The name Porsche is synonymous with fast cars; the sort of machines that grace teenagers’ bedroom walls and feature on many a bucket list. So the fact that the company’s latest model is electric is hugely significant. Especially when you learn that it’s actually faster than any of Porsche’s other cars.
Porsche has taken a ‘clean sheet’ approach to designing the Taycan rather than converting an existing car, and it shows in the way the model drives and looks. It’s pretty clever too, using innovations such as a high-voltage power system which means the Taycan can be charged at a far higher rate than rivals such as the Tesla Model S without needing elaborate cooling systems to keep the delicate battery packs chilled.
A two-speed gearbox is another innovation, as most electric cars have just one gear ratio. It means the Taycan can be brutally fast when accelerating but still cruise on a German autobahn at high speeds without ripping through the battery range.
There are three versions of the Taycan currently available to order, with more models joining the range later. The least expensive Taycan – the 4S - has a battery size of 73.2kW and uses it to produce 527bhp – compare that to the 383bhp which Porsche’s iconic, petrol-powered 911 produces.
The two more expensive Taycans have a bigger 93.4kWh battery, allowing them to have a longer range between charges and access more ‘engine’ power. The Taycan Turbo produces 677 bhp and the Turbo S an almost unbelievable 757 bhp. Find a test track and press the right buttons and that Turbo S will accelerate from 0-60mph faster than almost any car in the world. Despite this, it is as easy to drive as any other car and can seat four in comfort. It doesn’t have the massive boot or spacious interior of SUV-shaped rivals such as the Jaguar I-PACE and Tesla Model X, or even Porsche’s own hybrid Panamera and Cayenne. But the VW Golf-sized boot will be a welcome surprise to anyone trading in a sportscar.
Where the Taycan really scores against other electric cars is the sensation when you drive it. The engineers have made sure it feels like any other Porsche in the way it goes around corners, with a decent weight through the steering, brakes and suspension which gives you a sense of control. The ‘base’ Taycan is actually the car that we'd pick for the UK. We've driven it in the Cotswolds countryside and along the legendary Californian Crest Highway. Both memorable for different reasons. Carving our way through the Crest canyons in the California sun in the 4S can only be described as joyful, whilst watching the Cotswolds landscape slip by in the 4S reminds you that the Taycan works as a proper electric grand-tourer. My only complaint? Neither drive was long enough. They had to prise us out from behind the wheel.
It’s also great quality, with the sort of materials and attention to detail that you’d expect from a Porsche.
So, the Taycan is a truly desirable electric car which could do more than any other to convince the doubters that the future of fast, fun cars is electric. The simple answer. Yes! Yes! Yes!