Porsche Taycan charges into the electric arena
New Taycan is sporty, chews no fossil fuels and will be hitting SA’s shores late in 2020
Porsche has entered an era of sporty electric mobility with the Taycan, a move company CEO Oliver Blume says marks both “evolution and revolution”.
At the reveal of the first all-electric Porsche in Berlin, Blume said it reflects an ethos where “exclusivity and social acceptance go hand in hand”.
Crucially, though, he is adamant it still follows the spirit of the brand — that “every Porsche has a soul”.
In the case of the Taycan, that soul is electric, comprising a motor on each axle and up to 560kW of power from the perfectly weighted bank of 396 battery cells beneath the floor. Interestingly, Porsche claims a maximum output from the pack of 620kW, so expect even more powerful versions to come. And less powerful ones too.
When deliveries start in SA late in 2020, there will be a Turbo version offering 500kW and a Turbo S with 560kW. Neither, of course, actually has a turbo, but Porsche says the name offers familiarity to its customers. It’s marketing, but think of it as fast and faster.
The Turbo will reportedly hit 100km/h in 3.2 seconds, but the Turbo S will achieve this in just 2.8 seconds, using its overboost function and full 1050Nm of torque, passing 200km/h seven seconds later. In a dig at Tesla, Porsche says you can do that over and over again, though it will affect range, with the Turbo able to travel up to 450km and the S up to 412km.
Crucially, though, you can add 100km of range in just five minutes, the time it takes to fill a petrol car, using one of the 270kW chargers Porsche SA will be installing at various points around the country. The Taycan leapfrogs the 350- and 375-volt architecture of Tesla’s Model 3 and Model S and ramps things up to 800 volts.
Importantly, the Taycan is not planned to replace the 911. The company is adamant that the 911 will always be its brand icon, and while there might be plans for electrification of its popular sports car, the Taycan is a new line altogether, sitting below the luxury Panamera.
It’s new, but there’s heritage in its design, such as the wide haunches, the sloping roofline and the distinctive lettering on the sculpted rear. It’s the same inside, where the wide, narrow, winged dashboard shows classic DNA but is brought into the modern age with infotainment and touchscreens. It’s connected with an infotainment system that responds to “Hey Porsche” and the car can receive over-the-air updates, including potential performance upgrades.
That’s all part of the Taycan’s character of being a modern sports coupe — one that can carry five people, four comfortably, while exploiting the potential of Porsche’s 4D Chassis Control dynamics system one moment and being an executive urban vehicle the next.
It’s all very tech, but at the same time is firmly centred around Porsche performance.
“E-mobility fits for a sports-car brand,” deputy chair of the executive board of Porsche, Lutz Meschke, told us. “It’s pure performance.”
He also said there will be more to come. Electrification of Porsche’s SUVs will be ramped up with the new Macan in 2022. It will sit on a brand-new SUV platform that will be shared with Audi.
For now, though, the focus is on the Taycan and the electric Cross Turismo, which will make its production debut in 2020. It’s been four years since the company unveiled the Mission E electric-vehicle concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show and Blume says that with the reveal of the production version of the Taycan, it’s now “mission completed”.