After years of rumours and teasers, Porsche has unveiled its first all-electric car: the Taycan.
At launch, two performance-oriented trims will be offered: Turbo and Turbo S. To be clear, there are no turbochargers anywhere on the vehicle – the names were chosen as they have traditionally represented the top dogs in Porsche’s performance lineup.
Both variants are all-wheel-drive thanks to two electric motors, with one mounted on each axle. They also share the same 93.4kWh lithium-ion battery and 800V architecture – though more on the latter later.
The ‘base’ Turbo produces 460kW of power and 850Nm of torque in normal driving, or up to 500kW in short periods of overboost. The 0-100km/h sprint is covered in just 3.2 seconds, 0-160km/h in 6.9s and 0-200km/h in 10.6s, towards a top speed of 260km/h. It consumes 26.0kWh of energy per 100km, enough to deliver a 450km range on the WLTP cycle.
The range-topping Turbo S’ motors also produce 460kW, though torque and overboost outputs are up to 1050Nm and a manic 560kW. The 0-100km/h time drops to 2.8 seconds, 0-160km/h is covered in 6.3 seconds and 0-200km/h passes in 9.8 seconds – top speed is again rated at 260km/h.
The additional performance results in increased energy consumption of 26.9kWh/100km, equating to a 412km WLTP range.
While Tesla’s Model S Performance is faster to 100km/h – the American carmaker claims a 2.6 second sprint time – the Taycan excels in how its blistering performance times can be repeated without overheating or power degradation. Porsche claims it logged over 20 full-throttle 0-200km/h runs in quick succession, with a maximum time difference across runs of 0.8 seconds.
Located on the rear axle of all Taycans is an innovative new two-speed transmission – a first for an electric production car. The lower gear is used for rapid acceleration off the line, after which the higher gear is shifted into for higher-speed driving situations.
Charging? The Taycan is the first electric vehicle to ride on an 800-volt charging architecture, which enables charging speeds of up to 270kW. On a compatible charger, Porsche’s sedan can add 100km of range in just five minutes, and can boost from 5 to 80 per cent state of charge in a mere 22.5 minutes.
If a 270kW charger can’t be found, an onboard charger capable of 50kW DC charging comes standard, with a 150kW unit availale as an option. 11kW AC charging is also available, and is capable of delivering a full charge in nine hours.
AC charging ports have been fitted on each side of the vehicle, with the driver’s side featuring the 270kW-capable CCS DC plug. Motorised charging doors are available as an option, which feature an ice-breaking mode designed for cold climates.
Under the skin, three-chamber air suspension with adaptive damping is bundled as standard, along with 10-piston 415mm front and four-piston rear tungsten-carbide brakes. Carbon ceramic units are optional, measuring 420mm up front and 410mm at the rear.
Inside, the Taycan has embraced 21st century like no other Porsche. In front of the driver is a stunning 16.8-inch curved instrument cluster that’s fully configurable with satellite navigation and performance meters.
In the centre of the dashboard is a 10.9-inch infotainment touchscreen, which sits above another 8.4-inch touch panel dedicated to climate control and charging information. The former has been heavily updated for use in the Taycan, including the addition of a ‘Hey Porsche’ voice assistant similar to Mercedes-Benz’ ‘Hey Mercedes’ system.
Another 10.9-inch screen dedicated for the passenger is available as an option, which allows them to adjust the music, change navigation settings and perform other functions separately from the main screen.
Visually, the Taycan borrows heavy design cues from the Mission E concept unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show. Its overall design is exceptionally clean, with features of note including the sleek headlights, full-width rear tail-light and flush door handles.
Practicality needs are met with a 400-litre boot accessed via a traditional bootlid – as opposed to a liftback like the related Panamera – and an 82-litre ‘frunk’ in front of the passenger compartment.
The 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S will make their debut at the Frankfurt motor show next week, ahead of an Australian launch in the fourth quarter of 2020. Additional, cheaper variants will follow in the months after.