Porsche, the name itself, brings motion to stationery things. It’s a car manufacturer synonymous with performance and speed and has its own cult following, giving birth to numbers like 711,911 and words like GTS. It’s a brand known for pushing the automotive envelope in engineering and technology and is sometimes preferred over Lamborghini and Ferrari for its being a value deal for the same amount of fun and almost similar respect among the enthusiasts.
The word was that Porsche had decided to go clean and aimed to turn up to 80% of its lineup into EVs. It dropped the Taycan in 2019, a car built for performance and the first step for Porsche into complete electrification. The word ‘Taycan’ is composed of two Turkish words that translate as the soul of a spirited young horse that justifies the beautiful Porsche logo on the front bonnet. The Taycan is based on the Volkswagen group J1 platform, which also houses Audi e-Tron GT. I can’t help but wonder who this car is for? An environmentally conscious petrolhead? A tree-hugging speed demon? or a modern-day enthusiast? Let’s dig on each one of these and get our answers straight.
Design and Styling:
The car’s stance instantly strikes on with its futuristic and sportier appeal. It’s one gorgeous looking stylish car that literally turns heads on the road. It gets Car Paparazzi rolling. Windows go down, and admiring eyes pop out. The colour also has a role to play, but even if it was black or red, I think it would have gotten similar attention.
The Taycan is 4963mm long, 2144 wide and 1395 mm tall and comes with a wheelbase of 2900mm that liberates more space on the inside. The distinctive four-point LED headlights with matrix beams on the front combine all the LED functions in a single component. It looks spooky futuristic and totally adds to the electric character, which the Taycan is coming wrapped in. The low, sloping bonnet and lateral air intakes on the front improve aerodynamics and reduce unnecessary turbulence. The two flowing character lines on the bonnet makes it look like a sculpted art affair. On the base variant, you get 20-inch turbo aero alloy wheels with low profile tyres, and despite being low profile tyres, the ride quality is extremely brilliant, to say the least. Option of big 21-inch wheels is available. The automatically extending flushed door handles enhance the car’s luxury quotient.
At the rear, there is a seamless LED light strip running across the rear body along with the 3D crystal looking PORSCHE logo embedded within a glass section. It’s a work of art. Needless to say, it looks more striking on-road, and any pictures won’t do any justice to its design. A three-stage retractable rear spoiler also further increases the car’s stability at high speeds. Thanks to its EV pedigree, the Taycan has a relatively clean design and allows for more effortless airflow and space for a rather sporty looking rear diffuser.
Interiors and features:
Step inside the Taycan, and it looks like you’ve entered any other Porsche, except this one feels a whole lot more digital and a whole lot less analogue. For starters, there are just too many screens inside this car, and it makes you feel like you’ve hijacked a low slung UFO.
The dash layout looks a lot futuristic. There are five display units inside the car, out of which 16.8-inch frameless curved instrumental display instantly grabs the attention. Then there are two 10.9-inch central and front passenger displays, including a host of audio, navigation and communications features. Another display is located in the centre, namely the 8.4-inch centre console control panel. This centre console provides additional access to navigation, media, telephone, settings and Apple CarPlay via a menu bar and aircon controls, all of which can also be disabled. Though the Taycan is the driver’s car, the passengers in the back seat get due attention. It has a 5.9 inch rear touchscreen display, available in conjunction with four-zone advanced climate control. It also has a touch-sensitive surface, which can operate comfort features, such as temperature, ventilation and seat heating and has haptic feedback. The only thing missing is the presence of any physical buttons that you get in a Panamera, Cayenne or 911.
As standard, the carpet and the floor mats are made up of sustainable Econyl thread, which is recycled fibre manufactured from the used fishing nets and among other things. It’s all about sustainability these days. Storage isn’t precisely your priority in any performance car, and keeping accurate to that nature; the Porsche Taycan offers relatively little. It has a boot capacity of 407 litres, accommodating a spare tyre and a charging cable, leaving you with very little space. The only real saviour is the 81-litre storage capacity in its frunk and can be used for small bags or luggage.
Battery and Performance:
The Taycan comes with the 79.2 kWh battery pack and gets a permanent magnet synchronous motor that delivers 326 bhp of power and 345 Nm of torque to the rear wheels. Interestingly, the battery is based on 800-volt technology and not the conventional 400 Volt and has a WLTP range of 340km. But on our real-world test, the battery gave us around 250-260km of range with its maximum charge. When it comes to charging, an 11kW AC charger will charge the car from 0-100 per cent in around eight hours, whereas a 50kW DC charger can take the battery from 5 per cent to 80 per cent in just 90 minutes. We went to a few DC charging units and found them inoperational, so we could not test that.
The Taycan comes with five driving modes, out of which, in Normal mode, the car achieves a perfect balance between comfort and efficiency. Whereas in sports mode, the systems are set for enhanced emotionality and performance, and if you select sports plus mode, the system behaves in a performance league. The chassis descends to its lowest level. The air intake flaps open on demand, and other systems are primed for maximum performance. The vehicle settings are combined based on the normal, sport and sport plus modes in the individual mode. In range mode, as the name suggests, the entire vehicle is tuned for maximum efficiency and range.
The rear spoiler deploys in three stages (90km/h, 160km/h and 200km/h) and does its best to aid the car aerodynamically. The final stage (Performance) ensures maximum driving stability and optimum dynamic potential. Interestingly, the drag coefficient of the Tayacan is only 0.22, making it one the most efficient Porsche ever.
Taycan shows on the screen when the regen is happening. A green bar will come the moment you lift your leg from the acceleration pedal and use braking. Though we could not add too much range, you will have to switch off the AC and drive at 80-85 Kmph and then drop to 45-50 km/h for it to be effective. Since the battery is based on 800 Volt technology, don’t expect to add much range as you go along. You will have to put it on manually; it’s not automatically set to regen mode.
Porsches have been known for their enthusiastic driving dynamics for ages, and the Taycan is no exception. You can see the front arches on either end, giving you an exact sense of a Porsche 911. Moreover, it actually drives like the legendary 911. The handling is so precise and confidence-inspiring that it urges you to go fast on bends and corners. Steering inputs are an absolute masterpiece on the sports plus mode, adding electronic song by default to make it sound like a mini jet engine.
The Taycan comes with adaptive air suspension, ensuring the perfect balance between comfort and performance. But you have to be a little careful with the bad roads and speed breakers. It would be best to do some hand gymnastics to keep the underbelly safe from scratching the big bumps on roads. Though we drove all over Mumbai and even to Karjat with the air suspension on, you will glide through most rough patches. You just need to keep your eyes and ears wide open and eventually get used to your intuition.
Future is silent yet absolutely fast to massage your driving senses. I wouldn’t exactly call this a mile muncher because, in the real world, the car will be tamed extremely hard, which decreases the range and increases the anxiety.
The Porsche Taycan is the big step towards the electric mobility revolution. The car gets brimmed with a host of features. Not just does it look distinctive and sporty, it also drives like one. Despite being a 2-ton car, the Taycan feels relatively agile and nimble on its feet, making it one of the most fun-to-drive electric sports coupe in the market.
The price for Porsche Taycan starts at Rs. 1.50 Crore, but a decently specced car with 21-inch tyre and in 93 kWh battery performance plus guise, it will touch on road about Rs 1.90 crore. Though this car may be for environmentally conscious driving enthusiasts, and truth to be told, the instant acceleration and performance will make you addicted to the electric vehicle, and nothing is comparable to Porsche Tayacn in India for now!