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 Porsche’s first all-electric car, a high performance four door 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 full strength range on offer, from a basic single-engined £79,200 base model all the way up to the £148,300 Turbo S, it’s now time for the Taycan to start notching up some sales wins, not just online drag races.
The Taycan now comes in a vast variety of forms, with the Cross Turismo and Sport Turismo having now joined the saloon, making a total of 12 different variants in total. Of course, as well as kicking off Porsche's revolution, the Taycan is also the basis of Audi Sport’s electric vehicle program, the e-tron GT.
As one of the best-selling Porsche's of recent times, the Taycan appears to have resonated with premium electric car buyers. 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 £79,200 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 £90,700 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.
The latest addition to the range is the GTS, which is only available as a saloon or Sport Turismo. Here it combines mechanical elements of the 4S with a more obviously sporting focus. Prices start at £110,200 with the Sport Turismo costing an extra £1000.
Stump up £125,800 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 £148,300 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.
Joining the saloon are a pair of Cross and Sport Turismo models. They are identical in body-in-white, with the Cross Turismo adding in some light off-roading styling addenda (that's mostly for show). Pricing for the estate models varies depending on spec, but they cost around a grand more, with subtle adjustments to the specs to compensate.
While it’s only been four 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 £86k, with the RS e-tron GT starting from £118k.
The Taycan's obvious rival, the Tesla Model S, is now a more niche proposition in the UK, being exclusively available in left-hand drive. We haven't driven the updated Model S yet, but with the 1006bhp Plaid version holding the current EV lap record at the Nürburgring, we're very intrigued to find out if its raw performance translates into Taycan-equaling dynamic finesse.
Mercedes-AMG has also entered the space with its EQE53 saloon, and while it's bursting with tech and offers huge pace, the Porsche is far more involving from behind the wheel. Lesser known manufacturers are gearing up to launch new competitors in the UK, too; Lucid has already impressed us with its Air saloon, and in 1200bhp+ Sapphire form, it uses true torque vectoring to deliver enormous capability. The Taycan leads the pack for now, but it might have a more difficult time as these new rivals swarm in.