Porsche adds a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive version of the Taycan to its high-performance electric saloon’s line-up, so just how good – or otherwise – is it?
Porsche’s longest-range and most affordable pure electric vehicle (EV) yet. It’s the new entry-level version of the magnificent Taycan, which is the first version to come with only one electric motor so far; all other Taycans have dual motors and all-wheel drive. In the case of the latest entrant to the German company’s EV canon, the single motor and its two-speed reduction-gear transmission is mounted on the trailing axle, so the Taycan is rear-wheel drive – like a true sports car.
It’s not only the most affordable Taycan in the showroom line-up as a result, but also the one that offers the most driving range on a single charge. There are two battery options, the regular Performance Battery and the Performance Battery Plus. The former is rated at 79.2kWh gross and can give up to 431km on a charge, which is… OK, by Taycan standards, but not outstanding. It’s the Performance Battery Plus that records the big numbers, though, allowing for a maximum range of 484km.
These two battery packs also affect the power output of the electric drivetrain. The Performance Battery runs at a nominal 240kW (326hp) and 345Nm, but on a time-limited ‘overboost’ phase when the car is running in Launch Control mode, it can increase its power output to 300kW (408hp). But the Performance Battery Plus is even more potent – 280kW (380hp) and 357Nm nominally, with up to 350kW (476hp) available on the time-limited overboost setting. Despite this, for on-paper 0-100km/h and top speed times, both rear-wheel-drive Taycans are identical according to Porsche: the acceleration benchmark takes 5.4 seconds, and the top speed is 230km/h. The reason for this is that the Performance Battery is the lightest Taycan yet, at 2,050kg, while the Performance Battery Plus carries an extra 80kg. There are other performance and acceleration metrics that eventually prove the speed superiority of the Plus, but they’re largely irrelevant in a country with a 120km/h national limit.
How is it to drive?
We sampled a Performance Battery Plus version, but it should be pointed out that it had been fitted with a lot of chassis-sharpening hardware that rather skews the driving impression. As standard, the car shouldn’t have torque vectoring on the rear axle, nor speed-sensitive power steering, nor uprated Porsche Surface Coated Brakes, nor air suspension – but all of these were on our test car.
This makes it hard to say for sure how a very basically specified Taycan RWD will feel when compared with the more potent 4S, Turbo and Turbo S versions. What we can say, though, is that owners are likely to fit some of this equipment to their own Taycans and the resulting car is excellent. Like any other version, the rear-wheel-drive model whispers through towns and along motorways in effortless fashion, the passenger compartment spectacularly well-isolated from the twin disturbances of aerodynamic flow and tyre chatter, while the ride quality is sumptuous and feels exactly like the big, grand saloon it is – the lack of an engine doesn’t upset its comportment.
In the corners, it also feels slightly more willing to turn in than its heavier AWD relations and there’s a vague sensation of ‘squirm’ from the rear of the vehicle when you get on the power quickly out of tighter turns. The Taycan RWD also moves about more during heavy braking, so it feels a touch more alive than the better tied-down four-wheel-drive models. Nevertheless, it’s not night-and-day better and while it still feels quick, with that unearthly midrange immediacy of acceleration that marks out all high-power EVs, it doesn’t have the jaw-dropping relentless nature of the Turbo or Turbo S models. In short, it’s not quite as thrilling to drive as the other Taycans, despite having a lighter and rear-driven chassis – so it’s USP will revolve around the price-driving-range combination that it offers.
When is it coming to Ireland?
It is available to order right now, with prices starting from €88,498 for the Performance Battery model and the Performance Battery Plus upgrade comprising a €5,337 option, resulting in a starting price of €93,835 for a Porsche Taycan capable of going up to 484km on a single charge. Standard equipment is not exactly parsimonious on the new base-spec Taycan, as it comes with dual-zone climate control, heated and electrically adjustable front seats, LED headlights, 19-inch alloys, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) dampers with Porsche 4D Chassis Control (PDCC), cruise control, front and rear ParkAssist, keyless entry and go, a decent standard sound system, various advanced driver assist safety (ADAS) systems, four USB-C sockets, eight airbags and two ISOFIX child-seat fitting points, among much more. However, get carried away with the options list and a ‘plain’ single-motor Taycan can soon end up costing as much as the better-equipped, much-faster Taycan Turbo; so a degree of circumspect restraint will be necessary on the part of owners, come Taycan ordering time.
Any juicy technology?
Like any Porsche Taycan, the new rear-wheel-drive variant has the same high-powered 800-volt electrical system and not one, but two charging ports. There’s a Type 2 connection on the driver’s side and a CCS Combo 2 on the passenger front-wing, which means the Performance Battery car can hook up to chargers with a maximum 225kW rate of replenishment, while the Performance Battery Plus goes to a massive 270kW charging speed. This means that, if you can find the maximum charging rate for either model at a public DC connection, you can add an additional 100km of range to the battery in a mere five minutes or fill it from 5-80 per cent in just 22-and-a-half minutes alternatively. Even on a 50kW DC connection, 100km of range takes less than half-an-hour.
Carzone.ie rating: 4.5/5
As spectacular as ever in many regards, the rear-wheel-drive Porsche Taycan Performance Battery Plus is one of the finest new EVs available right now. That it can go further than any other Taycan is sure to make it appealing, as is the fact it can be around €15-20,000 cheaper than the next model up the tree, the Taycan 4S. Throw in the fact that the base Taycan looks almost identical to its more powerful brethren on the outside and it has a cabin that is just as superb within, and it makes for an alluring all-round EV package as a result.