Tesla boss Elon Musk has weighed in on the row over Top Gear’s fudged figures in a speed test against a Porsche - while the show has offered a head-scratching explanation of why they did it.
Eagle-eyed viewers of a video published on the BBC driving show’s website of a face-off between a Tesla Model S Performance and a Porsche Taycan Turbo S thought something about the test’s figures didn’t quite add up.
A video of a drag race between the two cars threw up suspicions about what the real results had been, with car site DragTimes wondering whether the figures had been faked.
Top Gear's Porsche Taycan Turbo S win against the Tesla Model S Performance is suspicious, says veteran drag racerhttps://t.co/TwTriwyqPT
— TESLARATI (@Teslarati) October 31, 2019
Musk tweeted his response that he agreed with DragTimes, later clarifying to someone who tweeted to ask about his response: “Sorry, Drag Times is correct, Top Gear is wrong.”
Drag Race Times analysis is correct. Also, there’s a software upgrade for Model S coming out that increases peak power by 50HP, so Model S should beat Porsche Taycan Turbo S by a wider margin in 0 to 60 & 1/4 mile races.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2019
He later tweeted: "Putting Model S in range mode is the opposite of launch mode, as it minimizes performance in favor of range."
Meanwhile, Top Gear editors posted an update on their website giving an explanation of the test figures.
It read: “There have been some questions about the performance figures we posted in our recent Porsche Taycan vs Tesla Model S video. Time for some clarification.
“First things first, we ran the drag race five times and the Porsche won every time by a small but increasing margin with each subsequent race.”
There followed a breakdown of the times and then: “These were numbers we recorded in a Model S on a previous occasion. We ran them because these are the best figures we’ve achieved in a Model S to date so we know that’s what the car is capable of.
“And just to be clear, the Tesla was in Ludicrous+ mode, the battery was pre-conditioned and both cars had around 85 per cent charge before the first run.”