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Porsche's Electric Taycan

by Bill SiuruDecember 31, 2019
Porsche fans have waited patiently for this storied marque to rise to the Tesla challenge. That’s no easy thing, and it had to be done right or risk both reputation and future market share. The result is as expected. Spectacular!

Porsche has entered the electric vehicle market in a big way with its long-awaited Taycan, known for some time by its concept name, the Mission E. While Porsche has had plug-in hybrids in its model line for some time, this is the marque’s first all-electric vehicle.

Taycan comes in three versions to fit varying desires – the Taycan 4S, Taycan Turbo, and Taycan Turbo S. All variants feature all-wheel-drive using two electric motors, one driving each axle. The three Taycan versions differ only in battery capacity and horsepower, with each featuring varying levels of performance and driving range.

The point of entry for the model is the $103,800 Taycan 4S, which features a 79.2 kWh battery pack and 522 horsepower from its two motors. The $150,900 Taycan Turbo is energized by a 93 kWh battery and delivers 616 peak horsepower. This same 93 kWh battery pack is optional on the Taycan 4S. At $185,000, the Taycan Turbo S shares the same powertrain as the Turbo model but is tuned to deliver an even greater 750 horsepower when using launch control. Launch control power lasts for short bursts of 2.5 seconds. After that, all models reduce output slightly to protect the drivetrain from heat.

EPA rates the Taycan Turbo at a 201 mile driving range. That breaks the 200 mile barrier perceived by many as necessary for next-generation electric vehicles, but it is lower than some other electrics like the Audi e-tron and Tesla Model S. EPA fuel efficiency for the Taycan Turbo is a combined 69 MPGe (miles-per-gallon equivalent). Efficiency and range ratings for the Taycan 4S and Taycan Turbo S have not yet been released.

Porsche’s Taycan is the first electric vehicle to use an 800-volt electrical architecture. This allows more powerful 270 kW charging that enables recharging the battery from 5 to 80 percent in about 22 minutes. This requires an 800 volt DC public fast charger that is still quite rare. More common 400 volt DC fast-charging is limited to 50 kW, with some 150 kW chargers available that triple maximum charging power at 400 volt DC fast-charging stations. These can bring an 80 percent charge in 90 minutes or less.  Charging the Taycan using a widely-available 240-volt Level 2 public or home charger takes 10 to 11 hours.

All Taycans come with a 10.9-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay, navigation, Bluetooth, HD and satellite radio, four USB ports, panoramic sunroof, and adaptive air suspension. Among the model’s standard safety equipment is a rearview camera, parking sensors, forward collision warning with brake assist, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, and adaptive LED headlights. Optional safety items include blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, night vision camera,  and a surround-view parking camera system. Adding the optional performance package brings four-wheel steering and active anti-roll bars.