2020 Porsche Taycan Review
We drive the stunning new Porsche Taycan Turbo
Porsche is moving to an all-electric future and the mesmerising Taycan Turbo is its first entry into the world of EVs.
It’s the Porsche Taycan Turbo, the middle of three models in the German company’s brand-new line of fully electric sports cars. But whereas the 571hp entry-point Taycan 4S provides a 462km maximum EV range and costs from €115,375, this Turbo starts at €160,341; almost 40 per cent more. For that, a more potent drivetrain arrangement sees the twin electric motors delivering 625hp, which increases to an outrageous 680hp on a time-limited overboost function as a sub-programme of Launch Control. Thus equipped, not only can the Taycan Turbo go for 453km on a single charge, it will run 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds and is limited to 261km/h flat out. Not quick enough? Then know there’s a Turbo S flagship, which delivers the same 625hp as the Turbo in normal operation but which climbs to an astonishing 761hp on overboost – and, with, 1,050Nm to back it up, that means 0-100km/h in 2.8 seconds. In short, all the launch Taycans are incredibly fast, like ‘true’ Porsches.
How is it to drive?
Porsche equips the Taycan Turbo (and, by extension, the Turbo S, which gains an even more comprehensive specification list as standard) with plenty of chassis hardware to cope with all the electric power. As standard, it has Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with twin-axle air suspension, Porsche 4D Chassis Control and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) at the rear. With one motor powering the front wheels and the larger unit controlling the rears, the Taycan Turbo has two gearboxes (a single-speed reduction item up front and a two-speed reduction transmission at the back), as well Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive.
Further options are available to sharpen the drive further but, really, on the evidence of our test, we’re not sure why you’d need any of them. The Taycan Turbo is absolutely exceptional in every regard. Its low-to-mid-speed ride quality and impeccable refinement, courtesy of both its adaptive suspension and also the lack of a combustion engine introducing vibration into the package, means it is almost beyond compare for sheer comfort levels, while light and well-calibrated controls allow easy placement of the car on the road.
But when you up the pace, something that is easy to achieve as the any-speed acceleration of the Turbo is truly jaw-dropping, the handling of the Taycan is every bit a Porsche – there’s superb steering, fabulous body control and damping that allows for a degree of softness in the chassis, without letting the car ever feel ragged. What makes this all the more remarkable is that the Taycan Turbo weighs a not inconsiderable 2,305kg, so the fact it feels like a genuine sports saloon is incredible engineering from Porsche.
When is it coming to Ireland?
It’s available now. Aside from all the chassis and drivetrain technology, buyers of the Taycan Turbo will enjoy a kit list that includes front and rear ParkAssist sensors, keyless go, leather upholstery for the cabin, a 14-speaker Bose Surround Sound system generating 710 watts, heated seats front and rear, 18-way electrically adjustable adaptive sports seats with a memory package in the front, a leather multifunction steering wheel, cruise control with a speed limiter, a powered tailgate, auto lights and wipers, dual-zone climate control and LED Matrix headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus (PDLS Plus). There’s also a good level of safety technology, such as Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Collision and Brake Assist, Multi-Collision Brake and eight airbags in the cabin.
Any juicy technology?
Firstly, the Taycan has an 800-volt onboard electrical system, rather than 400-volt architecture. This allows it to be hooked up to rapid chargers delivering 270kW, which in turn allows its 93.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack to be recharged to 80 per cent of its capacity in a mere 22.5 minutes. Then, inside the car, Porsche’s latest digital cabin layout makes its debut. The wonderful 10.9-inch Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment screen in the centre of the dashboard is joined by a lower touchscreen pad for the climate control, including the fancy air vents with internal electric motors that direct the air where you want it to go (the airflow controlled by the touchpad), and the magnificent 16.8-inch Curved Display instrument cluster. This has no cowl above it, so it looks like a freestanding screen; to prevent glare making it illegible in bright sunlight, it is coated with a special material to ensure the driver can always see the information displayed thereon.
Carzone.ie rating: 5/5
Porsche’s first attempt at an electric car is, somewhat predictably, miles in advance of any other EV that has yet been launched. The Taycan Turbo is simply immense in every regard – in the way it looks, in the quality of its cabin finishing, in the generosity of its standard technology and in the brilliance of its drivetrain and chassis. Sure, it’s not cheap, but if you want the best electric car in the world for the foreseeable future, you’re looking right at it. The Taycan is a zero-emissions work of genius.