Porsche’s decision to use “Turbo” and “Turbo S” as trims on the new Taycan electric car is confusing many. We’re not confused.
A few weeks ago, Porsche invited a bunch of auto scribes to the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta for a deep dive into the new Porsche Taycan. At one point, trim nomenclatures were brought up and they justified the use of “Turbo.”
Not that they had too, really. Porsche was upfront about the fact that the Taycan EV does not utilize turbocharging as a means to get more power. They rationalize that, historically, “Turbo” has stood for the most powerful iteration of the 911, 944, Panamera and a few other cars in their portfolio.
More or less the same occurred when the Porsche 911 991.2 landed with forced-induction engines throughout the product line-up. Since all cars are turbocharged, how can there be only two versions called Turbo (and Turbo S)? It doesn’t matter how, or why, it just works.
I’m frankly a little surprised that a number of other outlets have published stories about what is turning into a mild controversy. I feel as though car enthusiasts don’t quite grasp that trims long ago lost their real meanings.
The most obvious is GT. I won’t pretend to know the abbreviation’s history so best you swing over to Wikipedia to read up on it. Suffice it to say that given its historical significance, the fact that there was such a thing as a Pontiac G6 GT and you can buy a Hyundai Elantra GT today means that GT no longer, well, means anything. Hell, you can even spec out a Dodge Grand Caravan GT too!
At one point in time, LX was tops but nowadays, it’s Platinum this, Titanium that, and what do these words mean? And what about the severe overuse of “M” and “AMG” on so many BMWs and Mercedes-Benz?
At the very least, Porsche has demonstrated consistency in their trim strategies over the decades. An RS, with letters or numbers ahead or after “RS” is always about the ultimate street-legal race-inspired cars. The same goes for Turbo. All Turbo cars sit at the top of the power and performance spectrum and this applies to the Taycan.
With this in mind, do expect a number of versions inspired by the 911 and Panamera’s existing trims. Considering that a single-motor RWD Taycan could be a real thing, expect a Taycan 4, a Taycan S, a Taycan 4S and so on.
The Porsche 911 Turbo, since the 993, and all Panamera Turbo, have all been AWD cars so the twin-motor AWD Taycan Turbo and Turbo S have earned and deserve the trim name. Incidentally, the 718 Boxster and Cayman do not have Turbo versions…
Finally, the real question is: Does it matter that the Taycan, a fully-electric car, has a “Turbo” trim? No. If anything, it means that this version of the Taycan will crush all those who dare take it on in any way, shape or form, be it in a straight line race and especially around a track.
Any further comments or questions?