Porsche Taycan review – the best EV of the bunch
The Taycan steers better, accelerates harder and is built better than the competition, but its weight ultimately undoes its claim as a sports car
This is it then, Porsche’s first all-electric car and the first all-electric performance car from an established manufacturer that can go bumper-to-bumper with Tesla’s Model S. We’ve had some time now to digest the Taycan on road, and with a range now up to full strength from a basic single-engined £70k base model all the way up to the £140k Turbo S, it’s now time for the Taycan to start notching up some sales wins, not just online drag races.
That’s because the Taycan doesn’t just spearhead Porsche’s electric vehicle strategy – the Taycan Cross Turismo has now joined the range, before which the next Macan will go fully electric – but also provide the platform for Audi Sport’s electric vehicle livelihood in the new e-tron GT.
This is all a result of an investment strategy that will see Porsche spend €6billion on electric vehicles by 2022. The Taycan is the beginning of that investment, but it will continue with another new EV platform shared between itself, Bentley and Audi, all without getting in the way of its sports car development whose synergy with Porsche’s EV strategy still remains vague at best.
For now, it’s the Taycan’s job to appeal to buyers, and on the basis of initial sales it seems to be working. But for the enthusiast type, is it worth taking a punt on an EV now, or is it still too early in the game?
Porsche Taycan: in detail
- Engine, gearbox and technical highlights > All but the base model feature a motor on each axle, the rear mated to a two-speed ’box
- Performance and 0-60 time > Turbo and Turbo S models have astonishing performance. The same can’t be said for the base models
- Ride and handling > There’s impressive depth to the chassis and engineering. It feels uncannily Porsche-like
- MPG and running costs > If you’re charging from home then this is an amazingly affordable Porsche to run. Make use of fast public charging and it’s a different story
- Interior and tech > Loaded with tech and built with an impregnable solidity, but is it a bit stark?
- Design > A faithful representation of the superb concept, if you specify it properly
Prices, specs and rivals
Taycan models start at £70,690 for a basic rear-wheel-drive model with a standard 79.2kWh (net) battery pack, a single motor and a pretty basic specification that includes 19-inch wheels, partial leather trim, an 11-inch infotainment system, dual climate control, LED headlights and that’s about it.
Next up is the £83,580 Taycan 4S, which aside from the mechanical enhancements that we’ll go into more detail about later, throws in a diamond-cut version of the 19-inch wheel set, some brightwork around the windows, and again, that’s about it. Both the standard Taycan and Taycan 4S feature a 79.2kWh Performance Battery, but can be upgraded to the 93.4kWh Performance Battery Plus for £4049 and £3906 respectively.
Stump up £115,860 and you’ll get the first of the two Turbo models, bringing you the larger battery pack, upgraded adaptive LED headlights, 20-inch wheels, body-coloured accents around the exterior, upgraded leather trim on the dash and doors, a BOSE stereo and Porsche’s coated brake discs signified by its white calipers.
The £138,830 Turbo S tops the range, and swaps out the coated brakes for a carbon-ceramic set, plus fits 21-inch wheels, carbonfibre trim inside and out, standardises the leather-free interior option and swaps out the standard seats for a more heavily bolstered set. All of this equipment, plus a whole lot more, is able to be specified on all models from the options list too. It is, in fact, just about possible to specify a base Taycan to be more expensive than the Turbo S, essentially doubling it’s £70k base price.
While it’s only been two years since its launch, the premium electric car class is already expanding at an exponential rate. Audi’s (very) closely related e-tron GT shares a majority of the Taycan’s mechanicals, but packages them in a similarly sized, but differently styled package, slipping in between Taycan derivatives in terms of performance and price. The e-tron GT quattro kicks things off at just over £80k, with the RS e-tron GT starting from £110k.
Tesla has responded with an updated version of the Model S in three forms. ‘Long Range’ models offer a 412-mile estimated range and £83,980 price point, but it’s the Plaid and Plaid+ variants creating all the stir, with both featuring a new triple motor set-up that in the £130,980 Plaid+ will do 60mph in under 2.0sec, top out at 200mph and do over 520 miles on a charge. Peak power is estimated at over 1100bhp, and Tesla claims it will be the fastest-accelerating production car ever.
In typical Tesla fashion, these models are over 18 months away, and as always we’ll reserve faith in those figures until we have access to one in Blighty. When, or if, it is able to hit these benchmarks, we’ll listen.