Did Porsche Just Lie About the 2022 Taycan’s Range Being Better?

2022 Porsche Taycan 1 photo
Photo: Porsche AG
I’m not exactly a Porsche purist, but the small(ish) sports carmaker is one of my favorite brands out there, whether we’re talking cars or any other products.
That said, I must admit that I was a bit on the wrong side of the fence when Porsche decided to jump on the SUV bandwagon with the Cayenne, but keep in mind that most people were seeing Zuffenhausen’s first high-bodied vehicle as pure blasphemy back then.

History itself and a handful of test drives with what is arguably still the most complete SUV on the planet in Turbo or Turbo S spec, proved me and everyone else wrong.

SUVs and especially luxurious or super sports ones seemed like a passing fad at the time, with most naysayers being obviously on the traditional (and wrong) side of things.

The Cayenne not only proved every critic wrong but has also spawned the smaller Macan, which side-kicked it in becoming the hottest-selling products out of Zuffenhausen, even though the Cayenne is actually assembled in Leipzig.

A short while later we were greeted by the somewhat unattractive first-generation of the Panamera, which was again an answer to a question not many people asked. Off to a somewhat rough start, the Panny again proved every critic wrong with its second iteration, also spawning a gorgeous and just as unnecessary Sport Turismo shooting brake version.

With Porsche’s first ever-modern EV here (remember, Ferdinand was developing EVs and Hybrids over a century ago), I couldn’t help but let those doubts emerge once again, but this time it was only related to Porsche’s marketing that surrounded the Taycan in the beginning.

Things like ‘billions poured into the platform and the establishment of a new factory’ for a car that is not only niche, but shares close to nothing on the technical side with any other Porsche, made me seriously doubt its success.

With around 40,000 units built and sold in its first full year of production, the Taycan has also proved me wrong, so it was probably the last time when I doubted anything Porsche says in its press releases.

Actually, strike that, because Porsche just made a huge statement surrounding the refreshed 2022 Taycan that nobody saw coming, and upon closer inspection it looks like a downright lie, crammed with other truthful claims in a cutesy press release. Or is it?

Not technically a mid-cycle facelift but a thorough update for the Taycan and the Taycan Cross Turismo range, the refresh includes a bunch of new exterior colors, with an extra 65 of them available, the integration of Android Auto in the infotainment system and a peculiar note about the range of the models.

While both the title of the press release and the text itself mention improved real world range, Porsche goes on to say that neither Taycan version will be homologated separately.

In other words, the WLTP range values will remain identical to the ones before (up to 484 km or 300 miles).

There haven’t been any technical updates to the battery or the efficiency of the two electric motors, but new software will apparently make things better.

According to Porsche, in “Normal and Range modes, the front electric motor is almost completely decoupled and de-energised in the partial load range in the all-wheel drive models. Furthermore, no drive is transmitted to either axle when the car is coasting or at a standstill. This electric freewheel function reduces drag losses. The motors are switched on again within milliseconds only when the driver requests more power or changes the driving mode.”

On top of it, the carmaker has also included a ‘Turbo Charging Planner’ software for the Taycan, which can pre-heat the battery to a slightly higher temperature than before, meaning that fast charging can be made possible earlier and at a higher charge level.

These are all great things, and definitely worthy of mentioning, but if they actually improve the real world range of the car, shouldn’t it be re-homologated so that the official numbers reflect that?

Isn’t that how things work?

The ‘Worldwide harmonized Light-duty vehicles Test Procedure’ (WLTP) applies to the type approval of new passenger cars across Europe since September 1, 2017. It consists of a revamped driving profile on test benches and more precise conditions for the tests, intended to result in more realistic energy consumption and range data.

In other words, WLTP figures are the closest thing to ‘real world range numbers’ and are standardized for every carmaker, thus requiring homologation.

To me, by saying that the 2022 Taycan lineup has improved real world range, Porsche is either disputing WLTP’s power as a standardized test or lying in its press release, and I’m more inclined to go for the second option.

The Taycan is an awesome car whether you’re an EV aficionado or not, even though it has fallen short of delivering an energy efficiency that’s even close to what Tesla is providing, not to mention all the other upcoming luxury EVs like the Mercedes-Benz EQS or the Lucid Air.

It doesn’t need pretty lies to keep its momentum going, but actual technical updates for its electric motors or battery, which may not come until the second generation of the car hits the market, if then.

Sure, the 800V electrical system is state-of-the-art, and the Taycan’s design is gorgeous, but people who buy 100+ grand Porsches that can hit 60 in under 3 seconds probably want to also enjoy them for at least as long as they enjoy their 911s.

To put things into perspective, let’s compare a 911 Turbo S (992)’s WLTP range, which is 558 km (347 miles) to that of the most efficient Taycan known to man, and the electric sports sedan loses by 74 km (46 miles). Should I mention that the Taycan Turbo S only has a WLTP range of around 400 km (248 miles)?

Maybe I should start to doubt things Porsche says in the future as well...
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Editor's note: We got in touch with Porsche, who were obviously not pleased with the above headline, and I decided to edit it and write another opinion piece on the subject. It should spread further light on the matter, as things aren't as grim as I made them look above.

About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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