Porsche is not holding back any punches. The new 2020 Porsche Taycan is fast, powerful, efficient, and oh-so desirable.
The all-new 2020 Porsche Taycan is here and will initially be offered in two trims: Turbo and Turbo S. The specs are, as expected, staggering, as Porsche promises that performance and the driving experience are 100% authentic Porsche. Here are some of the technical highlights:
93.4 kWh battery
460 kW or 616-horsepower
500 kW or 670-horsepower with “overboost” function
Maximum torque at launch control: 850 Nm or 626 lb.-ft. of torque
0-100km/h: 3.2 seconds
0-200km/h: 10.6 seconds
¼ mile – 11.1 seconds
Top speed: 260 km/h
381-450 km WLTP range (estimated up to 350 km EPA)
93.4 kWh battery
460 kW or 616-horsepower
560 kW or 761-horsepower with “overboost” function
Maximum torque at launch control: 1,050 Nm or 774 lb.-ft. of torque
0-100km/h: 2.8 seconds
0-200km/h: 9.8 seconds
¼ mile – 10.8 seconds
Top speed: 260 km/h
388-412 km WLTP range (estimated up to 325 km EPA)
Enabling these conservative (in our opinion) performance figures is the Taycan’s trick twin permanent magnet synchronous electric motor powertrain setup. Up front, the electric motor is a direct drive link to the wheels while the rear features a 2-speed axle. This transaxle is key for both proficiency and performance.
The 2-speed transmission on the rear axle provides both maximum acceleration and top speed. The 1st cog is geared tall for flat-out horizon-crushing launches and only comes into use in the Sport modes. In Normal or Range drive modes, 1st gear is “locked out” for maximum efficiency.
Here’s what the 2-speed transmission’s functionality looks like:
Range mode: (2nd immediately used) (reversing requires 1st)
Normal mode: (2nd gear prioritized) (reversing requires 1st)
Sport modes: (1st gear for sharper acceleration, gear held longer for the same reason)
Both the Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S feature the same rear axle layout, with transmission and motor. The rear motor delivers 449-horsepower (335 kW) and 406 lb.-ft. (550 Nm) of torque and weighs 170 kg. The front electric motor differs from one trim to another and explains the performance dissimilarities.
In the Turbo, the front axle produces 228-horsepower (170 kW) and 221 lb.-ft. (300 Nm) of torque while in the Turbo S, the specs are 255-horsepower (190 kW) and 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm) of torque.
The electric AWD system is endowed with fully variable torque distribution front to back or side-to-side. The system’s electronics are incredibly flexible and responsive. The Taycan’s traction control works up to 10 times faster than a conventional system found in the Panamera for example.
Relatedly, the Taycan’s Porsche Stability Management (PSM) has three simple modes: On/Sport/Off. When it’s off, it is truly off, as I discovered as a passenger getting hot laps. Finally, the Range Drive mode fully decouples the rear motor. The system’s electronics can recouple the rear motor in milliseconds when more power is required.
Boot volume: 82-litre frunk – 400 litres in the rear
Seating capacity: 4- or 5-seater depending on options
Weight: 2,323 kg – North American version will be heavier because of the standard glass roof
Key to the Porsche Taycan’s DNA is that it meets all expected Porsche Driving Dynamics. It can do it all without hesitation or limitations. It was designed to cruise in a relaxed manner or tear up the Nürburgring in only 7:42.
The Taycan is wider and lower (lowest center of gravity of all Porsches) than the Porsche Panamera which explains why not all of its chassis components were used for the Taycan.
Of those that are lifted from the flagship Porsche car are Rear-axle steering (always a must), Porsche Traction Management and Porsche Torque Vectoring+, the control arms, bearings, and few other elements. The struts are unique to the Taycan as they would poke out of the bonnet given that it is lower than the Panamera.
With the Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S, a 3 chamber air suspension will be standard. This component provides a high ratio of flexibility, from super soft to track, includes a lift function that raises the car by 20mm quickly from a compressed air tank behind the front axle. It also permits the car to lower itself at speed (total 22mm drop) for improved stability and aerodynamics. Brilliantly, and like with the new Porsche Cayenne, the damping remains in Normal mode unless Sport mode is selected.
Also part of the Taycan’s multiple chassis components and configurations, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) will be optional. The system reduces body roll to zero even under full lateral acceleration, controls and balances under- and oversteer, and actively compensates from left/right side on a bumpy road. Here, the actuators are borrowed from the Panamera.
Lastly, the tires and wheels. Only two top-tier tire brands meet Porsche’s low-rolling resistance and high-performance criteria and they are available even in the optional 21-inch size. The wheels are unique to the Taycan and they are heavily aero-improved, once more, for maximum efficiency.
Porsche Performance brakes and brake recuperation
As you might expect, the Porsche Taycan’s got enormous brakes. The system includes, as standard, 10-piston calipers front/4-piston calipers rear and Porsche Surface Coated Brakes. The key element in an EV is recuperation and Porsche’s worked hard here as well.
Most importantly, according to Porsche, brake pedal feel and response must maintain a consistent behaviour. This explains why “one-pedal” driving is not available. Many EVS with this technology suffers from variable brake-response depending on the state of the battery.
The system’s maximum energy recuperation is of 265 kW – this is the default setup when advanced drive modes are selected. Otherwise and depending on the drive mode, there are three various reactions to throttle pedal lift-off: pure coasting, recuperation on or auto-recuperation when in traffic.
Body and Safety
The majority of the Porsche Taycan’s body is made of aluminium. There are numerous components made from carbon-fibre as well. The tub is made of cold-formed steel, which is different than other Porsche vehicles.
The battery pack weighs in 630 kg and figure prominently as part of the car’s structure and is held in place with 28 large screws. The battery tray and frame actually receive portions of the impact force in the case of an accident. This applies to all angles or origins of impact. As presumed, the Taycan complies with all global safety requirements.