There’s no mincing words: the Porsche Taycan is Stuttgart’s battery-powered shot at Tesla and the high-end EV segment.
It isn’t the first big four-door car in the lineup — there’s the similarly-sized Porsche Panamera — but the Taycan is an all-electric option. It occupies much the same market as its traditionally-powered sibling, starting in the six-figure price range and only going up from there. It’s an altogether different proposition however, with a bigger focus on tech and the instant-on accessibility of prodigious electric power.
The Taycan is brand new for 2020. No matter the trim level it comes with four-wheel drive, with a motor for each axle. The Taycan uses a novel dual-transmission setup, with a single-speed gearbox up front and a two-speed item in the back. This aids acceleration, which is nothing short of rapid: even the base 4S does 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds. Plump for the top-spec Turbo S and you’re looking at 2.6 seconds — longer than it’ll take to read this sentence.
Charging can be sports-car-speedy too, though that’s very much based on where you plug the Taycan in. The 800-volt electrical architecture allows for quick additions, like 62 miles for five minutes of charging. Porsche says the battery can be topped up from five to 80 percent in 22.5 minutes on the fastest DC chargers.
Leading Porsche’s push into the EV market, the Taycan understandably majors on tech. The interior features no less than three screens, two of which are center console infotainment items. Buyers can even option a fourth for the front passenger. Standard features include adaptive air suspension, forward collision warning with emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and Apple CarPlay.
The brand-new, 2020 Porsche Taycan debuted at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, with production set to happen in Porsche’s hometown of Stuttgart.
Pros/ EV clean driving with Porsche driving dynamics / Fast charging / Lots of tech
Cons/ Pricey / In top-end Turbo S guise, very pricey
Bottom Line/ Sports car looks demand a sports car price, but the Taycan delivers with strong EV performance and a classy interior.
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Porsche Taycan Range and Charging
The 2020 Porsche Taycan is set to hit at least 250 miles between charges. Just like classic dino-juice-powered cars however, moving up the trim levels tends to shorten the available range.
Starting at the cheaper end of the lineup, the Taycan 4S boasts an estimated 253-mile range from its 79.2kWh battery. Upgrade to the Performance Plus battery (93.4kWh) and that stretches to 288 miles between plugging in.
The mid-range Taycan Turbo only comes with the Performance Plus battery. Its extra horsepower over the 4S puts a slight dent in the range, coming in at 280 miles. Meanwhile the top-shelf Turbo S goes shorter still, maxing out at 256 miles.
Note that all of these figures are based on the European WLTP test cycle. North American numbers may vary.
Porsche has made a big deal about the Taycan being the first production electric car to use 800-volt architecture. Using DC fast charging can add 62 miles of range in only five minutes, and a 5% battery can go to 80% in 22.5 minutes. The 270kW charging stations needed to hit these figures are still rare however. The Taycan also uses AC charging for more traditional overnight home use.
Porsche Taycan Performance
This being a Porsche, it should come as little surprise that the Taycan sits on the sportier side of the EV equation.
Even the base model, the Taycan 4S, counts 522 electric ponies in its stable, and can click off the 0-60mph dash in 3.8 seconds. That’s with either the default battery or the Performance Plus option, though the latter bumps output to 562hp.
The Turbo models shift faster still. Both operate with 616hp under normal conditions, but can thrown down 670hp (Turbo) and 750hp (Turbo S) thanks to Overboost Power with Launch Control. The run to 60mph correspondingly drops, to 3.0 and 2.6 seconds, respectively.
Straight line performance isn’t all the Porsche Taycan is about either. Like most fresh-sheet EV designs it houses its batteries down low, in a skateboard-like pack. This gives it a commendably low center of gravity. That should translate to sure-footed, entertaining handling.
Porsche Taycan Features
The Porsche Taycan will arrive with a long list of standard and optional features. As mentioned above, every example of the four-door features three digital screens. The large, 16.8-inch instrument cluster is a modern riff on classic Porsche design, allowing drivers to customize the info that appears behind the wheel. Center stage goes to a duo of screens. The 10.9-inch item up top deals with most features, while a smaller 8.4-inch screen is used for climate control. The lower screen also features haptic feedback and handwriting recognition.
Buyers can spec two more screens: one for front-seat passengers, and one for the second row with the optional four-zone climate control. That’s a whole lot of glass. If you’d rather talk to your car, the Taycan responds to “Hey Porsche”. It also supports Apple CarPlay, including direct Apple Music support. Sorry Android users, the Taycan doesn’t support the Google option.
Standard safety features include forward-collision warning, lane-keep assist, and automated emergency braking. Buyers can spec more on top of this, like blind-spot monitors or parking sensors. There are two levels of adaptive cruise control: the standard item and what Porsche calls InnoDrive. This works with the navigation to slow for corners or upcoming turns during directions.
Porsche Taycan Pricing
There’s no getting around it: in any form, the Porsche Taycan is a six-figure car.
The range starts just a hair over that barrier, at $103,800 (before destination) for the Taycan 4S. That bags buyers a 522hp four-seater, with the upgrade to the 562hp Performance Plus battery demanding a $7,000 premium.
Moving up to the Turbo is an even bigger jump, with price of entry coming in at $150,900. This does include the 93.2kWh Performance Plus battery as standard, and up to 670hp during Launch Control mode.
Top of the pile — at least for now — is the Turbo S. This 750hp electric range-topper asks for a nice even $185,000 of your hard-earned. That’s a lot of cash, but in this rarified air buyers tend to let their heart decide as much as their head. In that sense the Taycan is a very unique entry in the field.
Porsche Taycan Competitors
What else will tempt potential Porsche Taycan buyers away from the brand’s first EV?
Well, we can’t ignore the Tesla Model S. Despite its age, the Model S is still the standard bearer of EVs. Tesla has simplified the model range over the years, with both current models — the Long Range and the Performance — coming in well under the price of even the lowest Taycan trim. The Model S holds a slight edge in terms of straight-line performance and range, but the Porsche counters with a more premium-feeling interior and a sportier drive.
If you don’t want to give up gasoline quite yet, the Taycan 4S finds itself right in the thick of luxury sedan territory. This price will net you a V8-powered limo from BMW, Audi, or Mercedes, all with at least 400hp or more under the hood.
But perhaps the closest competition for the Taycan is its own sibling, the Porsche Panamera. The Panamera range starts at $87,200, whereas the 4 E-Hybrid model has an identical list price to the Taycan 4S. It’s a different sort of proposition, with a combined 457hp from its turbo V6 and battery, plus the ability to run up to 31 miles on pure electricity. On the other end of the scale the Panamera can be had in full-fat, 680hp Turbo S E-Hybrid form for the princely sum of $187,700.
|Engine /||Twin electric drive motors (front/rear)|
|Horsepower /||522hp (4S), 562hp (4S w/ Performance Plus), 670hp (Turbo), 750hp (Turbo S)|
|Torque /||472lb-ft (4S), 672lb-ft (Turbo), 774lb-ft (Turbo S)|
|Transmission /||1-spd front axle, 2-spd rear axle|
|Seating Capacity /||4|
|Cargo Capacity /||17.1 cu ft|