Porsche has invested heavily in the first chapter of the rest of the company’s life. The new Porsche Taycan is now.
The all-new Porsche Taycan is finally here. Before unravelling the details on the new electric super-sedan from Porsche, I want to point out that, although it might but put on, I seriously have the impression that Porsche is concerned that enthusiasts and loyal Porsche customers will not follow them down this new path.
The tone of Porsche message, going as far back as June 2018, was that of apprehension. At that time, we visited Stuttgart and were given a tour of the current assembly and portions of the new line that will spawn Porsche’s first electric car. I even wrote a separate story on Porsche’s fear but it’s clear now that they will have to build more Taycans, the Cross Turismo and countless derivatives before long.
Now, to the matter at hand.
The 2020 Porsche Taycan
According to Porsche, and we agree, this the world’s first fully electric mass produced sports car. Production development of the Taycan began at the end of 2015 right around the time the Mission E concept was revealed at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. A nano-second later, speculation started up and now we know almost everything. Of the many details important to know about the Taycan is that it follows the Porsche principle perfectly: “Performance, usability, design, functionality,” and everything else that makes a Porsche a Porsche.
The Porsche Taycan will sit below the Panamera is the product hierarchy which leads us to believe that the car’s base pricing will sit in the mid-$80s to low $90,000. This will apply to the base Taycan. We’re convinced this car will exist, as will a Taycan S (likely GTS and others) but the first two that will be released are the Taycan Turbo and a Taycan Turbo S. Pricing for these cars will be considerably higher, somewhere around $150-$160k to start. To note, the Cross Turismo will come as well and possibly under the same “trims” as the Taycan.
The new 2020 Porsche Taycan’s styling is all Porsche. It sports the typical Porsche silhouette starting with a near identical windshield rake as the 911’s. There’s a clear evolution profile-wise from the 911, to the Taycan and on to the Panamera. As always, the seating position and sightlines are inspired by those found in the 911.
The Taycan Turbo is extremely aerodynamic with a 0.22 Cd (0.25 Cd Turbo S). This, and the fact that the Taycan sits a whopping 40mm lower than the Panamera makes for a design that is sexy and fast, even when sitting still. In fact, the EV is more 4-door 911 than a shrunken Panamera.
The Porsche Taycan will be available with a selection of wheels including some special aero-blade-type wheels. There will be many colours to select from and in the US and Canada, all Turbo and Turbo S Taycan will feature a standard glass roof (an option in Europe). Finally, the Taycan is not a hatchback like the Panamera, the reasons being weight, packaging and structure rigidity needs.
One of the clever features on the Taycan is an electric charge port door. It is, available on the Turbo S, a powered door that has an ice-breaking function. It retracts within the body panel automatically when activated.
We’ve touched on the Taycan’s cabin when official pictures were released a little over a week ago. The concept is all Porsche, as expected, with a very familiar layout. The main difference is that nearly all physical switchgear has been replaced by numerous touch-sensitive displays. This is the Porsche Advanced Cockpit.
The Taycan is huge for Porsche
How huge? Well, they’ve not taken any chances. The Taycan was tested up to 2.5 times more than the Panamera to ensure absolute safety, performance and that it met or surpassed every possible expectation.
When discussions were held early on about where the Taycan should be build, the answer was simple, and complicated enough: The Taycan will be built in Zuffenhausen, at home. Although this plant was already heavily taxed space-wise, Porsche went ahead with building numerous new facilities within the grounds at a huge cost. Why would Porsche decide to undergo such disruptive and expensive construction for this car? Simple: It is the first product/car in Porsche’s next chapter. It represents the beginning of a new era at Porsche.
Porsche’s e-mobility bid will represent a 6 billion euro investment, and this is only for starters.
Batteries and charging
The Porsche Taycan is obviously a high-performance electric vehicle – we expected nothing less from Porsche. The near totality of the car’s specifications can be found HERE.
Where a large portion of Porsche’s investment went is in charging technology. As we know, this aspect is most directly related to convenience and indirectly to range. This is why Porsche developed an 800-volt charging system.
Its current maximum charging power is of 270 kW, which is considerable enough. According to Porsche, this is limited by the battery’s ability to accept the charge but the future holds 400 and 500 kW charging power. Also, the Taycan’s current AC onboard charger of 9.6 kW. This too is considerable when compared to the 2019 Nissan LEAF+’s 6.6 kW onboard charger. Porsche is already talking about 19.2 kW onboard charging capability coming in the near future.
This explains why the Taycan can go from a 5% to an 80% charge in only 22.5 minutes. This however involves proper pre-conditioning of the battery before charging. If you are using the car’s navigation system, it will direct you to a charging station while on the route. As the car knows where and when it will charged, it will begin the preconditioning process prior to arrival. In these circumstances, the Taycan will gain up to 100km of range every 5 minutes (according to the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure or WLTP).
About connecting the Porsche Taycan for a charge, the car comes with an 11 kW capable cable called the Porsche Mobile Charger Connect. It’s a quick and convenient way to charge the Taycan at home or on the road. This cable is obviously not attached to the wall. There is a unit to affix the cable at home but it stays with the car. It is far more capable and powerful than the regular cables. It can also come with a Porsche Home Energy Manager (blackout protection, intelligent consumption, more)
The Taycan has two charging ports. The one on the driver’s side is for at-home charging. With the provided cable, 11 hours of charging will be required for a full-from-not charge. On the passenger side, the charge port is for Level 3 (50 kW charging with 150 kW option). With 150 kW, on 400 volts, charge time can be as little as 36 minutes.
There will be such a thing as Porsche Charging Service which will enable worldwide access to charging points from various providers. Electrify America, a VW Group initiative, offers charging with up to 350 kW at 300 highway stations while its subsidiary, Electrify Canada, is developing its own high-power charging infrastructure for long-distance mobility. 32 charging stations will be in operational in Canada by 2020.
Porsche thought of this as well. Actually, they developed the “sound of electric vehicles” from the 919 Hybrid – they noticed drivers were more in tune with the car when noises matched the car’s behaviour. Called the Electric Sport Sound, the Taycan will make its own unique sound.
A Porsche boxer-6-cylinder engine sound is one of its many calling cards. Standard with the Taycan Turbo S (optional for the Taycan Turbo), the Electric Sport Sound will be Porsche’s new “engine sound” moving forward.
The 2020 Porsche Taycan pricing for the Canadian market was announced shortly after the unveil in Niagara Falls. The Taycan Turbo will start at $173,900 and $213,900 for the Turbo S model.