Motoring

Porsche Taycan review – weaponised performance

We’ve travelled to Berlin, Germany the nation responsible for the first car. But now another first, the world premiere of the first fully electric sports car made by Porsche. It’s called the Taycan and frankly the mere sight of it sends shivers down the spine. The anticipation for this car has really reached peaked levels, so it should too because cars are gradually changing forever. We will have to wait until late 2020 for it to land back home. But now the Germans are on board, good luck to the rest.

What is it?

The Taycan in some ways is simply another electric car, but in reality, the project is so, so much more. This four-door sports saloon is a revolution for the brand, but on the other hand drops straight into the existing Porsche lineup. Rather than being a standalone brand like Tesla or Polestar, Volvo’s EV brand the Taycan is truly part of the family.

So much so in fact, the first two models will maintain familiar Porsche nomenclature being called Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S. 

While clearly there’s not a turbo insight what the Taycan does have is almost what I’m calling weaponised performance. 

Behind the wheel

Only a select few have driven the Taycan, but I have sat behind the wheel and drooled all over the exterior, so there. I can tell you this, first of all it smells dam good, all that fine leather certainly got my nostrils attention. But there’s also a vegan option, if that’s what floats your boat. 

But what captivates your eyes is the digital instrument cluster, that measures a staggering 16.4-inches. The wrap around style screen Porsche calls a ‘band’ appears to be just floating behind the wheel, there’s no sight of a traditional hood covering it. It’s also the highest point in the interior making it a true standout. 

There are three other screens, more on that shortly. 

The Taycan can be either a four or five-seater, although a 2+2 configuration is far more ideal width wise, head room was really good as was space for back row legs. Much of the rear real estate is due to a ‘foot garage’, which is basically a portion of the battery that has been scooped out.

Vital stats

The Turbo S is the current flagship model and is able to smash out 560kW on overboost power. The Taycan Turbo is wound back just a tad to 500kW. If you’re a betting man I’d putting money on a less powerful and cheaper model to be rolled out at some stage. However, with Launch Control engaged the Turbo S sprints to 100km/h in a mere 2.8 seconds, the Taycan Turbo gets it over and done in 3.2 seconds. 

Power is created by two electric motors on each axel, making the Taycan all-wheel drive.

Interestingly the Taycan has two gears, depending on what drive mode you’re in it will jump to 2nd between 90km/h and around 120km/h. The electric motors can spin right out to 16,000 rpm. Up to 1050Nm of torque can be extracted from the Turbo S, 850Nm from the Turbo model. 

The four driving modes include: ‘Range’, ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport Plus’. There’s also an ‘Individual’ mode to suit your own tastes. For example, you may want to be in ‘Sport Plus’ but want a softer rider courtesy of the adaptive air suspension. 

Brand Ambassador, Mark Webber said, “Porsche really believe this is the future, yes, by 2025 probably half of the cars will be fully electric,”

“So, it’s a big commitment from Porsche, spending a huge amount of money over five-billion Euros in this space.”

When it comes to EV’s everyone wants to know about range. The Turbo S is ranked against the European WLTP standard and comes in at 412 kilometres. While the Turbo will kick on to 450 kilometres. 

Both cars are capable of top speeds of 260km/h. The Taycan features a world first system voltage of 800 volts for a production car. Until now 400 volts was the norm. What this means is that the 94.4kWh battery can be charged much faster. 

If you go by the European infrastructure available here, the Taycan can claw back 100km of range in just over five minutes using  DC power from a high-power charging network. Five per cent to 80 per cent takes 22.5 minutes, it can accommodate a peak charge of 270kW. The performance battery can cop up to 11kW of AC power at home.

The ‘Frunk’ can hold 81-litres or say a carry-on suitcase, the boot 366-litres. 

Technology

A voice control feature joins the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz via barking “Hey Porsche” at the system. Aside from the instrument cluster there’s up to three other screens. A 10.9-inch top screen for infotainment including Apple CarPlay, a lower 8.4-inch haptic touch monitor for functions such as controlling the airconditioning. Plus, the passenger even scores their own 10.9-inch dash mounted screen. It allows them to act as a DJ or input information such as navigation directions, the latter is most likely an option.

The suspension has some serious smarts thanks to the Porsche Active Suspension Management system. This includes electronic damper control plus electromechanical roll stabilisation system with torque vectoring.

Many EV cars have relied on engine braking to regenerate power, some like the Nissan Leaf call this an e-Pedal, which leads to one-foot braking essentially where lifting off the accelerator brings the car to a halt. The Taycan can coast along which you’d want from a true sports car, but again this will depend on which drive mode you’re in. 

Price 

The price is expected to be around the $350,000 mark for the Taycan Turbo S and $300,000 for the Taycan Turbo. A wound back and perhaps rear-wheel drive version should arrive at around the $200,000 mark. These figures are much higher than what has been drip feed to the media. It certainly is not a Tesla Model S competitor!

Why would you buy one?

Because it’s a German made electric masterpiece. 

EFTM Scoreboard

Without actually driving the car scoring the Taycan is obviously hard. But based on the figures, the build quality, the luxury and the performance we have one of the most ferociously capable sports cars on the planet. It must be nearing a 9.5 out of 10 so I’ll run with that for now!

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Porsche Taycan review – weaponised performance
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