Watch 650-HP Porsche 911 Turbo S Drag Race Hefty Tesla Model X Plaid

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Porsche plans to electrify its lineup over the next few years but won’t rush to kill the combustion engine in the coveted 911. A new drag race video reveals such a move isn’t necessary just yet as it faces off against the potent Tesla Model X Plaid.

Powering the Porsche is the brand’s twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-six engine. It produces 650 horsepower and 590 pound-feet (850 Newton-meters) of torque, which motivates the coupe’s 3,637 pounds (1,650 kilograms). An eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox sends power to all four wheels.

The Tesla Model X Plaid is much more powerful. Its triple-motor configuration – one at the front and two at the rear – makes 1,020 hp and 1,047 lb-ft (1,420 Nm) of torque. The EV’s big disadvantage is its weight, as the SUV is much heavier than its two-door competitor, weighing 5,432 lbs (2,464 kg). However, the instant burst of power from the Tesla’s electric powertrain makes up for it in the drag races.

The Tesla got a stellar start in the first race, beating the Porsche off the starting line and winning by about half a car length. The Turbo S got a better start in the second race, launching ahead of the EV. The 911 kept its lead, winning its first race. It also won the third and final bout. The Porsche completed the quarter-mile race in 10.2 seconds. The Tesla needed 10.3 seconds.

The coupe faltered in the two rolling races. In both instances, the Model X pulled away from the Turbo S. However, the 911 won the brake test, stopping at a much shorter distance than the hefty Tesla.

In late July, Porsche revealed that the 911 would be its last model with an internal combustion engine. The automaker plans for 80 percent of its sales to be electric vehicles by the end of the decade, with that other 20 percent apparently reserved for the iconic sports car. It might be why German manufacturer poured the first few drops of its synthetic e-fuel into a 911 late last year.

Porsche already offers the Taycan, a competitor to the Model S. The next EV from the company will be the Macan, which will ride on a platform jointly developed with Audi. However, the automaker will continue building the combustion-powered variant.

In 2025, the company will reveal the all-electric 718 Boxster, which will launch with a single electric motor powering the rear wheels. Porsche will follow it with an electric Cayenne and an even larger SUV that will sit above it. The 911, the Turbo S, and the other variants will be cruising with combustion engines. 

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