autoevolution

rating:

  • Overall: 4.5/5

2020 Porsche Taycan

Key Specs
USEU
Cylinders
-
Displacement
-
Power
459.7(625)/- KW(hp)/RPM
Torque
774.4/- lb-ft/RPM
Fuel System
Electric
Fuel
Electric
Top Speed
162 mph
Acceleration 0-62 Mph
2.7 s
Drive Type
All Wheel Drive
Gearbox
2-speed automatic
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Ventilated Discs
Tire Size
265/35 ZR 21 101Y XL // 305/30 ZR 21 104Y XL
Unladen Weight
5060 lbs
Gross Weight Limit
-
Length
195.4 in
Width
77.4 in
Height
54.3 in
Front/rear Track
66.5/65.2 in
Wheelbase
114.2 in
Ground Clearance
-
Cargo Volume
12.9 cuFT
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.22
City
-
Highway
-
Combined
-
CO2 Emissions
-
Power pack
-
Nominal Capacity
93.4 kWh
Maximum Capacity
-
Charger type
-
Charging time (normal)
-
Charging time (quick)
-
Range
242 miles
Cylinders
-
Displacement
-
Power
459.7(625)/- KW(hp)/RPM
Torque
1050/- Nm/RPM
Fuel System
Electric
Fuel
Electric
Top Speed
261 km/h
Acceleration 0-62 Mph
2.7 s
Drive Type
All Wheel Drive
Gearbox
2-speed automatic
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Ventilated Discs
Tire Size
265/35 ZR 21 101Y XL // 305/30 ZR 21 104Y XL
Unladen Weight
2295 kg
Gross Weight Limit
-
Length
4963 mm
Width
1966 mm
Height
1379 mm
Front/rear Track
1,689/1,656 mm
Wheelbase
2901 mm
Ground Clearance
-
Cargo Volume
365 L
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.22
City
-
Highway
-
Combined
-
CO2 Emissions
-
Power pack
-
Nominal Capacity
93.4 kWh
Maximum Capacity
-
Charger type
-
Charging time (normal)
-
Charging time (quick)
-
Range
389.5 km
Car video reviews:
 

Driven: Porsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test

Five minutes into the experience, I'm riding on the stratospheric grip limits of the Taycan. The Porsche driving instructor in the Taycan just ahead of me, which is leaping out of the apex, can't seem to get away. And, having been out of the performance seat for months, I can assure you it only means one thing: this Porsche of EVs is a go-fast machine like no other.
Porsche Taycan Turbo S Drifting 117 photos
Porsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan (4S, Turbo, Turbo S) Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan Track Test on HockenheimringPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan 4S open roadPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interiorPorsche Taycan interior
Earlier this month, the automaker invited us to the Porsche Experience Center Hockenheimring in Germany, the track within a track that was inaugurated last year. In most areas, the Porsche Taycan's performance is unbelievably easy to extract (we'll dive into this soon) and you'll find a little demo in the video below.

The complete 2020 Taycan lineup was present at the event, so before heading out onto the circuit in the Turbo S range-topper and the rest of the lot, I completed a 2.5-hour drive on the roads of Germany, albeit choosing the 4S for this part of the experience.

With 530 or 571 PS on tap (depending on the chosen battery pack), we can't really call the Taycan 4S an entry-level model - note that the said electric muscle figures are for the overboost feature, while the normal driving mode will see the vehicles delivering 435 and 490 PS, respectively.

Sliding into the driver's seat, which isn't all that easy, will bring a mix of familiarity and quirkiness. The driving position is surprisingly close to that of the 911, so you always feel you're in perfect control without even trying.

However, since this is a performance car, you might be surprised to see that the electric razor-style gear lever of the rear-engined sportscar has migrated from the center console to the dashboard, sitting where the ignition switch/engine start button would be in a car that's not a Porsche.

With the exception of certain info displayed on the sides of the digital instrument cluster, which can be blocked out by the steering wheel, the ergonomics are top-notch. And now that displays cover more real estate than ever before, the typical feeling of understated luxury that defines Porsche cabins has been taken straight into the future.

This digital update is not without its price, though - until a few years ago, Porsche used to offer a one-button-for-each-feature approach and while some drivers had trouble coping with the multitude of controls, such a setup offers a great advantage, as using any feature while on the move can easily become an instinct.

In the Taycan, you even have to rely on the touchscreen for setting up the temperature or changing the air vent configuration (the vents can't be hand-adjusted anymore), albeit with the haptic feedback of the displays ensuring you can do this without taking your eyes off the road.

Since the Taycan is no exception to Porsche's seemingly infinite list of optional extras, you'll notice various choose/skip recommendations throughout this article. So, as far as the interior is concerned, the features belonging to the first category involve: the fixed panoramic glass roof (also improves the rear headroom), as well as the thermally and noise insulated glass (at least if you plan on constantly driving at high speeds).

When it comes to some items you can leave out, these involve the 10.9-inch passenger touchscreen display (the identical central unit is sufficient) and, if you're willing to keep that final price below certain limits, the Burmester high-end audio system (the Bose, an option that's almost six times more affordable, offers a respectable aural experience).

Speaking of choices Porsche has made, the carmaker decided not to deliver a one-pedal driving experience. So, don't expect massive regenerative braking when lifting off the gas, even though there's a setting for this. You'll have to drive the Taycan as if it were a conventional car, touching the pedal on the left for deceleration.

Nevertheless, the regenerative brakes of the Taycan work just fine, with the official claim that these cover 90% of the road driving scenarios having been proven during my drive on the street.

The two-speed gearbox used for the rear axle? You'll easily notice its acceleration and efficiency benefits out on the road. And, once you get used to the hardware, it still allows you to enjoy the linearity of an electric car's acceleration, a trait that can evolve from a convenience to a safety aspect when you're overtaking.

I just wish the Taycan would display the gear in use, since this isn't always easy to tell (in theory, the shift takes place at 60 mph/96 kph, but this can vary in the real world).

Under normal driving conditions, both the Taycan Turbo and the Turbo S deliver 625 PS, but the overboost means you'll see the first jumping to 680 PS, a match for the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, while the latter will go all the way to 761 PS. As for the torque, the Turbo S delivers a monumental 1,050 Nm (774 lb-ft), with the Turbo sitting at a still-impressive 850 Nm (627 lb-ft).

Now, back to that Turbo S sprinting on the circuit. Given the 5,100 lbs (2,300 kg) scale footprint of this vehicle, you hit the track with, um, certain expectations.

Sure, the Panamera, which is similar in terms of weight and close as far as the size goes, has tought us that the German carmaker's adaptive performance hardware can work wonders. I'm talking goodies such as the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (active anti-roll bars), the Rear-Axle Steering and the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (power distribution).

Well, while obviously available with the said features (make sure to grab those options, as well as the Sport Chrono package, which is only standard on the Turbo S), the EV is noticeably more composed in any type of corner - as you can imagine, a modern-day track designed by Porsche, a company that's been popping champagne on the podium for 70 years, involves all sorts of bends and elevation changes, while the main straight allows you to hit around 126 mph/200 kph.

The aspect that deserves the most credit for the handling superiority of the Taycan is obviously the battery-in-the-floor layout. However, this long-roof Porsche also owes a lot to the instant torque of its two electric motors, with the one powering the rear axle featuring an electronically-controlled limited slip differential (the said PTV Plus). This is optional on the 4S, a box that should be ticked when configuring the car.

In addition, the German engineers have set up the vehicle in a way that inspires confidence and forgives many, many driving errors. So, this thing is not just impressive for its size, it's amazing. Period.

As with any Porsche, pulling the Launch Control trick is effortless: you switch to the Sport Plus mode, hold the brake with the left foot, flor the accelerator with your right one and the release the brake. After 2.4 seconds of your neck fighting the inertia in the Turbo S, you'll be at 60 mph (96 kph).

Well, as mentioned above, cornering uber-hard can be just as easy in the Taycan. At the same time, the super-sized brakes have absolutely no issue in dealing with the hefty mass of the vehicle.

Speaking of which, you don't really need the expensive Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, even for track driving - the automaker has previously explained that the extreme heat cycles involved by this sort of use will dramatically shorten the life span of the said hardware and thus recommends its considerably less costly steel brakes for such a scenario.

As for sustained performance driving, at least without the physical condition of an athlete, your body will show signs of fatigue well before you feel the performance diminishing due to the battery level decreasing - together with the faster charging, this is one of the advantages offered by the 800V architecture of the vehicle (most EVs on the market today, Teslas included, feature a 400V setup).

However, the first thing you'll experience after a number of hot laps will be... the need for some extra spice. Just like its steering, the Taycan Turbo S is precise and even talkative at times, but never fully delivers the drama one expects when entering maximum attack mode.

As such, the sweet spot of the range seems to be the 4S. With an MSRP of $103,800/EUR103,802, this is considerably easier on the wallet than the $150,900/EUR149,158 Turbo and the $185,000/EUR181,163 Turbo S  (while the American Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices exclude taxes and delivery fees, the German market prices include 19% VAT).

For instance, during the said 4S drive on the street, which took me from splendid back roads, where the hefty width of the car was easily noticeable, to a no-speed-limit section of the famous Autobahn, I never felt the need for extra power.  In fact, sustaining the 155 mph/250 kph maximum velocity was done without breaking a sweat, with the vehicle being incredibly easy to operate and feeling fully planted at such speeds.

However, it's worth mentioning the tested model packed the optional Performance Battery Plus - this is recommended not just for increasing the overboost output of the vehicle, but also thanks to seeing the maximum charging power jumping from 225 kW to 270 kW, a value shared with the Turbo models.

Of course, after having experienced all three derivatives on the track, it was clear that the 4S can't match the muscle of its bigger brothers. But, if you're looking to spend time on the circuit, you'll probably be better off with a car whose engine growl keeps you fully immersed, such as the brand new Panamera Turbo S.

Then again, there will always be certain buyers who, despite steering clear of circuit driving, take great pleasure in the total road dominance potential of the Taycan Turbo (S).

Since we're talking decibels, I have to mention the Porsche Electric Sport Sound is a must, despite the fact that, with the exception of the Turbo S, getting this means you'll basically have to pay for an audio file. To my surprise, the amplified Taycan electric motor sound was the first car speaker-played aural experience of the sort that my brain didn't reject.

More importantly, the Electric Sport Sound provides a sense of speed that will help your driving license stay in your pocket when driving on the road, while delivering a welcome bit of feedback on the track.

Now, as easy as the Taycan is to drive fast, this doesn't apply to drifting. Porsche's Hockenheimring Experience Center allowed me to go sideways on low-grip surfaces that, when wet, feel a bit like ice.

The instant torque and the high rpm of the electric powertrain spin the wheels like nothing else, so you have to be extra gentle with the accelerator. As such, getting used to the car takes more than in the case of an internal combustion vehicle.

Then there's the way in which the car constantly adjusted the power delivery front-to-back. This told me that the Taycan wasn't necessarily prepared for straightforward sliding, where a setup that would be less efficient (under normal driving conditions), but more predictable, might help.

Of course, the experience reminded me of the time when I ended up drifting a Tesla Model S. That was back in 2014, when the RWD P85 model was still around, with the rate at which the car converted its rear tires into smoke being unforgettable. So, let's move on to a fair comparison, shall we?

Teslas have come a long way since their introduction in 2012 and the American automaker deserves credit for having set foot in the arena so early. Even so, the latest Model S Performance on the street (think: Raven) still feels less pleasing to drive the harder you push it. The Tesla also loses the quarter-mile sprint to the Taycan Turbo S, despite being slightly less heavy and more powerful (the two-speed tranny of the Porscha is the secret here).

The driving range? Tesla has a clear advantage, but, even if I haven't had the possibility to properly test this aspect of the Porsche (no numbers, then), I can tell you the Taycan's real-world range, coupled with its superior charging speed, mean this is not a problem for the German model. Of course, the charging infrastructure is of great importance here, but this is another story for another time.

Then again, the Model S is more spacious than the Taycan, while being considerably less expensive, which obviously means the world to a part of the buyers. In fact, pricing is the key here: the through and through premium experience of the Porsche seems to place this in a class of its own when it comes to the buying decision of certain customers.

Keep in mind that Porsche recently ramped up production of the Taycan following high demand, with this currently sitting at 40,000 units per year and determining the automaker to push back the introduction of the Taycan 's Wagon version, which is now scheduled to land next year. And while Taycan sales in North America are slightly slower, the model is enjoying plenty of success in Europe: with 1,183 units delivered last month, it became Porsche's second-best-selling vehicle (behind the Cayenne), accounting for almost a quarter of the automaker's Old Continent operations.

To that end, Lucid Motors' Air, which is set to unleash up to 1,080 hp starting from next year, might be more of a competitor for the also-coming-in-2021 Tesla Model S Plaid, an 1,100 hp model - keep in mind these are both tri-motor machines that, among others, promise track dominance.

It's also worth mentioning that while Lucid is the company that supplies the battery packs for Formula E (the cells come from Sony/Murata), where Porsche is a competitor, the Zuffenhausen automaker currently holds a 15.5% stake in Croatian hypercar manufacturer Rimac.

Returning to the Taycan, Porsche's first modern EV (as opposed to the Lohner-Porsche Electromobile of the year 1900) is a vehicle that will swallow lap after lap, generously offering its tremendous performance even to less experienced drivers, with the same ease it will eat up the miles of a long road trip.

The lack of an internal combustion engine is obviously a massive challenge to those who prefer their cars on the emotional side. And the GT that is the Porsche Taycan provides the best solution on the market, at least on this side of the quarter-million-dollar budget.Star What?
As the Porschepiles and sci-fi fans among you remember, Porsche has become involved with the Star Wars franchise, having designed the Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter ship that was displayed at the 2019 world premiere of the Rise of Skywalker movie (not in the motion picture, though) - we even went as far as "dressing up" the ship in traditional Porsche racing liveries.

Nevertheless, the Taycan, be it a Turbo or not, seems much closer to the Star Trek universe, particularly to The Next Generation series that originally aired 33 years ago, almost to the day.

Like the USS Enterprise, this Porsche disguises its weight and size to the point where it appears to defy the laws of physics. And the similarities keep showing up, from the ability to cover long distances in great comfort and with remarkable warp speed, to the graphical user interface resemblance between the car's instrument cluster and the ship's control screens displaying the LCARS (Library Computer Access/Retrieval System) operating system.

Oh, and please keep in mind that while Captain Picard and his crew used turbolifts that didn't have any turbochargers, nobody seemed to complain about it.

 
 
 
 
 

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