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Porsche Taycan breaks Guinness World Record for greatest altitude change achieved by an EV

The Porsche Taycan has broken another Guinness World Record. This time it’s for the greatest altitude change ever achieved by a battery-electric vehicle. Driving the Taycan Cross Turismo is the team of J.F. Musial, a producer, and director that’s well known for creating automotive content. Out of curiosity, his team decided to take the electric wagon from deep underground to the top of the mountain.

In just over a day, Musial and his team drove from the lowest point they could access by car in the United States and to one of the highest. In terms of vertical elevation, the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo went up three miles in altitude. Overall, however, the car did over 1,400 miles between the starting point and their destination, pausing only to charge the vehicle and for the humans to get some rest. This journey was eventually recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the greatest altitude change ever achieved by an electric car, adding another title to the Taycan’s growing list of accomplishments.

“It started as a ‘what if?’ — a passion project, mixing our love for cars and travel and taking it to extremes,” said Musial. “We wanted to drive from the lowest point in America to one of the highest, Pikes Peak — where we’ve spent countless hours filming the famous hill climb. The project relied on a lot of goodwill, and a car that’s pretty much unique in its mix of abilities.”

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Photo credit: Porsche

The lowest point in the United States is Badwater Basin in Death Valley, which is at 282 feet under sea level. However, to go deeper meant going underground, which is exactly what Musial and his team did. Thanks to the support of the staff and operators of the Eagle Mine in Michigan, they started there. A high-grade nickel and copper mine, it’s the only one in America that a car can drive into at sufficient depths via a ramp used by specialist mining vehicles. Since the Taycan Cross Turismo is an EV and had AWD and an air suspension that increased its ground clearance, it met the criteria that allowed it to drive into the portal and the tunnel without any alterations and on standard road tires.

After undergoing meticulous safety training, Musial’s team got access to the lowest part of the Eagle Mine, which is 1,774.4 feet below sea level. Darby Stacey, Managing Director of the Eagle Mine said it was fitting to have the Taycan drive to the bottom because both elements being extracted from the excavation are essential components to EVs. “After numerous risk assessments, safety discussions, and detailed planning, our mining team was up to the challenge,” added Stacey. “We are proud to have worked with Porsche to safely execute and complete a new world record.”

Specialist surveyors precisely measured and verified the depth with the team emerging from the mine just past dawn to start their trip to Pikes Peak in Colorado, home of the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb. Their final destination was the summit, which was at 14,115 feet above sea level. It saw the Taycan cross six states and go up three miles in altitude without leaving the ground. Several obstacles got in their way including the possibility of the road to their final destination closing due to weather conditions. In total, three groups of drivers took turns behind the wheel of the Taycan Cross Turismo. They also came equipped with separate, sealed GPS devices monitoring their route and altitude throughout the trip, an analog altimeter, and witness logs to satisfy the strict requirements of Guinness World Records.

Photo credit: Porsche

Due to worsening weather conditions, the team had to drive as quickly as they can to the summit of Pikes Peak. The person behind the wheel when the Taycan Cross Turismo crossed the finish line was Dai Yoshihara, the class winner of the 2020 Pikes Peak International Hillclimb. In total, the team coveted 15,889 feet vertically and 1,413 miles on the road in 33 hours and 48 minutes.

Musial noted that you can plan for months and create a detailed schedule but at the end of the day, execution and weather are all that matter. I’ve always been told that the mountain decides if it’ll allow you to get to the summit,” added Musial. “Despite an incoming snowstorm, we got lucky and found a small 45-minute window to get to the top — the mountain let us get this record.”

This record adds to the Porsche Taycan’s growing list of achievements. A Taycan Turbo S sedan current holds the Guinness World Record for indoor land speed at 102.6 mph. It also currently holds the EV lap record at Road Atlanta at 1 minute and 33.8 seconds and the Nürburgring Nordschleife at 7 minutes and 32 seconds. The Taycan also holds the record for the longest drift done by an EV at 26.2 miles.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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