan owners will be doing.
9.) Fantastic acceleration. But...

Model S Plaid:

1.) Absolutely destroys the Taycan Turbo S in terms of accelerative performance. The difference is NOT close, especially above 60mph, where the Plaid throws you into the back of the car under acceleration with ferocity, whereas the Turbo S is relegated to merely being fast. This is next-level stuff. For those not convinced the Plaid is worth the difference over the standard Long Range Model S, I'll say this: The Model 3 Performance features similar performance to the new Model S Long Range, though the Long Range S is a tad quicker to 60 and onward. The Plaid is miles quicker. It's a completely different class of vehicle. It's not comparable. Not in any way/shape/form.
2.) Interior space greater than the Taycan, though with my 6'5" frame in the driver's seat there's not much room behind me for an adult at all, which never comes as a surprise for me.
3.) Trunk space is glorious, - that hatch space just can't be beaten. I've missed that so much in my Model 3 Performance since this is my first non-hatch car in forever.
4.) The sound. When you punch it at 60mph, the sound is unbelievable. I've not seen anyone touch on this, but my goodness it's this alien, futuristic tone which simply has no comparison in the automotive world. It's addictive.
5.) The yoke is awful. It's bad. It's awkward, making tight maneuvers and three-point turns a nuisance. The turn signal buttons are just utterly rubbish, with even the lightest brush on them actuating them, and really - it's just a step-back, - a huge step back. Same goes for the changing from Park to D or R. I get that Elon wants this to all be automated so it won't even matter, but this is yet another case of getting ahead of of himself, and I sincerely hope this yoke thing goes away, and soon. It hasn't stopped me ordering a Plaid, but it's definitely something I'm going to have to learn to live with rather than be excited to experience. In my Model 3 Performance, I can switch from P to R or D or turn signal without even thinking. In the S? It takes thought, and ugh... it makes me pretty angry even thinking about it.
6.) The backup camera frame-rate: FINALLY we have a smooth backup camera. My Model 3 P with HW3 has had a janky backup camera frame rate since day 1, and with the new Model S we have a smooth frame rate. Everything is just much smoother on the display. Panning the map, loading apps, backup camera, FSD visualizations, - everything. Just night and day better than previous Teslas.

So there you go. The Plaid, as Elon mentioned at the delivery event, - crushes. But that yoke... good grief.
Great insights! IMO you can't go wrong with either of the 3 cars. As much as people like to directly compare the S with the Taycan I think they are two different cars targeting two different buyers. I however do have to agree that when comparing the Plaid with the Turbo S on paper its an easy win for the Plaid, curious to see what Porsche's response will be to the insane acceleration specs of the Plaid will be.
 
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oktane

Active Member
Oct 25, 2016
1,717
1,768
USA
How do you select D or R in the Plaid with no functional screen ? (I honestly don't know, I just know the stalks are gone).
There's a selector strip on the front console for exactly this purpose.

1625971307999.png
 

TessP100D

Member
Jan 15, 2018
419
295
La Quinta, Ca
Thanks for the picture, it looks like some sort of left over from a 90's FORD but ok Elon, if you insist.this great idea. Just pit the dam column stick back and only)free the stupid yoke as an option.
here is a great idea.

all Tesla needs to do is simply install the column stock controls back as they where, and only offer the stupid yoke as an option.

boom. All fixed.

now I can consider a buying new Tesla again.
 

jebinc

MSM Model S PLAID, cream/FSD; MYP & CT on order
Jun 19, 2019
5,261
5,643
Seattle area
Nice review! I'm kinda looking forward to the yoke; but that may quickly change once I drive mine with it! Time will tell if the muscle memory associated with the round wheel and stalks can be relearned (or not)....
 

pp61

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
1,371
63
Switzerland
How do you select D or R in the Plaid with no functional screen ? (I honestly don't know, I just know the stalks are gone).
My 2020 X screens did not come on anymore after a reset due to sound issues. Airco went full speed and after 15 minutes drive getting colder and colder I decided to stop the car.
Tesla supprt could not help, car not online and hard reset did not work. After 1 hour road service, arrange by my insurance, came and could disable the airco by pulling some relais.
X stayed dead and driving NOT possible as I had PIN enabled and of course could not enter :(.
Home with taxi, 2 hours drive.
Next morning, car had not moved, car was online again……..
Everything worked, remote diagnosis did not find anything.
Had to get lift to bring me to car again.
My third Tesla, first time stranded, learned that Tesla gives zero support to bring you home, have a third party road assist to help you!
 

Watts_Up

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
3,626
2,451
In a galaxy far, far away
My third Tesla, first time stranded, learned that Tesla gives zero support to bring you home, have a third party road assist to help you!
So you were stranded in middle of nowhere, and you didn't received any help after contacting Tesla support?
You were lucky that you were able to hire a taxi and that nothing bad happened to you.
However, I think there are some legal reponsabilities from the service support:


 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,698
8,037
Seattle area, WA
There's a selector strip on the front console for exactly this purpose.

View attachment 683354
This option is there to keep Tesla from having to cover MCU under a safety recall. MCU is already a consumable item according to Tesla, i.e. Tesla says it wears out like your wiper blades and needs regular replacements. Of course whether said replacement parts will be available, well, only time will tell, but MCU1 replacements from what I hear have a very long lead time, so draw your own conclusions.
 
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Cybertruckian

New Member
Aug 30, 2021
2
1
Australia
The yoke, removal of stalks, a classic case of change for the sake of change even if it is a worse experience for the user.

Just remember the MCU1's started out life working just fine, what happens in 'x' years if the new Plaid MCU starts having issues where you lose the screen function? At least when the current MCU has a meltdown and reboot you can still drive (well, select drive).

Taycan is a nice car, well they look nice enough and Porsche know a thing or two about build quality and pride in what they ship out of the factory.....but VW, I'd rather take the bus than give them money.
There is a hardware gear selection strip on the center console. A strip with dedicated buttons.
 
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