Fuzhou, China – Here it is then, the Porsche Taycan. After four years of teasing following the unveiling of the Mission E Concept in 2015, we finally get to see Porsche’s first-ever full-fledged electric car. And it was definitely worth the wait.
The Stuttgart sportscar-maker insists the Taycan is a proper Porsche, engineered with the same sporting DNA that has defined the brand for decades. “We promised a true Porsche for the age of electromobility – a fascinating sports car that not only excites in terms of its technology and driving dynamics, but also sparks a passion in people all over the world, just like its legendary predecessors have done. Now we are delivering on this promise,” said Michael Steiner (pictured above), Member of the Executive Board of Porsche AG – Research and Development.
In Turbo and Turbo S form, the Taycan boasts plenty in its reserves to kick the Tesla Model S into submission. The Taycan Turbo puts out 680bhp, and is good for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.2secs. The Taycan Turbo meanwhile offers up a hefty 761bhp, and can blitz the century sprint in 2.8secs.
In outright performance numbers at least, the Taycan does appear to have what it takes to pride itself on the Porsche badge, and then some. As to how it drives, we’ll only get to know once we go on the international press drive in October, so stay tuned for our first impressions then.
But the Taycan also aims to be groundbreaking in the efficiency part of the EV equation. Fully charged, the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S offers 450 and 412km of range respectively, which are respectable but expected numbers for EVs these days.
Where the Taycan really stands out though is its promise of rapid charging. And by that we mean really rapid charging. The Taycan boasts an 800 volt system voltage, which means that it can be charged at up to 350kW. What this translates to is the capability to gain 100km of range in just 5 minutes of charging, or the ability to go from 5 per cent to 80 per cent battery charge in 20 minutes.
(How far it's come from the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid... click HERE to read about it)
There’s more tech wonder under the Taycan’s skin too. Its impressive power comes from two electric motors, one at each axle. And the Taycan also boasts of a two-speed transmission, a unique feature for an EV. Porsche says that the first gear of the transmission gives the Taycan better acceleration from a standing start, while the second gear with a long gear ratio ensures high efficiency.
Even in the styling, the Taycan is unmistakably a Porsche. Its low sloping bonnet, and sweeping rear window-line hints at a 911-esque silhouette. And of course, being an EV with its battery pack laid out flat on the floor allows the Taycan to have a low centre of gravity, ensuring that is can have that sleek sports car stance.
The Taycan is a groundbreaking car in more ways than one, because it also signifies the beginning of a new electric era for Porsche. From this point on, all front-engined Porsches will gradually transition to electric drive, starting with the next generation Macan which is due in a couple of years time. By 2025, half of all Porsches will boast some sort of electrification, and the Taycan will spearhead that effort by being the headline act of Porsche’s EV era.