Porsche's 750-horsepower Taycan Turbo S, with a little help from racing driver Leh Keen, has claimed the Guinness World Record for top speed by a vehicle achieved indoors, hitting 102.6 mph and toppling the 86-mile-per-hour mark set by Tanner Foust in a not-even-remotely-stock Ford Fiesta seven years ago.
With the likes of the SSC Tuatara setting their sights above the 300-mph mark, a 102-mph record may not seem all that impressive, especially considering what Porsche's new EV dethroned in the process. Still, with a vast number of people spending the bulk of their free time at home, it seems fitting that Porsche would pursue an indoor record.
World land speed records have strict guidelines for certification (as the aforementioned SSC learned recently, and the hard way). Believe it or not, there are rules for this too, lest people simply stick a barn at the end of a miles-long runway and grab an indoor trap speed for a vehicle that did most of its work in the light of day.
For an indoor record to be certified, the entire process — from zero to top speed and then back to zero again — must take place within the confines of the building. There can be no run-up nor run-off; in other words, there's no room for error. The Louisiana Convention Center, which was chosen for its vast interior space, presented a unique set of challenges for Porsche and Keen, thanks in no small part to its polished concrete floor.
"I didn’t really appreciate the scale of the record attempt until my first exploratory run," said Keen after his record attempt. "The surface is so unpredictable, so slick, that you have to have complete trust in your car. It truly was like ice – and you’re accelerating flat out, facing a really hard wall at the end. Suddenly, even in a massive space like the one we had, it seems very small."
"I could feel the Taycan’s systems figuring it out, working so hard to keep me heading straight — it was such an impressive feat. To accelerate so hard on such an erratic surface was incredible. Not for a moment did a doubt I could do it," he said.