Porsche has unveiled the much-anticipated Taycan, and we bring you details on this groundbreaking new electric vehicle from the Stuttgart sports car maker
FUZHOU, CHINA — After nearly four years of teasing since the Mission E Concept first appeared, Porsche has finally launched the Taycan, the brand’s first fully electric vehicle. It’s a car so important to Porsche that they chose to hold no less than three launch parties for it, one each in America, Europe and China.
But what is it about the Taycan that makes it so special? We break it down for you here on CarBuyer.com.sg, direct from Fuzhou, China.
What’s the deal with the Taycan then?
For starters, the Taycan is Porsche’s first ever full-fledged pure electric vehicle (EV). Porsche has dabbled with electrification for a while now of course, notably with various iterations of the Panamera and Cayenne hybrids, the legendary 918 Spyder supercar, and most memorably, the Porsche 919 Hybrid race cars that won Le Mans three years in a row between 2015 and 2017.
Porsche has built upon that experience to deliver the Taycan, a car which will hold much significance not just for the brand, but for electric vehicles as a whole as well.
The Taycan is the first full EV from a bonafide performance car brand, and its arrival sends a strong signal once and for all that electric motoring need not be purely about emissions and efficiency, but can also offer up the same level of performance and driving enjoyment as any other sports car.
So, it’s a high performance four-door four-seater EV? Sounds familiar…
Indeed. It’s pretty obvious that the Taycan has the Tesla Model S right in its gunfire. They’re both similar types of cars undoubtedly, but Porsche definitely holds the upper hand in terms of brand cachet, and overall track record of performance and quality.
Its very hard to define the sort of customer who would go for a Taycan, since they are likely to be from the same pool of people who would consider a Tesla. These run the gamut from young Silicon Valley startup entrepreneurs, to retirees for whom an EV fits right into their daily driving lifestyle.
Gernot Döllner, Porsche’s Vice President for Product and Concepts, states that the only thing that these customers have in common is an appreciation of technology, and a desire to have the best of both worlds in terms of driving performance and efficiency.
But it’s a Porsche. Surely performance has to take priority?
And you’ll be right. Porsche insists that the Taycan is a proper Porsche through and through, despite the switch to electrification. The design is suitably aggressive, with classic Porsche cues such as the low sloping bonnet, and the sweeping rear window-line that evokes cues of Porsche’s very own icon, the 911.
The Taycan has the numbers to match too. In regular Turbo guise, the car dollops out up to 680hp, allowing it to go from 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds. The more powerful Turbo S model whips out an astonishing 761hp, and can zip from 0-100km/h in 2.8 seconds. Not figures to be sniffed at that’s for sure.
The power comes from two electric motors, one at each axle. More interestingly, the Taycan also features a two-speed transmission, situated at the rear axle, an unusual feature for an EV. Porsche says that the first gear of the transmission gives the Taycan better acceleration from a standing start, while the second gear with a long gear ratio ensures high efficiency.
Okay, I’m convinced that it can go fast. What about efficiency then?
On a full charge, the Taycan Turbo offers up to 450km of range, while the Turbo S can travel up to 412km. Decent numbers, and more than enough for most drivers’ daily usage, but not surprising these days, with the newer batch of EVs on the market mostly capable of similar numbers.
The Taycan’s party piece however, is charging time. Porsche says that you can get 100km of range with just 5 minutes of charging, or go from 5 percent to 80 percent battery charge in 20 minutes.
It achieves this through its 800 volt system voltage, double that of regular EVs. This means that the Taycan is capable of charging at 350kW. For comparison, the current DC fast chargers that we have in Singapore go at a rate of 50kW.
Of course, that means that there aren’t any public chargers that is actually capable of giving you that rate of ultra fast charge. Not yet anyway. Porsche is working to set up its own network of fast chargers globally, and in Singapore, so expect at least a one or two of these to pop up once the Taycan goes on sale. In the meantime, the Taycan is also compatible with the existing Type 2 public chargers that are already around.
I’m sold. When can I get one?
You’ll have to wait a while though, because the Taycan is only set to arrive here in Singapore in the second quarter of 2020. But you won’t be the only one interested. Porsche reports that it has already received 30,000 deposits for the Taycan from customers worldwide, even before the car was officially launched this week.
It probably won’t be cheap either. Porsche has not finalised pricing for Singapore, but in America, the Taycan Turbo is priced similarly to the Panamera Turbo, which costs S$721,688 without Certificate of Entitlement (COE) here.
Still, there’s no denying the importance of the Taycan to Porsche. It is a flag bearer for the brand in terms of electrification, and moving forward, Porsche’s current front-engined models will eventually transition into EVs in the years ahead. The Macan will be the first to experience the transformation when the next generation model arrives in 2021, and by 2025 half of all Porsche models will be electrified.
CarBuyer will be bringing you an exclusive first drive of the Taycan in October, so stick around then to find out what it’s like on the roads.