Porsche Taycan test drives start tomorrow

The Porsche Taycan is officially in Singapore tonight, and tomorrow you can officially be in a Porsche Taycan…

SINGAPORE — Almost exactly a year after it made its global debut on three different continents, the Porsche Taycan is finally, officially here. Porsche held a virtual launch for its all-electric car in Singapore tonight, and is making the car available for customer test drives tomorrow.

Three versions of the new electric vehicle (EV) are on sale now: the Taycan 4S, Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S.

The Turbo and Turbo S have a higher capacity battery pack for more range and power, but you can add the so-called Performance Battery Plus to a Taycan 4S to unlock more performance for S$26,536.

Porsche put up prices for the Taycan in Singapore months ago on its website, and we’ve got a run-down of what’s available here. Briefly, the range starts with the Taycan 4S at S$485,988, rises sharply to the Taycan Turbo at S$623,988 and tops out with the Taycan Turbo S at S$767,988, for now.

None of those prices includes a certificate of entitlement (COE) or optional extras. Porsche says buyers will only take delivery in 2021.

What’s not in Singapore for now are Porsche’s superfast chargers, which are built to make use of the Taycan’s 800-volt architecture. A Porsche Asia Pacific spokesperson told us the chargers, which can shove up to 350kW of power into the car, are not yet “permissible” in Singapore. 

Porsche Taycan review in Singapore

We’ve test driven the Taycan 4S in Singapore (that is, a version of the car loaded with more than $160,000 of optional extras) and it’s a hoot — it’s fast, futuristic and well-built and it feels like a Porsche to drive. “While its heart is 100 percent electric, its soul is 100 percent Porsche,” Tim Walkowiak, a product trainer for Porsche Asia Pacific, said during the virtual launch.

Late last year we also drove the mind-bending, stomach-churning Taycan Turbo S from Innsbruck to Munich. It was, in a nutshell, mind-bending and stomach-churning.

The Porsche Taycan was also in Singapore for a sneak preview in November last year.

Michael Mauer, the head of design for Porsche, said at the time that he expected Asia to be one of the Taycan’s key markets. “Our customers in this region are particularly interested in embracing innovative new products, so it will be interesting for us to see how they take to our first ever electric car,” he said.

The virtual launch might have officially kicked off Porsche’s electric era in Singapore, but EVs are gathering steam here, so to speak. Earlier this year MG put its ZS EV on sale here. At S$122,888 with COE, it’s priced competitively against combustion-engined cars.

Last month Mini launched the Cooper SE, an all-electric version of its iconic hatchback that costs S$4,000 more than its petrol equivalent.

Porsche itself is working on more EVs. Next year the Taycan Cross Turismo (a raised, crossover version of the car based on the prototype below) enters the EV fray. Porsche has also said the next Macan (its compact sport utility vehicle) will be all-electric for some markets.

While the number of electric models available here is at an all-time high, the road has started to look bumpy for battery-powered cars. The EV population in Singapore doubled from 560 to 1,120 from 2018 to 2019, but sales have since slowed down. As of the end of August, the number of EVs on the road here stood at 1,180, or just 60 more than at the start of the year. 

EV enthusiasts would likely love to see those numbers rise. Yet, the Porsche Taycan’s arrival is significant for bringing excitement, rather than volume, to the electric car landscape. The people who test drive it from tomorrow onwards will likely discover that first-hand.

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about the author

Leow Julen
CarBuyer's managing editor is a lot older than he behaves. He's been writing about cars for 25 years. Someday he might do it coherently. Ju-Len believes in world peace and V8s, but not necessarily in that order.