Sports EVs leap off the line and have tremendous torque, but the Porsche Taycan Turbo S is something else
The German car makers are all very serious about the need to lower the emissions of greenhouse gases, so are working hard on reducing them by designing electric vehicles. As a high-performance marque Porsche is one of the leaders in the field.
Hence the introduction of the all-electric Taycan high-performance sedan – yes sedan, this is a four-door family car, not a two-door coupe.
Porsche tells us the name Taycan is composed of two terms of Turkic origin and can be roughly translated as “soul of a spirited young horse”. Porsche tells us its first fully-electric model will be “lively, impetuous, vigorous, light-footed on long stretches without tiring, and free-spirited”.
OK, this may sound like a bit of over-blown waffle to we down-to-earth Aussies, but once we drove it, we did tend to agree with the way the Porsche Taycan felt. See our comments on this in the Driving segment of this report.
The Taycan looks slightly odd at the front to my eyes, with its slightly bulbous “bonnet” and the vertical lines beside the headlights. Beauty is of course in the eyes of the beholder and others may love it.
I reckon the rear is much better from a styling point of view, with a swooping coupe-like tail and a large black sunroof which merges beautifully with the black glass of the rear window.
There’s a very wide dash array, with three screens. The one in front of the driver is large and contains plenty of information on the Taycan’s state of play. The centre screen gives access to numerous features, including speed, current power consumption, distance to empty, navigation and temperature control.
The left screen is in front of the passenger and lets them keep an eye on the map to assist with navigation.
There more space inside than you might expect, partly due to the fact that it’s almost five metres long. There’s seating for four and those in the back won’t have to ask those in front of them to give up any of their space. However, tall people in the back might brush against the roof.
The front seats are heated and cooled and are nicely shaped to support without being too aggressive.
A 14-speaker Bose audio provides excellent output and we found it easy to adjust it to our preferences.
There are two electric motors — one at the front the other at the rear. The front has a 175kW/400Nm on the Turbo S, the rear provides up to 335kW and 550Nm when it’s over boosted to give even more grunt.
The range of the Turbo S is rated as 390km to 416km by Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure.
A strong selling point for the Taycan in Australia is that it comes with a free three-year Chargefox subscription.
Porsche Taycan was awarded a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP in 2019.
We have always enjoyed the way electric powered vehicles leap off the line and have tremendous torque — but the Taycan is something else again. Zero to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds!
The first time I did it my head was thumped back into the headrest and my neck felt strained. I didn’t make that mistake again, making sure it was against the headrest — thereby avoiding the neck strain and enjoying to the full the dragster-like performance.
Back when I was a young fella road testing high-performance cars in the 1970s anything under six seconds to 60mph (97 km/h) and quicker than 15 seconds for the quarter mile was the goal. And that needed a large, hot V8.
This electric Porsche is well under three seconds to 100 km/h, and single figures for the quarter mile. How times have changed.
On the road Taycan has clever electronics to assist cornering by feeding just the right torque front and rear and side to side. You can feel it happening but we didn’t have access to a race track to test it to the limits. Maybe some other time …
Comfort is good for a high-performance car and keep in mind that this is a four-door sedan not a two-door sports coupe. On some surfaces there is a fair bit of tyre noise, on others it’s as peaceful as any upmarket mid-size luxury vehicle.
THE FIRST PORSCHE ELECTRIC CAR
The Taycan isn’t the first Porsche electric car. In 1898 Ferdinand Porsche designed the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton. The vehicle was powered by an octagonal electric motor with three to five horsepower. It had a top speed of 25 km/h.
AT A GLANCE
- Taycan RWD sedan: $156,300
- Taycan 4S AWD sedan: $194,700
- Taycan Turbo AWD sedan: $276,300
- Taycan Turbo S AWD sedan: $345,800
- Taycan Cross 4 Turismo: $176,600
- Taycan Cross 4S Turismo: $205,300
- Taycan Cross Turbo Turismo: $279,000
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Porsche dealer for drive-away prices.
Specifications (Porsche Taycan electric four-door sedan)
- Capacity: Not applicable
- Configuration: Not applicable
- Maximum Power: 560 kW
- Maximum Torque: 1050 Nm
- Fuel Type: Not applicable
- Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): L/100km
- CO2 Emissions: g/km
- Two-speed automatic
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
- Length: 4963 mm
- Wheelbase: 2900 mm
- Width: 1966 mm
- Height: 1378 mm
- Turning Circle: Not supplied
- Kerb Mass: 2295 kg
- Fuel Tank Capacity: Not applicable litres
- Front: Ventilated disc
- Rear: Ventilated disc
- Three years / unlimited kilometres
- Looks: 7/10
- Performance: 10/10
- Safety: 9/10
- Thirst : 6/10 *
- Practicality: 8/10
- Comfort: 8/10
- Tech: 9/10
- Value: 7/10
* Note that we have rated Thirst low because its range is well under that of a conventional car.
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