It took Porsche 4 years to develop Mission E concept into the production Tayan. This is unusually long because it is the company’s first full electric car. Instead of outsourcing technologies from suppliers like Rimac, Porsche designed and built its own electric motors, inverter and gearbox for its electric powertrain. In this way, the Taycan is guaranteed to drive like a true Porsche, albeit lacking the right noise.
The Taycan is a 4-door 4-seater. At 4963mm long and 2900mm in wheelbase, it is slightly shorter than the Panamera, but it is wider at 1966mm, and significantly lower at 1378mm. Its seating is about as low as that of the 911, so rear headroom is not much hampered by the low roof line. Apparently, it is designed to be sportier than the Panamera, which is more a luxury car in the same sense of Maserati Quattroporte or Mercedes-AMG S-class. Instead, the Taycan is supposed to be a 4-door GT.
Price starting at £116,000 or £139,000, the Taycan is more expensive than the top Tesla Model S Performance. In fact, it is almost as expensive as a 911 Turbo. Comically, Porsche named the 2 launching Taycan models as Turbo and Turbo S. Both employ the same battery and rear axle, but the front-axle motor and inverter of Turbo is less powerful. In standard mode, both cars possess a total output of 625hp. What differs them is overboost, where the Turbo S can produce a staggering 761hp and 774 lbft of torque, while Turbo manages 680hp and 627 lbft. The overboost lasts only 2.5 seconds, then it reverts to 625hp for another 10 seconds, but Porsche said the Taycan can do maximum launch repeatedly without worrying of overheating, unlike the Tesla Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode. How quick is it? The Turbo S achieves 0-60 in 2.6 seconds, 0-100 in 6.3 seconds and 0-124 in 9.8 seconds, while Turbo takes 3.0, 6.9 and 10.6 seconds, respectively. Both cars have a top speed of 162 mph.
The Taycan is built on the PPE platform (previously called J1), which will be used for the upcoming Taycan Cross Turismo as well as Audi e-Tron GT. Its 93.4kWh lithium-ion battery is placed at the floor, but to enable the low seating the battery is omitted at the rear footwell.
Predictably, the EV has a low center of gravity (close to 918 Spyder and lower than all Porsches currently produced), and its front-to-rear weight distribution is 49:51. The chassis and body is a steel-aluminum hybrid like most other Porsches. The low-slung body has an outstanding drag coefficient of 0.22 (rising to 0.25 for the Turbo S), thanks to the flat underbody and less demand for cooling. Suspensions are adapted from Panamera, i.e. aluminum double-wishbones up front and multi-link at the rear, supported with height-adjustable air springs, PASM adaptive dampers and PDCC active anti-roll bars. 4-wheel steering is standard on both models.
Both motors get their own inverters, but the rear motor is about twice as powerful as the front, and it gets a 2-speed gearbox to optimize low-speed acceleration and high-speed efficiency. The permanent magnet synchronous motors Taycan uses is more expensive than conventional ones, but they have higher power density and are easier to cool, explaining why the car can do maximum launch repeatedly.
On the downside, the Taycan is very heavy. The 630kg worth of battery, all the performance equipment and luxury items add up to a DIN kerb weight of 2305kg for Turbo or 2295kg for Turbo S. That is 300kg more than a Panamera Turbo! Virtually in the territory of Bentley.
Porsche said 90 percent braking in normal driving is handled by regenerative braking rather than the steel brake discs. That said, the Taycan is clearly beaten by Tesla P100D in range – the Turbo and Turbo S quote 450km (280 miles) and 412km (256 miles) respectively on WLTP cycles. It strikes back in charging time though. The Taycan is the first production car compatible with 800V / 270kW charger, compared with 480V / 150kW of Tesla Supercharger. It can be charged to 80 percent full in just 22 and a half minutes.
Expectedly, the car has 2 luggage compartments – the front offers 81 liters while the rear swallows 366 liters of things or easily 2 golf clubs. Inside the cabin, its dashboard mirrors that of the classic air-cooled 911s, although the instrument reading is now realized by a 16.8-inch TFT screen. The center console has a 10.9-inch touchscreen for infotainment, while the sloping transmission tunnel features another 8.4-inch touchscreen for climate control. In addition to the optional 10.9-inch touchscreen at the glovebox area, virtually the entire dashboard is occupied by screens.
Production of the Taycan takes place at the Zuffenhausen hometown, alongside the 911. The expanded facility is designed to build 20,000 units annually. However, since 30,000 orders have already been received, Porsche could double its capacity to 40,000 units by adding shifts. It is not just a technical showcase, but an important profit generator.