New Porsche Taycan 2020: ride review, specs and on-sale date
The Porsche Taycan is due to go on sale in 2020, and the German manufacturer has set the Tesla Model S in its sights as it prepares to launch its first-ever electric car.
Official performance figures haven’t been confirmed yet, but Porsche is aiming for more than 300 miles of range from a single charge.
The company is expected to fit the Taycan with a 90kWh battery, and 350kW rapid charging will allow around 180 miles of range to be added in as little as nine minutes.
The Taycan will feature two electric motors – one at the front and one at the back – delivering around 600bhp in range-topping versions of the car.
Acceleration from 0-62mph should take just 3.5 seconds, with 0-124mph projected to take less than 12 seconds. The car's top speed will be around 155mph.
All-wheel-drive should be standard to begin with, although cheaper rear-wheel-drive versions could eventually emerge.
Porsche Taycan ride review
Test mules of the Porsche Taycan have covered more than six million kilometres during the vehicle’s five-year development programme, which has spanned 30 countries and temperatures ranging from -35 to +50 degrees Celsius.
It has also been put through more than 100,000 charging cycles to make sure the battery is robust as possible.
With the Taycan almost ready for production, our sister title Auto Express went to Germany for a passenger ride alongside the car’s chief engineer, Stefan Weckback, in order to see how it’s shaping up.
“We wanted the Taycan to be a true Porsche,” Weckbach explained. “That means it must be a maximum performer under every circumstance for as long as the driver demands it.”
This is easier said than done in a car that weighs more than two tonnes, measuring more than five metres long and two metres wide.
However, the Taycan boasts a lower centre of gravity than the Porsche 911 GT3, in large part thanks to the low positioning of its battery.
Combined with active, adaptive air suspension and rear-wheel steering, the Taycan feels incredibly agile in corners, brilliantly disguising its large proportions.
The low seating position should also be factored into the equation: it goes a long way to making the Taycan feel sporty and more driver-focused than either the Model S or the Jaguar I-Pace.
Performance in a straight line is also remarkable: even from the passenger seat, the mooted 0-62mph figure of 3.5 seconds or less seems accurate.
What’s striking is that this acceleration happens in near-silence, with Porsche’s engineers having worked hard to eliminate as much noise as possible from the electric motors.
While the Taycan's handling is reminiscent of the 911, the styling is more akin to that of the Panamera. Typical design cues from the rest of the Porsche line-up are visible on the Taycan’s exterior shell, including the swooping roofline, flared wheelarches and a full-length LED light bar at the rear.
Porsche has decided to keep information about the interior design to itself for now, with the full reveal set to take place at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
However, it’s safe to say that the Taycan’s interior will be among Porsche’s most futuristic to date, with a heavy reliance on touchscreens as opposed to physical buttons.
We’ll get a proper drive of the Taycan at the end of 2019. When deliveries begin in 2020, the Tesla Model S will at last have competition from a mainstream rival.
The Taycan will be compatible with the super-fast European CCS chargers offered by IONITY, however only a few dozen such stations are expected to be operational in the UK by the time the Taycan hits our roads.
Porsche wants the Taycan’s lithium-ion battery to be denser than anything offered by Tesla, and a figure of 270 watt-hours per kilogramme has been suggested.
Inside, the Porsche Taycan will adopt a ‘four-plus-one’ layout, with room for up to five passengers, while there’ll be space for luggage in the boot and under the bonnet.
A freestanding, curved digital instrument display will rest in front of the driver, and a toggle-style driving-mode selector will let you switch between drive, neutral and reverse.
A large infotainment screen will sit flush inside the dashboard, while a second touchscreen will lie between the two front seats.
Taycan owners should also be able to buy wireless over-the-air updates for their car, offering upgrades for everything from the infotainment system to the on-board safety technology. Chassis changes and power upgrades should also be possible.
Price and release date
No pricing information has been released for the Taycan at this stage, although Porsche has indicated that up to three more variants of the four-door saloon could be made available, with the more expensive, high-end versions going on sale first.
These would offer varying levels of power, with an entry-level version developing around 400bhp. A crossover model – previewed by the Mission E Cross Turismo concept car – has also been confirmed for production, and the Taycan will also form the basis of a fully electric Bentley at some stage.
Porsche says more than 10,000 customers have placed a deposit on the Taycan, and it expects to build between 20,000 and 25,000 models annually from 2020 onwards.
Porsche has also shed some light on the origin of the Taycan name: derived from an eastern dialect, Taycan is pronounced ‘tie-can’ and means ‘lively young horse’, a reference to the Porsche badge.