The Porsche Taycan, Goodbye Flat-Six Hello Pure Electricity
In many ways, the Porsche Taycan heralds the classic beginning of the end for Porsche… or does it? It is the first pure electric supercar from Porsche, more specifically the first 4-door all-electric coupe. The Taycan is a collaboration with electric vehicle specialist manufacturer Rimac, Porsche also happens to own 10 percent of the company. So the Taycan is a distillation of everything Rimac has learned. The Taycan’s exterior is classic Porsche, to some the design appears to have been influenced by the Panamera. To us, it looks more 911-ish, like a four-door 911 rather than a de-sized Panamera.
But anyway, appearance aside, the Taycan is the first step forward into embracing an electric car drivetrain from one of the established supercar manufacturers. The Taycan’s performance is every bit, Porsche. Disturbingly fast. First of all the name, Taycan is Turkish for “very lively horse”. Two synchronous electric motors provide power, one mounted at the front, the other at the rear.
Porsche vectoring technology controls all four wheels individually or just the rear wheels if so desired. The Taycan is available in two model derivatives, Turbo, and Turbo S. An odd choice considering it’s an electric vehicle that doesn’t have any turbos at all. It may be that Porsche is referring to the Taycan’s over-boost feature, which is kind of like a temporary “turbo”.
The Taycan Turbo is rated at having a maximum power of 616 bhp. The Turbo S is rated at 750bhp and 850Nm of torque. As expected the performance will be devasting, the Turbo covers the 0-62mph sprint in just 3.2 seconds, it takes the Tubo S 2.8 seconds.
Porsche reckons the Taycan Turbo will offer a combined range of between 236-279 miles, the Turbo S around 241-256 miles. Top speed for both is restricted to 162mph. Porsche developed a two-speed gearbox to allow for short sprint acceleration and for “maxing” it out at high speed.
The Taycan may be an exotic electric car but the construction technology still utilizes a combination of bonded steel and aluminum. The handling and ride technology adopts many features from the Panamera and 911, so you get Dynamic Chassis Control, etc.
However Porsche did develop a bespoke air suspension, it’s similar to adaptive suspension in that it lowers the Taycan at speed to effect a more efficient aerodynamic profile. And it also doubles as a lift system to mitigate those pesky speed bumps. The Taycan will also use a number of driver modes from comfort settings to dynamic modes.
The interior is also pure contemporary Porsche, leather metal premium materials. And it features no less than four screens. Although the fourth passenger screen is optional. Indeed, apart from the indicator stalks and the steering mounted mode dial switch it’s a pure touchscreen environment.
The biggest problem for current electric car technology is the weight of the batteries. And the Porsche Taycan suffers the burden of current EV battery technology weighing in at a combined total of 2.2 tonnes.
It will be many years, perhaps a decade, before a new generation of lighter, more powerful and longer-lasting batteries are developed. The Porsche Taycan Turbo will cost from £115,000, the Taycan Turbo S will cost from £138,000. First deliveries are expected in 2020.