It’s not surprising that Elon Musk, the CEO, co-founder and product architect of Tesla, is not a fan of Porsche’s new all-electric sports car, the Taycan. The upcoming supercar is expected to be the fiercest competitor of the Tesla Model S.
On Twitter yesterday, Musk criticized Porsche for calling one of the versions of its all-electric sports car “Turbo.” Given that turbochargers are usually found in internal combustion engine vehicles, where they increase performance by forcing more compressed air into the engine, the all-electric Taycan can hardly be considered turbocharged.
“Um Porsche, this word Turbo does not mean what you think it does,” wrote Musk in a sarcastic tweet.
Porsche unveiled three versions of the highly-anticipated Taycan electric supercar this week. The base model starts at around $150,000, while the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S will cost significantly more. The Turbo and Turbo S models will include a cutting-edge “overboost” function that will increase top performance from “just” 670 to an astounding 751 horsepower, enough to power the 5,132-pound supercar from zero to 62 mph in just 2.6 seconds.
Though not as fast as the 2.4 seconds for Tesla’s Model S Performance, the Taycan will feature a number of innovations that may justify its price tag.
Musk, however, wasn’t the only one to call out Porsche for the use of the term turbo. “Porsche says it’s using the name so customers can equate it to top-level trims on its other vehicles, but we still think it’s a little dumb,” wrote Reese Counts for AutoBlog.
Musk didn’t just roast Porsche for calling the Taycan a turbo; he also promised to send a Model S to Germany's famous Nürburgring Nordschleife track, where the Taycan made its debut last week. Musk wants to challenge the Taycan to a race around "the Green Hell" next week to show it can best the supercar's 7 minute 42-second run.
This isn’t the first time that the Model S has made an appearance at Nürburgring Nordschleife. In 2014, Jalopnik's Rob Holland attempted to drive a Model S around the track, only for the battery to fail three minutes in.
After Musk’s tweet, many commented that the entrepreneur has also used misleading terms in his marketing. Twitter users noted that Tesla uses "Supercharger" to describe high-wattage DC charge stations instead of belt-driven air compressors that increase the power density of combustion engines. Others were harsher, reminding Musk's that his so-called "funding secured" claim failed to make it past the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ouch.