Monaco. This tiny, picturesque principality on the French Riviera is one of the most exclusive pieces of real estate on earth, famed for its prosperous inhabitants, annual Grand Prix and Royal family. But the ‘Corniche Roads’ that lead you out of Monaco and up into the hills surrounding it rank as some of the best driving experiences you’ll find anywhere.
These snaking ribbons of Tarmac give drivers dramatic views across the Mediterranean coastline, as well as a challenging drive along roads that are used as stages on the legendary Monte Carlo Rally.
Where better then to review the new Taycan Cross Turismo, a car that blends sportscar performance with style and practicality? And who better to tell you how the Taycan Cross Turismo drives than André Lotterer? The German racing driver is currently competing in his second season for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team, where he has picked up an impressive seven podiums so far. He’s also a three-times winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and has won the driver’s title at the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship. And one more thing – these days André calls Monaco home, so there are few people who know how to drive these roads better than him.
As fast as his race car
Immediately after the recent Monaco E-Prix, André changed out of his racing suit, grabbed a camera, and headed to the hills to see what the Taycan Cross Turismo is really like to drive. Almost straightaway, he was struck by this car’s show-stopping performance. He wasn’t exaggerating when he noted that “the acceleration feels as fast as my Formula E car”. The Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo can accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 2.9 seconds (using launch control), just 0.1 seconds shy of the time of André’s 99X Electric racing car (Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo: CO2 emissions combined 0g/km, electricity consumption combined 29.4 kWh/100km). “The acceleration and performance are really impressive. Up on the mountain roads it was mind blowing how quickly it accelerates and handles.”
On these fast, winding roads, the true character of the Taycan emerges, because while it is a very practical and comfortable car, it’s incredibly engaging to drive too. André says that’s testimony to its Porsche heritage. “Every Porsche is developed on the race track, and that’s exactly the same for the Taycan,” he says. “You feel very confident driving this car because of the precision of the steering. You can place the car where you want to effortlessly.”
He describes the way the car reacts to his inputs as “high resolution”, with the response from the brakes and steering giving him a lot of confidence and a feeling of safety. “I never thought an electric car could give you that many emotions,” he adds. “And when you put it on Sport+ the sound is really good. I wish I had one.”
A soundtrack that’s out of this world
The Taycan Cross Turismo features Porsche Electric Sport Sound, which enhances the acoustic experience to give drivers a more aurally pleasing soundtrack that matches the driving characteristics of the car. The faster you drive, the more emotive the sound becomes. “It gives you a sensation of speed,” said André. “The noise reminded me of a scene from Star Wars.”
Aside from the car’s performance and handling, André reckons the Cross Turismo is the Taycan variant that would best suit his lifestyle. “I love the design,” he says. “It’s beautiful and timeless. I also love the space in the boot, and the super nice details you find everywhere when you look closer. This car ticks a lot of boxes.”
After a few hours of thrill-seeking in the Cross Turismo, it’s time for André to head back down the mountain pass and return the car to the Porsche team, who are packing up to head to the next round of the Formula E Championship. But the drive gives him another opportunity to enjoy the prodigious performance of a truly exciting and ground-breaking electric car. André sums it up best. “The Taycan Cross Turismo gives you the best of both worlds. It has everything.”