Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2009 Porsche 911 VS 2009 Tesla Roadster Near Phoenix, AZ

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2009 Porsche 911

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2009 Tesla Roadster

Safety Comparison

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the 911 deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Tesla Roadster’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The 911 offers all wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Tesla Roadster doesn’t offer all wheel drive.

The 911 has standard Porsche Stability Management (PSM), which uses the antilock brake hardware along with powerful software and additional sensors to detect the beginning of a skid. PSM then intervenes by automatically applying the brake at one appropriate wheel, preventing a skid. The Tesla Roadster doesn’t offer skid prevention. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study showed that skid control systems reduced single-vehicle car crashes by 30%.

The 911 offers optional parking sensors to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind their vehicle. The Tesla Roadster doesn’t offer any parking assist system.

Both the 911 and the Tesla Roadster have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four wheel antilock brakes and traction control.

Reliability Comparison

The Tesla Roadster’s redline is at 13000 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The 911 has a 7200 to 8400 RPM redline.

Engine Comparison

The 911’s standard 3.6 DOHC 6 cyl. produces 97 more horsepower (345 vs. 248) and 77 lbs.-ft. more torque (288 vs. 211) than the Tesla Roadster’s electric motor. The 911 S’ standard 3.8 DOHC 6 cyl. produces 137 more horsepower (385 vs. 248) and 99 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 211) than the Tesla Roadster’s electric motor. The 911 GT3’s standard 3.6 GT3 6 cyl. produces 167 more horsepower (415 vs. 248) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 211) than the Tesla Roadster’s electric motor. The 911 Turbo’s standard 3.6 turbo 6 cyl. produces 232 more horsepower (480 vs. 248) and 249 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 211) than the Tesla Roadster’s electric motor.

As tested in Car and Driver the Porsche 911 is faster than the Tesla Roadster (manual transmissions tested):

911 GT3

911 Turbo


Zero to 60 MPH

3.8 sec

3.4 sec

5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.7 sec

7.8 sec

11.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12 sec

11.7 sec

13.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

118 MPH

121 MPH

104 MPH

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the 911’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Tesla Roadster:


911 Turbo/GT3/GT2


Front Rotors

12.52 inches

14.96 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.77 inches

13.78 inches

12.2 inches

The 911 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Tesla Roadster doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The 911 has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Tesla Roadster doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the 911 has larger standard tires than the Tesla Roadster (F:235/40R18 & R:265/40R18 vs. F:175/55R16 & R:225/45R17). The 911 Carrera 4 Turbo/GT3’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Tesla Roadster (F:235/35R19 & R:305/30R19 vs. F:175/55R16 & R:225/45R17).

The 911’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the Tesla Roadster’s standard 55 series front and 45 series rear tires. The 911’s optional 235/35R19 front and 295/30R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the Tesla Roadster’s 55 series front and 45 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 911 has standard 18 inch wheels. Only 16 inch front and 17 inch rear wheels are available on the Tesla Roadster. The 911 offers optional 19 inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 911 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the 911 flat and controlled during cornering. The Tesla Roadster’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The 911 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Tesla Roadster’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The 911 has standard power steering to make quick and controllable low speed maneuvers easy. The Tesla Roadster doesn’t offer power steering.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 911 is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Tesla Roadster.

The 911’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (39.1% to 60.9%) than the Tesla Roadster’s (35% to 65%). This gives the 911 more stable handling and braking.

Passenger Space Comparison

The 911 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the Tesla Roadster can only carry 2.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 911 Cabriolet has a much larger trunk than the Tesla Roadster (9.9 vs. 3.9 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The 911’s standard tilting steering column adjusts to different sized drivers and makes entering and exiting easier. Tesla doesn’t offer tilt steering on the Tesla Roadster.

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the 911 has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Tesla Roadster doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 911 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Tesla Roadster doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the 911 offers optional steering wheel controls for the radio. The Tesla Roadster doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.

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