From zero to 100km/h in 2.8 seconds is a boast for any supercar, let alone a silent four-door saloon – the new 2020 Porsche Taycan is the company’s first electric car
Now we’ve got a fight on our hands.
So far the electric vehicle field has been an experiment, as much cultural as it was technological and commercial. Heading its own trend Tesla stood above all, but above what? There’s been no one to play with.
Now all the players are starting to enter the field. Coming at you from Zuffenhausen, the new Porsche Taycan has just been launched prior to the Frankfurt motor show, in all its nearly $200k guise. The all-electric, all-new product from Porsche is a huge, and expensive (new factory, total $6.6 billion investment towards 2023) departure from the norm. And yet it ticks plenty of Porsche’s authenticity boxes – it’s expensive; it’s distinguishable; it’s luxurious; and it’s fast.
Naturally you can expect Porsche to get busy with diversifying the electric range rather soon, but at launch you can already start configuring your Taycans online. Have your pick from either the Porsche Taycan Turbo or Porsche Taycan Turbo S, or argue in vain about the distortion of the legendary ‘Turbo’ nameplate.
There are of course no turbochargers anywhere to speak of when it comes to the zero-emissions Taycan, but Porsche could only mask up so many devotions from tradition. Everything else is present, from the familiar ‘five pod’ driver’s instruments which is really a huge display, to the shallow and upright dashboard and the exterior signatures such as a lightbar at the back and some humpy 911-style wings at the front. Even if it certainly doesn’t sound like a Porsche, it looks like one and that’s what counts on the corniche.
It also goes like one – in top trim the Porsche Taycan Turbo S packs 760 horsepower and accelerates from zero to 100km/h in 2.8 seconds, despite weighing as much as a Cayenne. You’ll struggle to keep up with it in the fastest current 911.
With batteries laid out along the floor, and a pioneering two-speed gearbox driving all four wheels, the thing can launch-control itself all the way to 260km/h. Crucially, Porsche’s introduction of an 800-volt system means it can charge quickly too – optimal scenarios can yield a a five-minute charge giving a range of 100km to get you home.
With great considerations placed on total range, Porsche focused on aerodynamics to produce a car with a drag coefficient of 0.22 which makes the Taycan more slippery than any Tesla. This allows for a driving range of up to 450km, although it’s lower than that for the wild Taycan Turbo S.
All the usual options and Porsche Exclusive treatments are available for the Taycan so you can personalise the vehicle extensively, and the Taycan additionally gets the company’s familiar performance tricks like Porsche Active Suspension Management and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control plus available kit like ceramic brakes.
Porsche’s first electric model won’t be cheap, with prices starting from roughly AED600,000 ($165,000), while a nicely specced Taycan Turbo S will easily run you AED735,000 ($200,000).