To the untrained eye, the Porsche Taycan might look like nothing more than a Porsche sports car we’ve all seen, just with a modern automotive design. But make no mistake, this vehicle brings a new era to the Porsche name.
The Porsche Taycan is the first fully battery-electric vehicle from the performance automaker, and it breaks down barriers left and right. Not only does the outside appearance provide a sleek and aggressive take while still being characteristically Porsche, but it is also bringing performance to new heights.
This article covers everything you need to know about the Porsche Taycan. We’ll review the model’s unique history and development, provide coverage of the different offerings and their performance, plus the incredible features and available options.
Introduction of the Porsche Taycan
Porsche unveiled the Mission E concept car at the 2015 International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany. It was the first public showing of Porsche’s drive toward an all-electric vehicle, and fans went wild over it.
But they had to remain patient.
Years of additional research, design and development continued before the public saw another hint of an electric production model.
And then in 2018, Porsche unveiled a teaser of their all-new electric offering, the Porsche Taycan, with photos and video of a camouflage-laden vehicle zipping around.
Finally, on September 4, 2019, Porsche was ready to fully unveil the production Porsche Taycan. Taking place on three continents in the countries of Germany, China, and Canada, the German car company debuted the all-electric Porsche Taycan for the first time.
The Taycan name stems from two terms of Turkic origin. “Tay” roughly translates to “spirited young horse,” while “can” roughly translates to “soul.” As a result, the Porsche Taycan is supposed to represent the soul of a spirited young horse.
Porsche felt that was the perfect description for this revolutionary vehicle and took this name to heart.
Shortly after debuting the vehicle, the Taycan demonstrated its soulful young horse attitude by going onboard the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Hornet, where it accelerated to 145 km/h (90 mph) and back to zero on the ship.
That was just the tip of the iceberg for what the Taycan offers.
Three Body Styles
As much as I know we all want to dive into the details of the all-electric powertrain and its incredible performance, we need to lay some groundwork about the Porsche Taycan. Starting with the different body styles available.
The Porsche Taycan comes in three body styles:
- Taycan: The base design, a 2+2 seater sedan that puts performance first while still allowing everyday usability incorporated into a new revolution of Porsche style.
- Taycan Cross Turismo: With a shooting brake design, this model features a more functional station wagon-like tailgate with an additional rear cargo area. It also sits at a higher ground clearance but takes away from the aerodynamic properties.
- Taycan Sport Turismo: Another with a shooting brake design, the enlarged tailgate provides more interior cargo area. But this body style retains the low profile and clearance of the base Taycan, giving it the best of both worlds, incredible performance, and increased functionality.
Battery Electric Powertrain
Alright, now that we got the body styles down, let’s discover the innovative battery electric powertrain of the Porsche Taycan. It is an entirely new system developed by the Volkswagen Group called the J1, exclusively dedicated to electric vehicles offered by the company and its subsidiaries.
When it comes to the Porsche Taycan, there is a full lineup of trim levels in addition to the three different body styles.
Base Trim Level
The base Porsche Taycan features a single-deck 79.2 kWh Performance battery pack and rear-wheel drive as standard equipment. It produces a peak output of 300 kW (402 hp) and 345 Nm (254 lb-ft) of torque.
The base model can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in just 5.4 seconds and has an electronically-limited top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph). All while achieving an incredible NEDC-rated efficiency of 28.0 kWh/100 km (74 miles-per-gallon-equivalent).
But as soon as you go up in the trim level and options, the power grows tremendously. And so does performance.
Middle Trim Levels
The middle trim levels include the Taycan 4, Taycan 4S, and the Taycan GTS, all featuring the Performance Plus battery option with a two-deck 93.4 kWh battery pack. These models offer power from the 350 kW (469 hp) in the Taycan 4 to a whopping 440 kW (590 hp) in the Taycan GTS.
The Taycan GTS accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, shaving nearly two full seconds off the time of the base model and showing how the additional cost is well worth it.
But for those who need more performance, Porsche has two other trim levels that provide all you can desire.
Top-of-the-Line Trim Levels
Porsche is taking a page out of their old book with turbocharged internal combustion engines as the most powerful Porsche Taycan trim levels are Turbo and Turbo S, even though they lack the turbocharger component.
Both feature the Performance Plus 93.4 kW battery pack but have the peak output pushed to the limits.
The Turbo has an output of 500 kW (671 hp) with 850 Nm (627 lb-ft) of torque, getting well into supercar territory. It tears down the road from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.2 seconds in the most aerodynamic model, the base Taycan body style without a Turismo shooting-brake design.
As if that’s not enough power, the Porsche Taycan Turbo S reaches into the stratosphere with the same battery pack pushed to a massive 560 kW (751 hp) output with 1,050 Nm (774 lb-ft) of torque. They both have a continuous output power of 460 kW (617 hp).
It’s no surprise that the Porsche Taycan Turbo S is a seriously fast car. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in just 2.8 seconds using a sophisticated Launch Control technology, blowing away most other vehicles on the road. It has an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).
Each Porsche Taycan uses Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors with an innovative two-speed transmission. Many other electric vehicles utilize a single-speed transmission, making the Taycan an outlier in the booming EV world.
Every Taycan model features an 800V architecture as the backbone of the electric powertrain, allowing for a peak charging rate of 270 kW.
Those with the larger 93.4 kWh battery pack can recharge from 5 to 80 percent in just 23 minutes. One of the more-available 50 kW DC fast chargers takes about 93 minutes.
Unfortunately, one area where the Porsche Taycan leaves room for growth is the total range, which is between just 320 to 370 km (198 to 230 miles). It’s enough for most daily needs in the city, but a little less impressive for those who like to wander.
Interior Features and Options
The Porsche Taycan isn’t just about exterior looks and lightning-fast performance. It also delivers a luxurious and well-appointed interior.
Porsche offers a wide selection of color schemes and material choices for the interior of the Taycan, along with many customizable options. Heated seats are included, but you can upgrade to massaging front seats, a heated steering wheel, and four-zone climate control.
There can be up to five different display screens in a Taycan.
The largest is a massive 16.8-inch curved digital instrument cluster that sits behind the steering wheel. It has a range of customizable options and shows the range, speed, and battery levels at a glance.
Sitting in the center of the dashboard are two touchscreens that control the infotainment system. The top 10.9-inch screen provides access to car features, while the lower 8.4-inch screen controls climate settings, stereo connections including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and navigation.
If equipped, there can be another 10.9-inch screen placed in front of the passenger seat and a 5.9-inch screen in the rear to control the dedicated HVAC and seat heating for the rear passengers.
Driver Assistance Features
And what futuristic car would be complete without advanced driver-assistance technology? The Porsche Taycan provides adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and emergency braking.
But if you want to bring out your inner child, check out Taycan’s remote-controlled parking option. Now you don’t only have help while parking, you can let the car handle the heavy lifting entirely on its own.
Another incredible feature is the Porsche InnoDrive. It uses a host of radar and video navigation data to let you know the optimum driving speed for the conditions, ideally allowing you to cruise through a path of nothing but green lights.
Porsche Taycan: Wrap Up
It’s not a big surprise to many that Porsche has done such an incredible job with its first battery electric vehicle. The German automaker is known for its rich history of high-performance luxury sports cars. It has delivered once again.
The Porsche Taycan is an impressive package, with its 800V system paired with a large 93.4 kWh battery pack and pushed to a mind-boggling 560 kW (751 hp) output. It has made a statement in the automotive world and will likely continue to grow in popularity as it evolves over the years.