Porsche unveiled its first all-electric car at a spectacular world premiere held simultaneously on three continents. The Porsche Taycan has been more than three years in the making, and has the potential to revolutionise the EV market globally.
“This day marks the start of a new era,” said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, while opening the world premiere in Berlin. “The Taycan links our heritage to the future. It carries forward the success story of our brand – a brand that has fascinated and thrilled people the world over for more than 70 years.”
Initially, the Porsche Taycan will be available in two trims: Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S. While there are no turbochargers to speak of aboard the car, the trim names hint at the performance that the EV commands. These trims are at the cutting edge of Porsche E-Performance, and are among the most powerful production models in Porsche’s portfolio.
Stuttgart will follow up the EV with a Taycan Cross Turismo variant at the end of next year. By 2022, the German automaker will have invested more than six billion euros ($6.61 billion) in electromobility.
Unarguably modern yet unmistakably Porsche, the new Taycan has the makings of a future motoring icon.
"The Taycan links our heritage to the future. It carries forward the success story of our brand – a brand that has fascinated and thrilled people the world over for more than 70 years," says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG.
The flagship Taycan Turbo S can generate up to 761hp in overboost mode, combined with launch control. The Taycan Turbo is good for 680hp. While the Turbo S sprints to the ton in 2.8 seconds, the Taycan Turbo takes 3.2 seconds to reach the same. Power is sent to all four wheels in both variants, and their top speeds are electronically limited to 260kph. Both models have impressive driving range (WLTP certified), with the Taycan Turbo S claiming a range of up to 412km. The Turbo clocks 450km of range under ideal conditions.
Porsche has introduced an 800-volt charging system on the Taycan as opposed to the industry standard of 400. This means that you can gain 100km of driving range with just five minutes of DC charging. Keep it plugged in for more than 22 minutes, and you will have charged the battery to 80 percent. Taycan drivers can also charge their cars with up to 11 kW (AC) at home.
The Porsche Taycan has unmistakable design cues we associate with the brand. Clean and puristic, Taycan signals thee beginning of a new era, despite staying true to Porsche DNA. Highly contoured fenders meld into a sinuous, sculpted profile made more dramatic by a sloping roofline. The C-pillar is drawn in, and leads your eyes to the pronounced shoulders of the wing. The rear is neatly executed with a single taillamp streak running the width of the car and connecting the two signature taillamp clusters. A glass effect Porsche logo is incorporated into the light bar. Porsche has also sculpted the Taycan to slice through the air with minimum resistance, achieving a drag co-efficient of 0.22.
Inside, Porsche has rewritten its own interior design book, signalling the start of a completely new layout.A free-standing, curved instrument cluster forms the highest point on the dashboard, placing a clear focus on the driver axis. A 10.9-inch infotainment screen and an optional passenger display come together to form an integrated glass band in a black-panel look. All user interfaces are all-new specifically designed for the Taycan. The car also responds to your commands. All you have to do is say “Hey Porsche” to activate it.
The interiors follow a completely new design language, doing away with physical buttons in favour of modern touchscreens.
The interior trim is premium yet sustainable. This is the first time Porsche has made a cabin absolutely leather-free, choosing to use recycled materials instead. Clever ‘foot garages’ (recesses in the battery in the rear footwell) ensure comfort while sitting in the car, while helping designers achieve the low-riding vehicle look. Two luggage compartments are available, with the front holding 81 litres of luggage and the rear good for 366 litres.
This is where the Porsche Taycan is a class apart from current EVs. Porsche uses a centrally controlled network system for the Taycan chassis. The integrated 4D Chassis Control analyses and synchronises all chassis systems in real time. Permanently excited synchronous machines deliver motive power to the EV. The electric machine, transmission, and pulse-controlled inverter are each combined into a compact drive module. The modules boast of the highest power density of all electric powertrains on the market today.
Porsche developed the innovative two-speed transmission installed on the rear axle from scratch. First gear gives the Taycan blistering pace off the line, while second gear ensures high efficiency and equally high power reserves.
The wheels might divide opinions, but there is no doubting the fact that Porsche has nailed yet another stunning design.
When it comes to technology, the 4D chassis is filled to the brim with various systems working together. Porsche Active Suspension Management, electronic damper control, as well as the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) electromechanical roll stabilisation system including Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus)- these are just some of the many clever systems the Taycan features. All-wheel drive control with two electric motors and the recuperation system are unique.
At up to 265 kW, the potential recuperation power is significantly higher than that of competitors. Driving tests have shown that approximately 90 percent of everyday braking is performed by the electric machines alone – without the hydraulic wheel brakes being activated. Driving modes echo the philosophy of other model series in the Porsche lineup. You can choose between “Range”, “Normal”, “Sport”, and “Sport Plus”. The final “Individual” mode allows you to play with various configurable settings of the EV.
There is so much to look forward to from Porsche. The German carmaker has wowed the world with the brilliant Taycan, and has effectively set the tone for how an EV should perform. The electric car race now has another big name as a contender, and competition is going to heat up faster from now on. How will the Taycan fare against the Tesla Model S, Audi’s upcoming e-Tron GT, and Mercedes-Benz’s EQS? Only time will tell. For now, the Taycan holds a lot of potential to rewrite the EV game.