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
- Crazy acceleration
- Handling finesse
- Gorgeous interior
- 150kW charging and cable cost extra
- Tesla Model S is cheaper
- Endless options list
|Car type||Electric range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||253-301 miles||11hrs 30mins-13hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||20mins (20-80%, 270kW)|
If you consider yourself a petrolhead looking to make the switch to electric power, and you value sharp handling over and 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.
Porsche’s first fully electric vehicle features a 93kWh battery in mid-range Turbo and top-of-the-range Turbo S forms, which delivers 280 and 256 miles of range respectively. The entry-level, rear-wheel-drive Taycan and all-wheel-drive Taycan 4S both offer a choice of 79 or 93kWh batteries, with claimed ranges of between 253 and 301 miles depending on wheel size and battery specs.
On paper, then, the four-door Porsche Taycan is a serious rival for the Tesla Model S. But there's more to the Taycan than headline range figures; the very first electric Porsche is quick – no matter which version you go for.
The two electric motors in the Taycan Turbo S produce a mighty 751bhp in ‘overboost’ mode, which translates to a 0-62mph time of just 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 161mph. Going from 0-124mph takes less than 10 seconds, too (and is now even quicker following a March 2021 software update). The car is based on the Volkswagen Group’s J1 platform; a bespoke electric-car chassis that also underpins the Audi e-tron GT.
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 basic car is good enough to shock and delight, so we’d say the usefully cheaper entry-level Taycan is the pick of the range.
The Turbo S does have the sort of surreal, computer-game accelerative performance 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 model and the car perks up dramatically, with the settings sharpened to make the car 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 regenerative braking is powerful enough that you can 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.
With such a heavy focus on the future, Porsche has tried to be forward-thinking with the Taycan’s dashboard layout. 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 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...
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingWith 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
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe Porsche Taycan has a long range and its 270kW rapid-charging capability is among the fastest of any electric car right now
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe Porsche Taycan should be reasonably cheap to run, once you’ve got past the eye-watering purchase price
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe Porsche Taycan is extraordinarily fast, but it’s the handling finesse that makes it a milestone car
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe Porsche Taycan's interior is finished to a high standard, and there's plenty of space for four passengers
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe Porsche Taycan offers decent practicality for such a high-performance car, although boot space is adequate rather than generous
- 7Reliability & safety ratingReliability and safety shouldn’t be a concern with the Porsche Taycan, as the German carmaker has a good reputation for both