It seems like we’ve been waiting an age for the Taycan, the all-new, bespoke Porsche electric vehicle that is intent on realigning our expectations of battery-powered cars at large. Could this be the first electric vehicle that is a statement not of (questionable) environmental impact aspirations, but of pure and simple capability?
The numbers are big, with Porsche revealing two high-specification Taycans to begin with, dubiously called the Turbo and Turbo S. Rather than denoting any form of turbocharging, instead these titles purely align these variants with other models in the Porsche range. A third Taycan, due to sit beneath the Turbos in the line-up, will follow in the near future.
Both of the launch Taycans have somewhat convoluted power figures, with an overboost function able to unlock more performance from each car’s dual electric motor set-up under certain circumstances. The Turbo S’s headline figures stand at 616bhp, with an overboost peak of 750bhp – along with 1049.4Nm of torque – when launch control is selected. It’ll reach 100kmph in 2.8sec, 160kmph in 6.3sec and go on to a limited top speed of 260kmph. The Turbo, meanwhile, has the same 616bhp in normal driving, but a less potent 671bhp on overboost due to its slightly smaller and less powerful front motor; 0-100kmph takes 3.2sec and top speed is the same 260kmph.
The sceptics among you might note that the Turbo S’s 0-100kmph time isn’t as brisk as that claimed for a top-level Tesla Model S Performance (2.4sec). However, it should be noted that the Taycan’s 2.8sec figure is repeatable at will, without the need to tick on-screen disclaimers or precondition the batteries for several minutes beforehand.
Both Taycans share the same basic powertrain design, with bespoke electric motors, inverters, battery management systems and connection methods, all assembled in-house in Zuffenhausen. The permanent synchronous electric motors have improved power density and better thermal management compared with other electric motor types. The lithium-ion battery pack is mounted under the cabin floor and has a total capacity rated at 93kWh. It features a charging capability of 270kW – which Porsche says will facilitate a theoretical recharge of the battery from five percent up to 80 per cent in just over 20 minutes.
If much of this seems very un-Porsche, the Taycan’s design inside and out is far more familiar, as it adheres to a design language that has been honed over the past 75 years. Despite being lower and shorter than a Panamera, it’s wider and more shrink-wrapped, looking very close to the concept in a very good way. Without the internal-combustion engine up front, the Taycan’s scuttle is very low, affording excellent forward vision, the view out framed by haunches over the front wheels; sound familiar?