Porsche updates its four-door electric sports car with more efficient charging … and on-demand, subscription-based options.
We like the Porsche Taycan. We warmed to the 4S model on its Arctic Circle launch last year. At the end of a week with a Turbo recently, we still found it impressive (full review next week). Yet even though Porsche’s first EV hasn’t even been on sale a full year, the German brand announced Wednesday that the 2021 model would gain a few small, but appreciated, upgrades.
One thing Porsche hasn’t fiddled with is the Taycan’s outputs. Under the skin it’s still the same rapid electron-powered sled as before. However, those crafty engineers have made Launch Control even more efficient, chopping two tenths from the top-dog Turbo S’ 0–124 mph sprint, now at 9.6 seconds. The quarter-mile time is a tenth better as well, now stopping the clock at 10.7 seconds.
Porsche has made changes to the optional Porsche Surface Coated Brakes (PSCB) for 2021. The discs themselves are 0.2 inches smaller, yet still enormous at 16.1 inches across. The front calipers are now six-piston affairs, down from 10. Porsche promises braking distance and feel are unaffected, however.
Up first are changes to the Taycan’s charging process, which becomes both easier and more efficient for 2021. The new Plug & Charge feature skips over the whole card-and-details payment process with current charging stations. Instead, drivers merely need to plug the car in and then it handles the authentication itself, securely. Electrify America, which has an existing partnership with Porsche for three years’ free 30-minute charging with the Taycan, promises “many” of its stations will be P&C-compatible by the start of 2021.
2021 Taycan owners will now also have the option to slow down that charge if they want. Throttling the recharge down to around 200 kW (versus the 270 kW max) prolongs battery life, according to Porsche. Other markets will also gain the option of a 22 kW onboard charger.
Subscription options available
On the tech front, a new full-color head-up display joins the long list of options. It features three distinct sections, allowing users to tailor the info to their preferences. Smartlift also arrives on models with the adaptive air suspension: it ties the nose-lift system with the navigation, so that drivers can set specific locations for the Taycan to raise automatically.
A more contentious feature here in the AutoGuide.com halls is what Porsche is calling Function on Demand. This offers over-the-air updates to make software-based features available as subscription purchases. BMW announced its own intentions of including a similar service last month, but it seems Stuttgart is already there.
For what it’s worth, Porsche has said that the available options—which include Porsche Intelligent Range Manager, Power Steering Plus, Active Lane Keep Assist, and Porsche InnoDrive—can still be one-time purchases as usual. Porsche USA didn’t provide pricing for these options, though the EU release lists monthly pricing between 10.72 and 19.50 Euros. The one-time stickers range from 320.71 to 808.10 Euros.
New hues inside and out
Porsche is adding a total of 12 new color options to the Taycan lineup for 2021: seven exterior, five interior. The full list of exterior hues include the following:
- Mahogany Metallic
- Frozenberry Metallic
- Cherry Metallic
- Coffee Beige Metallic
- Neptune Blue
- Ice Grey Metallic
Naturally, we implore anybody reading this, with the necessary scratch, to dip their shiny new Taycan in Frozenberry.
The interior options are slightly less adventurous, with variations on black, grey, brown and blue. The Carbon Sport Design package, previously exclusive to the Turbo S, will now be available on all trims.
US deliveries will start before the end of the year. While Porsche USA hasn’t listed the new prices yet, Porsche Canada has: $120,500 (Taycan 4S), $175,000 (Turbo), $215,000 (Turbo S), all increases of $1,100 over 2020 models. We expect a similar increase in America.
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