Porsche Taycan - Our 2020 Overview

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    Jun 12, 2020, 2:19 pm1.1k ptsHotTop

    Porsche TaycanThe new Porsche Taycan is a real head turner, with some immediately rushing to proclaim it the best electric car -- on looks alone. It's a beautiful and sleek car, which is exactly what you would expect from Porsche's first pure EV.

    This isn't Porsche's first venture into electricity though, as its Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is often what enthusiasts pit against the Tesla Model S's Ludicrous Mode. Also, Porsche's Le Mans-winning 919 has used an 800V electrical power plant since 2011.

    Initial Thoughts of the Porsche Taycan

    Looks aside, this is also a performance EV, but would you expect anything different from Porsche? While many say they are trying to compete with Tesla, I believe Porsche wants to identify the Taycan as a performance EV. Why else would they push the Turbo version so heavily out of the gate?

    EV is all about being eco-friendly. Unlike a Tesla, which prides itself on simplicity, the Taycan still feels, looks and drives like a Porsche. The brand isn't trying to innovate a new category -- they are giving the Porsche family a competitive EV option.

    This could very well be the most popular four-door Porsche, especially the Turbo S model. From a dead stop, it reaches 60mph is approximately 2.6 seconds. The Taycan Turbo S comes with a hefty price tag, but that was expected.

    Porsche knew that its most loyal customer base (with money to burn) would come running to be the first to own this new model. More affordable options will come down the road, for sure. The EV market is quickly growing, and Porsche undoubtedly will want to make sure they capture a decent percentage of that market share.

    Taycan Turbo S Driving

    Explaining the Porsche Taycan's EV Powertrain

    Many are quickly announcing that the Taycan is just an EV version of the popular four-door Panamera model, but that is far from the truth. The Taycan is an entirely new car, which began its build on a new platform.

    The Taycan is actually slightly smaller than the Panamera. Why a new platform? Well, Porsche needed to figure out a way to engineer the floor to place the lithium ion batteries that power their new EV. Under the floor is a total of 93.4 kWh -- and this provides drivers with a decent range on a full charge.

    You can expect 280 miles in the Turbo model and 256 in the Turbo S. For comparison sake, the Tesla Model S, equipped with a 100 kWh battery, will get approximitley 335 miles from a single charge.

    Two electric motors power the Taycan, one front and one rear -- and they power all four wheels. The Turbo's rear motor features a two-speed tranny, which remains in second gear for the majority of the time. Lower speed and sport modes will typically activate the lower gear.

    The Turbo S model's main upgrades in performance are active rear steering and more powerful carbon-ceramic brakes attached to larger wheels. If we are being completely honest, the difference between the Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S are very minimal, especially when you consider the cost increase.

    porsche taycan interior dashboard

    Double the EV Voltage

    All Porsche Taycan models come with an 800V electrical system, which is double what most EVs are equipped with. Did you expect anything different? By doubling the voltage it allowed them to route the current through thinner cables -- the end result? A significant weight savings.

    Charge time is quick, taking just twenty minutes to go from near dead to an 80 percent battery charge using a standard 800V charger. It;s important to note that the Taycan will charge at 50 kW -- if you want a larger 150 kW capacity that will cost you. Yes, it's an option, and a petty one if we are being honest.

    They aren't alone, though, as most EV manufacturers make larger charging capabilities an upgrade option. It's kind of like making floor mats an option -- it just annoys the customer. Why wouldn't a manufacturer want to offer the best charging capacity standard? It would be a simple way to stand out from the other manufactures.

    Porsche Taycan's Road Performance

    The majority of initial test drive reports are positive. We have yet to read one that isn't happy with the Taycan's overall performance. Sure, the drive range might be slightly less than the popular Tesla Model S, but come on, it's a Porsche -- the performance factor is the tradeoff.

    Those lucky enough to get behind the wheel of the new Porsche Taycan say it delivers as promised. The biggest takeaway from the initial drive reports is that the Taycan drives and feels like a Porsche. This is something that diehard Porsche fans were most skeptical about coming in -- they were afraid that it would drive like an EV -- and not a Porsche.

    The driving position is no different than the other popular Porsche models and the interior, from legroom to controls and instruments, didn't change. The verdict? It's a Porsche, albeit one with an electric power plant.

    The "it drives like a Porsche" consensus is one that makes sense to owners of the brand -- steering is super responsive, push the pedal down and the acceleration acts accordingly to pressure, and the braking power is top notch. The performance characteristics that make a Porsche "a Porsche" were not sacrificed -- the Taycan inherited them all.

    Very few EVs offer this type of feel and performance, which alone will make the Taycan one of the most wildly popular all-electric models. EVs are notorious for being heavy, and the Taycan has some weight to it, but Porsche knows how to make heavy cars perform well. Just look at what they did with the Panamera.

    Porsche Taycan Turbo S review

    Air springs make the ride comfortable, and match that with Porsche's stability and performance, and you have a car that doesn't disappoint in the ride-comfort department. The only downside is that Porsche might have outdone themselves with the Taycan that they will draw all attention away from its other four-door offering; the Panamera.

    While it might take some time, as EVs gain in popularity and become more "the norm," there is little reason to opt for the Panamera over the Taycan -- there is no shortage of performance. Savings in fuel cost alone make the Taycan a more attractive option for those desiring a four-door Porsche.

    When more affordable Taycan's become available it could spell the decline of the Panamera. Old school gearheads are often critical of EVs and their performance potential. This could be the car that gives them a real taste of the potential when it comes to EVs.

    three porsche taycans charging battery

    Final Thoughts

    From acceleration and stopping performance to maneuverability, the Porsche Taycan feels like a sports car -- and one that you can take the kids to school in or do a grocery shopping run in. It's sleek, fast, offers great performance and handling -- with four doors.

    EVs are the future, whether you like it or not. Personally, we think it's great that Porsche is all-in on the performance side of the EV market. This will help ensure the brand remains iconic when it comes to performance and "feeling like a Porsche."

    The insight gained through the Taycan development over the next few years will undoubtedly benefit the other model's transition to EV options. Will there be a 911 EV or a Boxster EV down the road? Only time will tell.

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