Your questions answered: what you need to know about the Porsche Taycan
Inside the fully electric Porsche sportscar
Black Porsche Taycan 4S saloon, snowy mountains behind
When it launched in 2019, the Taycan was the first-ever fully electric car by Porsche – a car with innovative technology throughout. Here’s what makes it so special
When it was launched in 2019, the first-ever Porsche electric sportscar prompted people to rethink what an electric car looked like and how it performed. No longer would the growing number of people considering the switch to electric vehicles and looking for a premium luxury solution have to compromise when buying their new car. In the short space of time since it was launched, it has expanded its model range to include versions with an even bigger focus on everyday suitability and greater capability for poor-quality roads. Here’s what makes the Taycan stand out.Is the Taycan purely electric?The Taycan has a Porsche E-Performance powertrain with – depending on the specific model – a permanent magnet synchronous motor at the rear axle or one of them at each axle. They’re powered by a technology that, until the launch of the Taycan, had not been seen in production electric vehicles, which traditionally use 400-volt battery packs. The Taycan was the first-ever production vehicle with an 800-volt system voltage. Doubling the voltage compared to standard batteries was a big challenge for Porsche – one that required significant investment internally and across the supply chain – but the benefits have proved enormous.Why did Porsche choose to install an 800-volt battery pack in the Taycan? Simply put, to increase the power without the disadvantages that would ordinarily come with that. A high amount of power is needed to charge as well as to drive fast. In terms of physics, power is defined as voltage times current. The higher the current, the larger cable cross-sections must be so that they can withstand the heat load.
Black Porsche Taycan 4S being charged
The 800-volt battery technology available in the Taycan speeds up charging time and helps improve performance
If you instead increase the voltage, you can increase the power at the same current and therefore the same heat load without having to increase cable cross-sections – which results in a significant weight reduction. Additionally, with the same power at lower currents, heat losses are reduced, increasing overall efficiency. It’s another example of successful technology transition from motorsport to series production – in this case, from the 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid.How spacious is the Taycan?The Taycan is a Porsche EV built from the ground up. In other words, it was designed from the outset for electromobility and not adapted to take battery-generated power from an existing model design. “This is a purpose design approach,” says Georg Arens, the product manager for the Taycan at Porsche. “It meant that we saw the battery as the most important aspect of the vehicle concept – so the purpose design for the Taycan was to construct the whole vehicle around this battery. It meant that we could really tap into the full benefits of electromobility – like providing two luggage compartments. One in the front (the so-called ‘frunk’) and one in the rear.”Electric vehicles that were initially constructed to house an internal combustion engine (ICE) are not able to offer the same advantages. The lack of an ICE and no exhaust allow for optimised use of space for the car’s interior. Further benefits can also be seen in the introduction of the Taycan Sport Turismo and Taycan Cross Turismo variants. The saloon, says Georg, is the Taycan at its absolute performance peak, while the Sport Turismo focuses a little bit more on everyday suitability with its bigger tailgate and more storage room (in total, over 1,200 litres with seats folded). It’s an aspect that addresses new groups of customers who are particularly interested in an extended everyday usability.
Close-up of black Porsche Taycan 4S saloon rear, showing nameplate
The Porsche Taycan was designed as an all-new, standalone electric vehicle
Is the Taycan four-wheel drive?Except for the rear-wheel drive models of the saloon and the Sport Turismo, every Taycan has four-wheel drive – which also benefits considerably from fully electric power in this particular vehicle. Georg explains how the control rate of the four-wheel drive in the Taycan is much higher than in an internal combustion engine, where there is a mechanical connection between the two axles. By contrast, in the Taycan there is almost instantaneous distribution of power between the two axles in the Taycan – Georg describes it in terms of “milliseconds”. Also, traction control works many times faster than in an ICE vehicle. It’s technology that gives drivers added confidence in all conditions.“The Taycan and the Taycan Sport Turismo are focused on road performance – they are clearly performance cars,” adds Georg. “The Cross Turismo is, of course, like every Porsche, a sportscar. But with its higher chassis system, and gravel mode – which you can activate if you drive on loose gravel or similar – optimising the four-wheel drive, it makes it particularly suitable for dirt roads.”
Centre console of touchscreen display of Porsche Taycan 4S
The Advanced Climate Control of the Taycan can be managed from the touchscreen of the centre console
Although we started from scratch with the Taycan, we were able to benefit from all the experience we have in developing drive systems and chassis design
Georg Arens | Product manager, Porsche Taycan
What’s the interior of the Taycan like?As well as head-turning looks from the outside, the special qualities of the Porsche electric sportscar extend to its interior, too. Porsche used the launch of the Taycan to make it a “technology flagship” for the company, explains Georg. As well as the new drivetrain, it is a showcase for the Porsche Advanced Cockpit, with up to four displays – including the option of a front seat passenger display. With Advanced Climate Control, the air flow of the air conditioning is controlled electrically, using your fingertips on the touchscreen.And there is now the option of a Panoramic Roof with Variable Light Control. Here, the large glass surface of the panoramic roof helps reduce glare without significantly compromising on the brightness within the vehicle. It does this by dividing the roof into nine sections which can be individually controlled to switch the liquid crystal film inside the glass between clear and matt settings.
Man touches the touchscreen of Porsche Taycan 4S with finger
You can access up to four digital screens in the Taycan, including an optional passenger display
What is the Taycan like to drive?The Porsche Taycan is the company’s first-ever fully electric vehicle. It looks like a true sportscar – and, just as importantly, drives like one too. In the shape of the Taycan Turbo S, it’s a car that harnesses the incredible instant power from its battery to deliver stunning acceleration. With its Launch Control function, the Turbo S can hit 100km/h from a standing start in an incredible 2.8 seconds.The Taycan has wowed the world’s motoring press with its handling and performance. “Although we started from scratch, it didn’t mean that we weren’t able to benefit from all the experience we have in developing drive systems and chassis design,” says Georg. Because the battery is placed in the underbody of the car, the Taycan has a low centre of gravity – even lower than in the 911. It’s tailor-made to bring out the best in the Taycan when driving along twisty roads and negotiating sweeping curves.
Black Porsche Taycan 4S saloon, driver door open, mountains behind
An invitation awaits: across its range, the Taycan is fast and composed in a straight line – and totally at home through mountain curves
“Our expertise in suspensions, steering and much more all went into the Taycan. Drive this car and you instantly recognise that the people who made it have built sportscars before.”The Porsche Taycan has proved itself to be a car worthy of bearing the Porsche badge on the front and an exciting vision of things to come.
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