Porsche Taycan The Fastest EV Or Not?


Porsche first announced the Taycan as a concept car called the Mission-E back in 2015. There was a lot of interest in the car then, but when Porsche announced it was going into production it was a mad rush to Porsche dealers to place orders, but was it worth the wait?

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The design of the production Taycan is remarkably similar to that mission E- concept and right now you can get the Taycan in four versions. It starts with the 4s which has 520 horsepower.

Then there’s the 4s with a battery upgrade and 560 horsepower, then there’s the turbo with 670 horsepower.

And then there’s the king of the hill, the Taycan turbo s with 750 horsepower. The Taycan also has 775 pound-feet of torque, and it’ll do 0 to 60 in 2.6 seconds.

ModelHorsepower
Taycan 4S520
4S Battery Upgrade560
Taycan Turbo670
Taycan Turbo S775

All this comes at a price, a hefty one. The base-level Taycan 4’s starts around a hundred and five thousand dollars, with about 250 miles of range.

The Taycan Turbo S starts at around a hundred and eighty-five thousand dollars, with a similar range.

The other Taycan models offer more range, but it never really gets up there, it doesn’t cross 300 miles.

This means it doesn’t get close to Tesla the long-range Model S that currently offers about 370 miles between charges. But there’s more to this car than numbers.

Getting Into The Car

When you walk up to the car you can see the door handles are pushed in flat against the door, so you can’t get your hand in there and open them up. So how do you do it?

Well, it turns out if you have the key in your pocket you walk up to the car, stick your hand underneath the door handle, the door pops right open, and then you can open the door fully.

When your door handles are up like this, that serves as an indication that your Taycan is unlocked. If you want to lock it just walk up to the door handle, tap it, and then it pushes back down into the door the car is locked.

Of course, you can also use your key fob to lock and unlock the doors. You get a pretty standard looking Porsche key fob, you press to unlock the doors to unlock, and you press lock to lock.

The thing I like about the key fob is there’s a little light around the Porsche crest at the base of the key fob, and every time you press a button it blinks to confirm that it got whatever button that you pressed.

Charging Port

When it comes to opening stuff in the Taycan the door is nowhere near the coolest item, that honor goes to the charge port. The charge port is located just behind the front fender, to open it you slide your finger under the little black piece protruding next to the charge port door.

You slide your finger underneath the black sensor and the charge port pops open and then folds away into the fender, instead of just swinging open like a fuel door ora standard charge port.

To close the charge port it is the same process. You slide your finger under the black plastic sensor, the sensor detects your finger and the charge port door closes right up. This operation is by far the slickest of any charge port door I’ve seen in any electric car.

Interior

When you get into the car and If you want to start it, just like all Porsches you can do that to the left of the steering wheel.

Porsche has some racing history around putting the starter to the left of the wheel, and that continues into the futuristic electric car age.

In this car it’s a button like an on-off computer button, that’s how you start this thing we’re certainly in a brave new world compared to an old school key you turn at the start of a car race.

But maybe the more interesting item in terms of getting in the car and driving off is the gear lever, which is to the right of the steering wheel. It’s a tiny little lever that you can use to move between reverse, neutral, and drive.

You go up for reverse, down for drive, neutral is in the middle, and then park is a button off to the side.

I recently reviewed the new Porsche 911 and it has this very same weird tiny gear lever, but in the 911 it’s mounted in the middle of the car like a normal ICE car rather than next to the steering wheel.

They moved the gear lever up there, what was so important that they wanted to stick in the middle of this interior?

The answer is cup holders. You have one cup holder in the center console area and then a second cup holder that’s off to the right.

You also have a little center console storage area. You press the button on the driver’s side, it pops. There’s also a wireless charging pad in the central storage compartment.

Central Display Screens

The other item you have in the center of this car is far more important than the cupholders and that is the digital display screens. The bottom of the two screens has some of the more basic, more frequently used vehicle commands.

At the top of the screen, there are the climate controls, you can adjust the temperature, the fan speed, the heated and cooled seats.

Unfortunately this screen is not just a simple little touch like Tesla and other automakers, you have to tap it pretty hard to get any of the functions like the AC to change.

It’s not exactly my favorite type of screen, but it’s what they went with for the Taycan.

The bottom half of this screen is more interesting than the top half. There is a little button over to the side that has a battery and a car icon on it, if you press the battery part of that button it tells you what percentage charge you have left, and the current range it thinks it can cover with that charge.

If you press the car button a little car graphic pops up, on this screen, there are more icons. You press any of the icons to open various doors around the car. There is an icon to open the AC charger door and on the other side, there is an icon to open the AC DC charger door.

You can also use the screen to open the front trunk and the rear cargo door. Press the button and the rear trunk will pop open automatically as its power-operated, the cool thing is you can also use the same icon button to close the rear trunk.

Same deal with the AC or DC charge doors, you can open or close them from this screen.

I will say there is one massive mistake on this screen, and that would be the volume controls. The volume control in this car is on the touchscreen, again you have to keep tapping it to increase or decrease the audio volume. This is a mistake, it should just be a knob. I hope they change that.

When you are at the main menu of the bottom screen there seems to be a lot of unused space, and you might be wondering what is, the answer is you can use it to control the upper screen.

If you do not want to lift your hand to the upper screen then you can control it using the lower screen. This is a first, you have a screen that controls a screen and these two screens are only about eight inches away from each other.

It seems ridiculously redundant, but it’s there as a supplementary control to the upper screen.

Just to be clear, I say it’s a supplementary control because again, the upper screen is a touchscreen, you could just go up there and touch the icons or you could control it using your lower screen. It’s unusual but that’s what they’ve done.

Onboard Cameras

One other interesting item on that lower screen is the camera icon. If you press that it pulls up the camera system, in this car and one of the options is a 360-degree exterior camera.

It shows your car and then it shows everything happening around it, like there’s some sort of camera helicopter hovering around your car.

You can see your car from various angles, you can see there’s some duplicating of the image that can lead you to be unsure where you are concerning surrounding objects.

I will say this system is not quite as good as some rivals. BMW does it a little better, but still, this is a great feature and I’m glad Porsche has included it.

The upper center screen has far more controls than that lower screen. If you go to the home menu on the top center screen you will see the typical icons, navigation, media settings, basically what you would have in a regular Porsche infotainment system.

There are quite a few unusual, and new items and I’m going to start with the climate vents. If you look at the climate vents in the middle you will see you can’t adjust them, and there’s no way to stop airflow.

Which is kind of strange, but sometimes that happens with middle climate vents.

But even over on the sides, there’s nowhere to move them, you pull on them, you’ve moved around, there’s nothing there to move the vent so how do you change the positioning in the airflow?

If you go into the climate tab in the infotainment screen you will see there are a few options.

You have diffused, focused, and individual. Diffused will blow air throughout the cabin, focused will move the climate vents and focus them on you.

But my favorite is individual because you get to set the positioning of the climate vents using the center screen.

You just move around the little bubbles that appear on the screen. You can place the climate vents wherever you want, and then the vents will move to blow air to wherever you set them.

I can feel the collective eye roll for people who just want a simple little lever on the vents themselves, but I guess this is how Porsche will be addressing climate vent adjustments in the future.

It’s also worth noting that you can adjust the airflow to the climate vents with a little bar that pops up over on the left, it’s like a slider that you can move up or down for more or less airflow.

You get the same deal over on the passenger side. Your passengers can choose between diffused, focus, and individual in the same way you would as a driver.

Recuperation

You can set recuperation to use some of the car’s momentum when it’s slowing down to convert back into energy, and give you more miles of charge.

You can set this to on or off or auto, they may be wondering why someone would turn this off isn’t it better to have more range, but it does change the characteristics of the car slowing it down.

So if you want a more natural driving feel, you turn that off and then it’ll feel more like driving a normal car and that’s why Porsche allows it to be configurable.

Satellite Navigation

The navigation system in this car is a pretty standard Porsche navigation system, but there are some unusual new items.

One is range, you can select a menu item called range and then if you zoom out you can see it shows exactly how far you can go on your current charge.

That is a pretty cool feature and I’d like to see what electric cars include stuff like that in their navigation systems, it just makes things a little bit more convenient and easy to figure out how far you can drive.

The other interesting new item with the navigation system is how you enter a destination.

You go to search which allows you to type in an address or city, and then you can hand write it using that empty spot on the lower screen.

It’s just like one of those devices you sign with your finger when you get a parcel delivered.

You can write in the city name you want, the car will pick up the name of the city, and then it will pull up that city on the screen. You can select it and that’s your destination. It’s far easier than typing each letter out on a touchscreen.

Gauge Cluster

The gauge cluster screen is a very unusually shaped screen, it’s shaped like a gauge cluster, not like a rectangle or a square like most other screens. The most interesting part of this gauge cluster screen to me is it’s partially a touchscreen.

You’ll notice over to the left you have various levels of lighting, you can tap them and it turns on the parking lights or the automatic lights, and there’s no physical light control over on the left like in most other cars.

The same deal on the right side of this weirdly shaped gauge cluster screen, you have various buttons to control different car functions.

You can turn off traction control, you have the shortcut button which is the diamond that you can program to be anything, and you can tap those so your gauge cluster screen is a touchscreen.

I should mention that the gauge cluster is not a touchscreen in the middle, it is very configurable, but if you want to configure it you have to press the little button on the steering wheel to move between the different parts of the gauge cluster.

You can then use the little wheel on the steering wheel to scroll through different menus.

As you scroll through the options with the wheel you will see the map option. This will bring up the map, it will show you a map of where you are, you can also set it to an enlarged map which will take over the whole gauge cluster.

You can also set it to show the power which will show how much power you’re using as you drive around with your speedometer right in the middle.

You can set it to reduced if all that stuff is just too complex for you. Select reduced and it will show you a very simple gauge cluster screen with just a speedometer.

There are many menu options you can configure, too many to list here but it’s very simple to do. Use the wheel to scroll between the menu options and use the button to the right of the wheel to select the option to display on the screen.

For those geeks out there who like geeky stuff, this car has one of the best. When you turn off the Taycan all the menus disappear but when they do a silhouette of the car shows up on the gauge cluster.

The car silhouette turns as it is driving away from you to show the light bar on the back of the car. This light bar slowly fades away as if it’s speeding off into the distance which looks pretty cool.

Steering Wheel

The steering wheel is pretty much the same steering wheel you’ll find in most other Porsche models, although, notably it lacks paddles because this car lacks a traditional transmission.

The one interesting item on the steering wheel is a little dial that comes off to the right, that’s your drive mode adjuster dial.

You can twist it, and then you can see in the gauge cluster your various drive modes appear, and you can use it to scroll through all of them and pick which one you want.

One drive mode option you can select is something called range, which I assume will do everything possible to maximize your range and efficiency to allow you to travel as far as possible on one single charge.

Interior Build Quality

The interior build quality is fantastic, everything is well put together. The stitching and materials used are top-notch.

The interior far eclipses what you get in a Tesla, this is a really good luxury car interior, with that said, I’m a little disappointed about one aspect and that is a little plastic panel on the pillar next to the door panel.

The door panel has beautiful different colors with carbon fiber and then it runs into a plastic panel, it just doesn’t look anywhere near as good for a hundred and eighty-five thousand dollars.

You would think for the money you are paying for this supercar the panel would be finished in something other than some cheap plastic.

Back Seats

The first thing you notice in the back is that it’s sporty, there’s no three-person bench seat in the back, instead, you have two individual bucket seats.

They are quite heavily bolstered, I guess the theory is you can take your whole family on the track and they won’t slosh around in their seats.

It’s worth noting that optional in this car is a three-person rear bench so you can have a five-seater car or you get to have a four-seater if you don’t plan to take five people very often.

Glass Roof

Aside from the bucket seats, the first thing you notice when you get in the back is the roof, which is a massive glass panel.

This piece doesn’t open, it’s fixed in place and there’s no cover for it, although it’s tinted so not much sunlight gets through. Still, it is a huge piece of glass and it makes the rear feel very open.

The glass roof covers the front seats too, but you don’t quite notice it as much in front. In the back, though it feels like you’re in some sort of tour bus, or glass-bottom boat, except it, ‘s on the top.

Due to the design of this car the rear windows don’t open very far, you roll down the windows and they stop about halfway down.

Contrary to popular belief this is not a safety feature to keep your kids from climbing out, it’s based on the design of the back door.

Other Rear Cabin Features

There are a few nice features in the back, for example, you have heated seats.

There are heater controls buttons located on the rear of the center console, you press the little buttons to turn on the heated seats to three different stages.

There are also individual reading lights in the back. You will find the button to turn the reading light on next to the handle on the roof.

The rear-seat passengers also have climate control adjusters on the vents which are located above the heated seat buttons on the back of the center consol. You have a little dial to regulate airflow and little switches to move around the vents.

Trunk Space

To open the trunk there is the rather obvious button in the center of the rear of the car.

Most automakers put their trunk opener button right above the license plate, but I guess Porsche thought that would be too far for people to bend down, so instead it’s just below the trunk lid.

You press it and then the trunk pops open revealing a rather small trunk, this is not a hatchback like the Panamera where the rear cargo area is open to the cabin, instead, this car has a true trunk or boot like a traditional sedan.

The trunk isn’t all that big, although it’s worth noting that you can pull on the tag located at the rear center of the trunk that will reveal a little bit more storage under the trunk floor.

Emergency Exit

The government mandates that all cars with a cargo area have to include some sort of emergency exit release so that if you get kidnapped and stuffed in a trunk you can get out.

Most cars have an ugly little lever that hangs down, but this car has a nice little button that says exit. Porsche even does the emergency exit trunk release nicer than other automakers.

Rear View Camera

A couple more noteworthy items at the rear of the car, one of which is right above the license plate.

You will see there is the rear camera, that’s not interesting, in fact, it’s mandated, but right next to the camera there’s a thin plastic tube that sticks out.

This tube is a camera washer, and if the camera gets dirty you can go into the infotainment system, into the camera menu, press the little washer icon and it washes the camera. Great if you are driving in bad weather and you don’t want to get out of the car to clean it yourself.

Rear Spoiler

In other Porsche models, you can drive around with the rear spoiler up, so people stare at you, not so in the Taycan.

There’s a spoiler on the tailgate that will automatically go up at certain speeds, but you can only manually put it up to wash the car.

Rear Light Bar

All Porsche models have light bars, now that’s not particularly noteworthy. What’s neat is right below the spoiler embedded into the light bar is the Porsche wording.

It looks like a circuit within the text, you can see all the little lines going between each letter which makes it look futuristic and high-tech. I like that they bothered to do that which gives the car just a slightly more interesting look.

I also want to talk about the other name on the back of this car and that would be Turbo S. When Porsche announced that they would be using turbo, and Turbo S for the highest performance versions of this car people flipped out.

How can they call it the turbo, it doesn’t even have a gas engine or a turbo, it’s sacrilege. The simple truth is, in today’s world of electrification and smaller turbo engines none of these names mean anything anymore.

The BMW 550i no longer has a 5-liter engine, the Mercedes C43 doesn’t have a 4.3-liter engine, and this does not have a turbo but in the Porsche world now turbo just means fast. Quit clutching your pearls and get used to it, join 2020 this is how it’s going to be.

Front Trunk

There are two ways to open the front trunk, one you can use the infotainment screen options to open the door or you can just press a little button on the key fob.

The front trunk opens a little, you then have to find the little latch to release it and open the front trunk.

The front trunk is a little small for a car that has this much frontal space, not much of it is actually usable front trunk storage space, but it’s there and it’s nice to have two different trunks, especially since the rear one is also relatively small.

Overall Car Styling

I have to say I like it, as do most people. It’s a nice looking aerodynamic car, it still preserves the look of a Porsche, it’s a really good looking car and it certainly looks better than every other electric car on the market today, yes including Tesla.

One thing I will say is I wish Porsche had started an electric car with a sports car since that would be more true to the Porsche ethos, but sports cars don’t get a lot of sales these days.

That would probably have been a mistake from a business perspective, but from a car enthusiast perspective, I think it would have been cool.

Sports Wheels

Porsche calls these the mission-E wheels, because they’re supposed to mimic the ones that were on the original mission-E concept, and frankly I have to say they did a pretty good job.

It’s surprising when an automaker gets that close from a concept car to reality, but they’ve done it here.

If you liked the mission-E when it came out as a concept car, then you will probably like the Taycan wheels.

How Does It Drive?

If you thought that because this was an electric car it wouldn’t be all the fast, you would be wrong, this car is crazy fast. It accelerates as fast as a gas car but that first burst of acceleration is breathtaking.

One of the things I was surprised about was when Porsche came out with the pricing for this car.

How is it so expensive compared to the Tesla Model S, first off Porsche has never been cheaper than anything.

If you look at the 911, if you look at the Cayenne X3 Porsche’s are always more expensive.

The theory is it’s because Porsche is better, although it doesn’t take much to get better than Tesla’s interior quality.

Tesla provides an excellent vehicle in terms of value, they’re able to pack an enormous amount of range and tech into a car that’s not that expensive compared to its rivals, what Tesla doesn’t offer is the ability to do track lap after track lap without overheating.

The ability to have a top-quality upscale interior, and so the result of that is that yes, this car is more expensive but it’s also better.

Within a second of getting into the Taycan and looking around, you can tell the quality is an obvious improvement.

I will say the steering is top-notch, Tesla’s steer great, they have a tight ratio, they steer real quick. But one thing that this car does that the model 3 performance doesn’t, is the Taycan is incredibly planted and stable.

You don’t feel much when you’re going around corners, it feels like a 911, like a sports car to a degree that few other electric vehicles can’t.

The steering is just fantastic because the car is set so low, and so wide. It’s not just that the steering is good but the car also handles tremendously well mid-corner.

Coming out of the corners it feels like a Porsche sports car feels, like a 911. To me, it feels quicker and sportier than the Panamera, which I think feels like a bigger boat type car, this doesn’t feel like that.

It does behave like a nice luxury gas car, but with the exception that you don’t hear anything, it just is fantastic and it drives well. It also looks good. It drives like a Porsche, it’s fast, it’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s nice to drive.

The Porsche Taycan Turbo S is a fantastic car, but Porsche is playing catch-up. They don’t have the charging infrastructure that Tesla does, they don’t have the range that Tesla does, and this car is vastly more expensive than Tesla’s vehicles.

But this car is much higher quality than a Tesla, the performance is insane, the brand name is fantastic and this is the first car that is equal to Tesla in the hype, and the hype is worth it.