NEW MODELS | The all-electric Porsche Taycan is finally here

Porsche has revealed its Taycan electric sports sedan. Mark Smyth tells you all you need to know about it

04 September 2019 - 16:38 By Mark Smyth
The final production version of the highly-anticipated Porsche Taycan.
The final production version of the highly-anticipated Porsche Taycan.
Image: Supplied

Porsche has taken a massive leap into the future of electromobility with the much-anticipated reveal of the Taycan. But it’s more than just an electric car, it’s a performance car, it’s a Porsche. That’s underlined by a headline-grabbing 0-100km/h time of just 2.8 seconds for the fastest version.

It’s been four years since the company unveiled the Mission E electric vehicle concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show and Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche, says it’s now “mission completed”.

Importantly, the Taycan is not a replacement for the 911, not now, not ever. The company is adamant that its 911 will always be its brand icon and while there might be plans for electrification of its popular sports car, the Taycan is a new line altogether, a C sports sedan.

It’s new, but there’s heritage in its design, such as the wide haunches, the sloping roofline and the distinctive lettering on the sculpted rear. It’s the same inside where the wide, narrow winged dashboard shows classic DNA but is brought into the modern age with infotainment and touchscreens.

The rear of the new Porsche Taycan.
The rear of the new Porsche Taycan.
Image: Supplied

The design might have heritage behind it, but this is a new Porsche, one for a world that’s electrifying at a rapid rate. The Taycan leapfrogs the 350 and 375 volt architecture of Tesla’s Model 3 and Model S and ramps things up to 800 volts. It’s all about reducing charging times but also of course providing performance, crucially says Porsche, repeatable performance.

When it arrives in SA in the second half of 2020, there will be two versions, the Turbo and Turbo S. Turbo? Yes it’s a little odd given that there is no turbocharging, but Porsche says its customers will be more familiar with the naming convention. Think of it as fast and really fast.

Both models feature an electric motor on each axle and have a top speed of 260km/h, but it’s all about the linear electric acceleration that battery power can provide. The 500kW Turbo will hit 100km/h in 3.2 seconds, but the Turbo S with its 560kW is said to achieve it in just 2.8 seconds, passing 200km/h seven seconds later. Doing that over and over again as Porsche claims you can, will impact on range of course, the Turbo able to travel up to 450km and the S up to 412km.

The interior of the new Porsche Taycan.
The interior of the new Porsche Taycan.
Image: Supplied

Crucially though, you can add 100km of range in just five minutes using one of the 270kW chargers that Porsche SA will be installing at key points around the country. Charging to 80% will take just over 22 minutes in optimum conditions.

Performance is only part of the Taycan’s character though because it’s also about being a modern sports car, one that can carry five people, four comfortably, while exploiting the potential of Porsche’s 4D Chassis Control dynamics system. It’s connected with an infotainment system that responds to “Hey Porsche” and the car can receive over-the-air-updates including potential performance upgrades.

The Taycan is a Porsche for a new era, one where we are seeking electrification but still want the highest level of performance. Blume says every Porsche has a soul, but for the first time, that soul is properly electrified.

The Taycan is the first production vehicle with a system voltage of 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts for electric cars.
The Taycan is the first production vehicle with a system voltage of 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts for electric cars.
Image: Supplied
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