When they unveiled their all-electric Mission E concept car back in 2015, it immediately caused a stir. The idea that Porsche, a brand steeped in tradition and petrol-powered glory, would make an EV seemed wild; almost unbelievable. That concept car became the Porsche Taycan: a car that’s quickly won over the motoring press (and us here at DMARGE) thanks to its exceptional good looks, insane performance and forward-thinking design.
The Taycan was always destined to be a sales success, but it turns out it’s been more successful than anyone could have imagined, in one of the world’s most important automotive markets to boot. This past quarter in the United States, the Taycan outsold all of Porsche’s lineup short of its crossovers – meaning that this upstart EV is selling better than the 911, the classic sports car upon which virtually Porsche’s entire reputation is built.
“Last quarter, Porsche delivered 15,289 vehicles in the United States, almost two-thirds of which consisted of the Cayenne and Macan,” The Drive reports.
“Next behind them came the Taycan, which with 1,861 sales outsold the 911, at 1,621. That also means the Taycan outsold the Panamera and 718 (Boxster and Cayman) combined; the two account for 1,090 and 753 of Porsche’s sales last quarter respectively.”
A Porsche Taycan alongside a Tesla Model S, its natural rival. Image: Autoguide
While Porsche’s SUVs have long been its big sales winners, it’s truly remarkable that the Taycan, after only having been on the US market for little under three years, is now outselling the 911. It says a lot about how good the Taycan is, as well as how far EV market penetration and willingness has progressed in the US. What’s also remarkable is how close that sales figure gets to those of the Tesla Model S: Tesla’s luxury performance sedan and the American brand’s closest analogue to the Taycan.
Last quarter, Tesla sold around 4,600 of the things globally. The US accounts for around 60% of Tesla’s global sales, which would bring that figure to around 2,760. Considering how much bigger Tesla is compared to Porsche (Porsche delivered a total of 272,162 new vehicles worldwide in 2020 compared to Tesla’s 499,550), 1,621 versus 2,760 in the US of A ain’t too bad.
Interestingly, both cars have the same base model MSRP in the US, $79,990, but the top-spec Model S Plaid only costs $119,990 compared to the Taycan Turbo S at $185,000.
As a side note, it’s actually rather difficult to ascertain exact sales numbers for the Model S: “Tesla does not break out delivery numbers by model, nor does it report sales or production numbers from China versus the US… Deliveries are the company’s closest approximation of vehicle sales,” CNBC relates. Tesla bundles Model S and X sales together, with the Model S accounting for slightly less than half of that total, so we’re doing a bit of guesswork here.
Watch the Tesla Model S Plaid zoom from 0-60mph in just 1.85 seconds below.
Of course, Tesla and Porsche sit in very different parts of the automotive market, and this is just US sales figures – both brands sell more vehicles in China, for example. Moreover, Porsche will never be a mass-market brand in the same way Tesla is quickly becoming one: the brands have different identities; different goals.
But it is impressive that Porsche is, at least, able to hang with the EV market leader in the performance/luxury stakes in such bullish fashion with the Taycan.
With Porsche having recently unveiled an electric track car, the Mission R concept, Porsche seems keen to double down on electric: we wonder if the Mission R makes it into production if it’ll outsell the 911 GT3 or Cayman GT4…