Tesla Motors has accomplished plenty in its 14-year existence. But the biggest thing Elon Musk’s ground-breaking electric car company has likely done is making electric cars cool. Because before Tesla came on to the scene, they were largely funky little things with all the sex appeal of a kale stripper. Then came the Roadster and the Model S, Tesla which flipped the script, and turned the green machines into status symbols.
But this success hasn’t gone unnoticed from more established players—and perhaps no manufacturer is better poised to eat Tesla’s lunch than Porsche. And in a sign that it isn’t playing around, Stuttgart just announced it will be installing rapid charging stations at every one of its 189 dealerships across the United States. The 800-volt, 320 kW DC units will be able to deliver an 80% charge to Porsche’s forthcoming Mission E electric sports sedan in just 20 minutes.
And while much has been made about Tesla’s performance numbers, you’d have to be certifiable to think Porsche is going to enter the electric segment with anything but a sledgehammer of a vehicle. When it hits the showroom of your local AutoNation-affiliated Porsche dealer, the Mission E will be packing over 600 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and trick torque vectoring which will provide ferocious grip in the corners. This is the tech which allowed Porsche to take the checkered flag at Le Mans, and while it won’t be able to match Tesla’s blindingly quick zero-to-60 times, we have absolutely no doubt it will spank anything Tesla has to offer at the track.
Another thing Porsche has going for it in this face-off? It really knows how to build cars, and Tesla’s build quality has so far left much to be desired. At its most harsh, the criticism has likened the initial quality of the new Model 3 to that of malaise-era product from the Big Three—and anyone who’s ever sat in a new Porsche can attest to how well screwed together they are.
Only time will tell, but it seems like Tesla might have met its match…