The Porsche Taycan name (pronounced tie-kahn), is composed of two Turkic terms which can roughly be translated into the “soul of a spirited young horse.” This long-awaited, highly innovative EV showcases all the high-performance potential of a brand which has embraced electrification. The automaker has stated it would like EVs to account for 50% of its business by 2025. Porsche has further specified that among the EVs, they plan a 50/50 split between battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. By 2022, they will invest 6 billion euros into the expansion of their EV production.
The pure-electric Taycan is Porsche’s first production EV using an 800-volt architecture paired with a multi-sided transaxle. Setting new records for battery charging speeds and acceleration marks, the 750hp Turbo S version of Taycan can hold its own with hypercars like the $1.7M 1000hp Bugatti Veyron. Both cars reach 60mph in 2.4 seconds. If you’re looking for thrilling high speed runs in an EV, the Taycan is definitely a car you should check out.
There are four sedans to choose from: Taycan (MSRP: $79,900), Taycan 4S (MSRP: $103,800), Taycan Turbo (MSRP: $150,900) and Taycan Turbo S (MSRP: $185,000).
The estimated EPA pure electric range for the Taycan trims are as follows:
Taycan (base model): 200 miles
Taycan with Performance Battery Plus: 225 miles
Taycan 4S: 199 miles
Taycan 4S with Performance Battery Plus: 227 miles
Taycan Turbo with Performance Battery Plus: 212 miles
Taycan Turbo S with Performance Battery Plus: 201 miles
The Tesla S, one of Taycan’s biggest competitors, uses a 100 kWh battery which generates 400 e-miles. Its MSRP is $79,990. The Taycan base model can use a 79.2 kWh Performance Battery Plus to generate 225 miles. Its MSRP is $79.900. The base Tesla S price is nearly the same, but base Taycan’s e-miles are small by comparison. As much as it wants to be a Tesla slayer, its e-range falls way short. Taycan's e-range is close to what you can get from other electric cars, such as the all-new luxury Polestar 2 (233 miles). And Taycan falls right in between much less expensive EVs like the Nissan Leaf (215 miles) and the Chevrolet Bolt (259 miles).
Some new Porsche adopters and long-time brand aficionados may be concerned about Taycan’s moderate e-range. Others won’t be. Bottom line: the Taycan operates like a Porsche sports car, offering a much more enhanced driving thrill than what’s provided by a Tesla S. For Porsche enthusiasts, it’s not the e-range or price, it’s the phenomenal driving experience. Those attempting to gauge Taycan’s impact on history will consider it an impressive performance machine that takes eco-friendly to a place far beyond.
“Drive concept” is a key baseline for the German automaker. Porsche’s soul equates to dynamic execution, period. The company explains Taycan this way: “The interaction of the drive components results in impressive performance figures, both technically and emotionally: its two engines accelerate the Taycan Turbo S from 0– 60 mph in 2.6 seconds with up to 750 hp overboost power with Launch Control. Allowing you to experience a standing start performance on a par with that of a super sports car such as the 918 Spyder – that can be repeatedly reproduced: consecutive acceleration is possible, up to a top track speed of 161 mph.”
Says caranddriver.com reviewer Eric Stafford: “While the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S offer performance that's on par with supercars, we'd recommend the more affordable all-wheel drive Taycan 4S. The 4S comes with a 522-hp powertrain, 19-inch wheels, an adaptive air suspension, a partial leather interior, and keyless entry. To keep the cost in check, we'd skip all of Porsche's many personalization options, but we would upgrade to the Performance Battery Plus, which increases the size of the pack and ups the combined horsepower rating to 562. The Performance package is also a must as it makes the Taycan more entertaining to drive: The rear-axle steering and torque vectoring improve agility, the Sport Plus drive mode optimizes performance, and the active anti-roll bars aid stability.”
Taycan’s appeal expands far past its drive concept. The car’s kinetic energy has been blended into an EV body design that reflects the future in an eye-catching way. This is an electric vehicle that takes away your breath when you glimpse its silhouette for the first time. Vertical Air Curtains ahead of the front wheels improve aerodynamics, pushing airflow over the wheels, reducing turbulence. Four-point LED headlights with a Matrix design maximize all the lighting functions into a single component. There are two roof options: a lightweight aluminum variant with a sleek motorsport indentation; or a panoramic roof variant – arcing down to the rear hood – which provides an open, airy spaceship-like sky view. The EV’s futuristic exterior styling is a blend of 4-door practicality with a steeply sloped roofline. Taycan’s striking proportions appear timeless and instantly identify its Porsche heritage.
Cool colors take this e-mobility car to another level: Frozen Berry, Neptune Blue, Chalk, Volcano Grey, Dolomite Silver, Coffee Beige and Mamba Green.
The romance reaches warp speed when you enter the spacious cabin. Sporty seating positions bring you face to face with a driver-focused, 16.8-inch curved digital gauge cluster. Says Porsche: “Mechanical buttons have been almost entirely replaced by digital ones. This makes the interior look extremely tidy. The same principle of tidiness also applies to the displays, of which there are up to four – intuitive, distraction-free and easy to use.” Mounted behind the steering wheel, the 16.8-inch gauge cluster takes cues to mimic Porsche’s traditional instrument designs. Infotainment is comprised in 2 touchscreens: a 10.9-inch upper unit for vehicle, navigation, and audio controls, plus an 8.4-inch lower screen for climate and comfort settings. Optional is a fourth screen which can be added for the front passenger to control infotainment and navigation settings. The 8.4-inch center console control panel provides access to navigation, media, telephone, settings and Apple CarPlay via a menu bar, which can also open the trunk and charging ports. The panel provides a charging display and a battery charge status as well.
For now, Apple CarPlay is standard, but Android Auto is not available. Four USB-C ports are accessible from the two seat rows: two in front and two in back. There’s a wireless charging pad up front as well. A 10-speaker audio system is standard. Optional audio systems include a 14-speaker Bose set-up and 21-speaker Burmester premium audio set-up.
About Taycan’s cabin design, Porsche says: “The basic features of the interior architecture are sporty, minimalist and clear; the wing extending from the center console appears to be floating. The innovative cockpit displays are clearly driver-oriented, allowing you to keep an eye on the most important information.” An optional heads-up display can project the main driving information directly onto the inside windshield.
Taycan’s carpet and floor mats are made of sustainable Econyl thread, recycled from fishing nets, which have become a huge problem for marine life. Whales, sharks, dolphins and turtles are being killed and injured by fibre traps left behind by fishermen. Aquafil, an Italian firm, collects nets from the ocean, recycles and regenerates them into a new nylon yarn used in carpet, floor mats and many other products. By doing so, they’re saving marine lives, helping to clean up the oceans, and making something new and beautiful in the process.
Advanced climate control inside Taycan is maintained by Porsche Communication Management (PCM), which enables precise airflow and distribution to dual or four-zone sectors. Color and brightness-adjustable ambient lighting illuminates the interior.
Regenerative braking is not a part of this EV’s architecture. Explains motor trend.com’s Angus MacKenzie: “Lift off the accelerator, and the Taycan, which boasts a drag coefficient of just 0.22, coasts for a long, long time before speed starts to drop. Unlike many other EVs, it does not harvest kinetic energy and send it back to the battery the moment you lift off the accelerator. There is no "one-pedal" driving mode; all energy recuperation, up to 265 kW, is solely through braking. It's far more efficient, says Taycan vehicle line director Robert Meier, to use kinetic energy to keep the car rolling rather than attempt to capture it and send it back to the battery. As a result, the Taycan flows beautifully down the road, slowing only when the driver decides to brush the brake pedal. It's not only more efficient, but it's also much less tiring, as there's no need to keep constant pressure on the accelerator to keep moving at a constant speed.”
If fuel economy and real-world MPG are a concern, this may not be the right car for you, as previously noted. The EPA says a Taycan with its largest battery gets a 68 MPGe combined rating. The Tesla Model S gets an EPA combined rating of 117 MPGe. Taycan’s combined/city/highway rating is 68/67/68 MPGe. Not great, but one thing you’ll be happy to know: the 2021 Taycan qualifies for a Federal Tax Credit of $7,500, which knocks down its MSRP. And with a 79.2 kWh or 92.kWh battery, the 2021Taycan receives a California Clean Fuel Award Program rebate of $1,500.
Says motortrend.com reviewer Alex Leanse, “Porsche's electric future has arrived. The Taycan debuted for 2020, becoming the brand's first all-electric vehicle and heralding its vision for the coming years. The Taycan eradicates any stigma that EVs must be lozenge-shaped, dull-driving eco-machines. The sedan looks stunning and uses its batteries to lay down unreal performance. The Taycan provides a phenomenal driving experience quite unlike any other vehicle. Perhaps more importantly it represents a moment, one that helps revamp the image of electric vehicles from eco-machines to true sports cars. For enthusiasts, there could hardly be a better marque to lead that charge than Porsche.”
May 2021 Review
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