The 2020 Porsche Taycan was simultaneously unveiled across three continents in North America, Europe, and China. This speaks highly on the importance of Taycan to the Porsche brand. It also happens to be the designated weapon of choice to slug out with the Tesla Model S, which many consider as the undisputed benchmark in electric vehicle performance and engineering. “This day marks the start of a new ear,” said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “The Taycan links our heritage to the future.”
But more importantly, the Taycan is highlighting Porsche’s commitment to sustainability and digitalization.
Porsche is offering the Taycan in two initial models
That will be the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S. Although the Taycan is an all-electric vehicle without needing forced-induction or turbocharging, Porsche saw it fit to carry on with the Turbo badge in the new Taycan. “The turbo sub-brand has a long history within Porsche and has been very successful since the legendary 911 Turbo and the 930,” said Stefan Weckbach, Vice President Product Line, Porsche Taycan. “And we decided that we are going to carry this brand forward into the fully electrical world.”
Both the Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S have a dual-motor and all-wheel drivetrain. However, Porsche is keen to introduce less powerful rear-wheel-drive variants of the Taycan later next year, with a Taycan Cross Turismo debuting at the end of next year.
Ludicrous Performance Capabilities
With the Tesla Model S affixed firmly in the crosshairs, the new Porsche Taycan needs a powerful and efficient propulsion system to run head-to-head with other high-performance EVs. The flagship Taycan Turbo S generates up to 750-horsepower and 774-pound-feet of torque using Launch Control and the over-boost function. This enables the Turbo S to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 2.6-seconds.
Meanwhile, the Taycan Turbo pumps out 670-horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque from those twin electric motors. Naturally, it’s not as fast as the Turbo S. But with a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.0-seconds, it’s not entirely a slouch, either. Both the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S have a top speed of 161 mph with the all-wheel drivetrain.
With that being said, we’re not expecting the Taycan Turbo S to run circles around the Tesla Model S Performance version (which goes from 0 to 60 mph in 2.4-seconds). But then again, the Taycan has genuine Porsche DNA.
And unlike the Model S – which is a proper luxury-performance car in our book – the Taycan is engineered to be a true sports sedan. “The Taycan was really a big challenge for us, and it’s even bigger than we thought it would be,” said Wekbach. “We needed to make sure the Taycan drives like a Porsche, looks like a Porsche, and even smell like a Porsche,” continued Wekbach. “And at the end of the day, our goal is to be able to transfer the soul that’s in all our cars into the electrical world, and the Taycan is the result of our clear vision and strategy.”
Taycan is the first EV with an 800-volt system voltage
Similar to the Audi e-tron GT Concept, the all-new Porsche Taycan has a system voltage of 800 volts. However, Taycan is the first production EV to have this technology. In comparison, both high-end models of the Tesla Model S and Model X only have 375-volts.
But what does this all mean? With a system voltage of 800-volts and battery capacity of 93.4 kWh, the Taycan achieves five to eighty percent State of Charge (SoC) in 22.5 minutes using a 270-kW fast charger. This is the same technology Porsche utilized in the 919 Hybrid that won the 24 Hours of Lemans three times in a row.
And yes, this very same technology allowed a Taycan prototype to execute more than 30 full-throttle launches repeatedly without skipping a beat. Meanwhile, Porsche has yet to divulge the maximum range on both the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S. But with a 93.4 kWh battery pack, we suspect the car is good for 300 to 320 miles (approximately 500 km) of driving range in production spec.
The new Taycan pretty much looks like a Porsche
Porsche’s design DNA is blatantly evident in the Taycan, although it bears a striking similarity to the design idiom of the Audi e-tron GT. However, the Taycan has a cleaner design with wide and flat contoured wings, a sloping roofline, and sculpted side sections. The drawn-in C-pillar and the broad shoulders in the rear are unmistakably Porsche design elements found in the 911 and Panamera.
In the front, the Taycan has Porsche-typical four-point headlights with air intakes below each light to maximize airflow and aerodynamics. “Optimizing aerodynamics together with the design was an important consideration in the Taycan,” said Wekbach. “We wanted to realize optimum aerodynamics and a low drag coefficient, but we were not ready to compromise the design of the car.”
The result of all this hard work is astonishing. The Porsche Taycan has a value of just 0.22 Cd. It allows the car to slice the wind effortlessly to deliver maximum performance and longer range.
The first-ever two-speed automatic transmission in an electric vehicle
Both the Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S are equipped with a two-speed automatic transmission in the rear axle. Apparently, the Taycan is the first-ever EV to come with a multi-speed transmission. Developed in-house by Porsche, the first gear is engineered to provide maximum acceleration from a stop. In the meantime, second gear has a longer gear ratio and ensures higher efficiency and higher power reserves at high speeds.
Bravo, Porsche. We’ve been wondering for a long time why performance EVs are limited to single speed transmissions. This type of innovation is why the Taycan is set to revolutionize the EV marketplace. From now on, performance EVs with a single-speed transmission will look outdated compared to the Porsche, guaranteed.
Hi-tech chassis, suspension, and braking system
The Porsche Taycan also comes with a centrally networked suspension and chassis system. Porsche’s state-of-the-art 4D Chassis Control is the brain behind the entire operation. The system consistently analyzes and synchronizes the standard adaptive air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) to dial-in the perfect blend of handling and comfort. Of course, the system also reacts accordingly when selecting among multiple drive modes like Normal, Sport, SportPlus, and Range.
In addition to this, the new Taycan also benefits from an innovative brake recuperation system. Pushing the brake pedal allows up to 265 kW of regenerative braking, which is expressively higher than other systems in the market.
2020 Porsche Taycan Pricing
The 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo starts at $153,310 while the more powerful Turbo S version starts at $187,610. Prices are exclusive of $1,350 destination and handling fees. First deliveries are expected to begin in early 2020.