In-depth reviews

Porsche Taycan review

With a long range, savage performance and arguably the best handling of any four-door coupe – electric or otherwise – the Porsche Taycan is a landmark car

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Price
£72,850 - £139,616
Fuel Type:
Electric

Pros

  • Crazy acceleration
  • Handling finesse
  • Gorgeous interior

Cons

  • 150kW charging and cable cost extra
  • Tesla Model S is cheaper
  • Endless options list
ModelRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Taycan (79kWh)220-268 miles11hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)21mins (10-80%, 225kW)
Taycan (93kWh)253-301 miles13hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)19mins (10-80%, 262kW)
Taycan 4S (79kWh)208-254 miles11hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)21mins (10-80%, 225kW)
Taycan 4S (93kWh)242-288 miles13hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)19mins (10-80%, 262kW)
Taycan Turbo (93kWh)238-281 miles13hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)19mins (10-80%, 262kW)
Taycan Turbo S (93kWh)242-258 miles13hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)19mins (10-80%, 262kW)

If you consider yourself a 'petrolhead', but are looking to make the switch to electric power and  value sharp handling above anything else, then the Porsche Taycan is the car for you. Yes, it's expensive, but little else out there can challenge it for driving fun. This is an electric Porsche in the truest sense; it has the potential to do more for the electric-car cause than almost any other, proving that battery power is worthy of the enthusiasts as well as the environmentalists.

The Taycan is based on the Volkswagen Group’s 'J1' platform – a dedicated electric-car chassis that also underpins the Audi e-tron GT. It gets a 93kWh battery and standard four-wheel drive in its most expensive Turbo and Turbo S forms, delivering maximum ranges of around 280 and 260 miles respectively. The entry-level, rear-drive Taycan and mid-range, four-wheel-drive Taycan 4S both offer a choice of 79 or 93kWh batteries, with claimed maximum ranges of between about 250 and 300 miles depending on exact specifications.

On paper, then, the Taycan is a serious rival for the Tesla Model S. But there's more to this car than just headline range figures; the very first electric Porsche is quick – no matter which version you go for. The two electric motors in the Turbo S produce a mighty 751bhp in ‘overboost’ mode, which translates to 0-62mph in just 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 161mph. Going from 0-124mph takes less than 10 seconds, too.

We’ve driven the entry-level, rear-wheel-drive Taycan, as well as the 4S and Turbo S, on UK roads, and even with ‘just’ 375bhp and 357Nm on tap, the performance of the cheapest version is good enough to shock and delight, In fact, it's our pick of the range. But the Turbo S does offer the sort of surreal, computer-game acceleration that's wholly intoxicating, as well as more generous standard equipment, so for those with money to spare, it's not hard to see why the Turbo or Turbo S might justify the price jump over the basic Taycan or Taycan 4S.

Switch to Sport or Sport+ mode in any Taycan and the car perks up dramatically, with the settings sharpened to make it as nimble as possible. You’d never guess it weighs some 2.3 tonnes judging by its sharp turn-in and playful chassis. The Taycan's impressively controlled ride comfort makes it well suited to UK roads. Every Taycan apart from the very cheapest model gets adaptive air suspension, and both the 4S and Turbo S that we drove had optional active anti-roll bars fitted; these deliver a great balance of precise damper and body control.

Porsche claims the Taycan's regenerative braking is powerful enough to allow you do 90% of your driving without touching the brake pedal at all, however we found that even the strongest of the two available settings wasn’t quite enough to slow the car sufficiently around town. We’d favour having steering-wheel paddles to more intuitively adjust the brake regeneration levels.

Inside, the Taycan is very quiet if you’re sat in the front, although it’s much louder in the back, where the tyres generate a lot of road noise. Passenger space isn’t too bad despite the sloping roofline, although the rear of the cabin is quite dark due to the small rear window. Back up front, a digital display with touch-sensitive buttons lies ahead of the driver, with two more screens on dashboard and a further screen on the centre console. The optional unit facing the front passenger feels like overkill.

In terms of perceived fit and finish however, the Taycan is superb, as you’d expect. Standard kit includes 18-way power-adjustable sports seats, LED lights, two-zone climate control and the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system with online sat nav. However, you can blow five figures on options very easily. The cheapest models don't even include heated seats, power-folding wing mirrors or adaptive cruise control as standard, and even on the more generously equipped Turbo and Turbo S, it's reasonable to assume that you'll be doing a lot of box-ticking.

At 366 litres, the boot is a decent size, and there's an 81-litre 'frunk' as well, although even combined it’s less than half of what you’ll find in a Tesla Model S. It’s a pity the Taycan doesn’t benefit from a hatchback tailgate like the Panamera's, but the Taycan Cross Turismo estate promises to solve that issue.

In terms of real-world efficiency, we saw around 2.5 miles per kWh from the Turbo S in moderate, dry conditions that we drove it in; provided you don't drive it too hard, that equates to a range of 210 miles from the usable battery capacity of 83.7kWh. The Taycan and Taycan 4S will go a little further than that if you opt for the bigger battery – we found 220-230 miles easily achievable, even with a heavier-than-normal right foot.

All things considered, the Porsche Taycan is a huge milestone for electric cars, proving that purist and performance cars have a bright future – and present – in the battery age. For a more detailed look at the Porsche Taycan, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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