Porsche Taycan preview
The first-ever fully electric Porsche and perhaps the wider, established motor industry’s most significant retort to that rising upstart, the Tesla Model S. The Taycan is an electric sports saloon from Stuttgart, on an all-new platform. It aims to provide all the true Porsche driving thrills and spills, only with a drivetrain that emits no pollutants – nor much in the way of noise.
What will its rivals be?
The aforementioned Tesla Model S is the main obvious alternative, given the price, power, performance and electric range, but it also aims to pre-empt luxury four-door electric machines from other manufacturers – so vehicles like the Aston Martin Rapide E, for example.
Any tech info?
There are four models so far, all with twin electric motors (one on each axle) to deliver four-wheel drive. The size of the lithium-ion battery pack differs across them all, altering the Taycan’s electric range, while the electric motors have different outputs too, affecting performance. Yet no model is slow. The entry point is the Taycan 4S with 530hp, while an optional Performance Battery Plus (PBP) pack on this car raises that output to 571hp. Either 4S Taycan will do 0-100km/h in 4.0 seconds and is restricted to 250km/h. Above that are two high-performance derivatives, which, despite having no engines, are known as the Turbo and Turbo S; this is because Porsche believed that its customers understand its combustion-engine model hierarchy better than inventing a new one for the electric vehicles. Both the Turbo and Turbo S have 625hp nominally, but an overboost function lifts the Turbo to 687hp while the Turbo S goes to an almighty 761hp. That sees 0-100km/h times of (respectively) 3.2 and 2.8 seconds, with the Turbo models limited to 260km/h. An 800-volt onboard electrical system allows for super-quick 270kW charging on most models (the non-PBP 4S maxes out at 225kW), while the Taycan has an incredibly low coefficient of drag figure of 0.22.
What will the range be like?
The non-PBP Taycan 4S has a 79.2kWh lithium-ion battery and can therefore do up to 406km on a charge. The PBP 4S has the largest battery of any Taycan yet announced, with a 93.4kWh battery allowing for a 462km range. The Turbo twins both use a 93kWh battery pack, which results in an electric range of between 387- and 453km. Further, lower-powered and even two-wheel-drive models of Taycan are expected to join the range in future, perhaps resulting in a version capable of 500km-plus on a single charge.
They’re enormous. Porsche knows that sporty driving and its cars’ distinctive soundtracks are key drivers in customer loyalty, and yet the Taycan EV weighs around 2.3 tonnes and makes a noise that is, well… like that of an electric car. Yet orders for the Taycan are flooding in and it represents Porsche’s long-term product future. If it drives as good as it looks outside and in, then the Taycan is sure to be an enormous success for the German manufacturer.