Challenging tesla: porsche brings the electric sports car

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Challenging Tesla: Porsche brings the electric sports car

In 2.8 seconds to 100 km/h with electricity. The Porsche Taycan promises exactly that. We got behind the wheel and tested the top model.

Dawn of a new era: The front end was adopted almost unchanged from the Mission E concept car, including side air intakes for less air resistance.

It’s hard to put into words what happens when Porsche‘s latest launch goes full throttle. When you press the accelerator pedal, the rear wheels seem to literally claw into the asphalt, while the front axle also pulls the car forward. An electrical synchronous machine works on both axles, together they come to 761 hp and 1050 Nm of torque in the current top model Taycan Turbo S. Despite an unladen weight of 2.3 tons, the acceleration is unbelievable. Even if you take a strong start with a Porsche as a matter of course. This is a new world. Not just because the Taycan rushes forward with such vehemence; mainly because of the way: seamless. Linear and only accompanied by a hum of the electric motor.

If desired, the sound can be enriched by loudspeakers. A deep, powerful hum that suits this futuristic experience, but isn’t strictly necessary. One thing is certain: when it comes to driving performance, the first Stromer from Zuffenhausen leaves no doubt that it is a real Porsche, despite the new drive technology. The high-powered vehicle reaches 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, which makes it the brand’s best sprinter at the moment.

But that alone is not enough to pick up the spoiled clientele. The Taycan must be able to do more than just inspire in short sprints. Porsche put a lot of effort into the first purely electric car to not only make it fast on straights. So it was important to the developers to design the technology in such a way that the Stromer can still call up its full power even after several sprints in a row or with little power in the battery. The battery, which works with a voltage of 800 volts instead of the 400 volts that is otherwise usual in electric cars, plays a large part in this. This allows the battery to better deliver – and absorb – energy.

Drive far, load fast

The decisive factor for an e-car, which, as it should be a matter of course for a Porsche, must also function in everyday life, is the range. For the Taycan Turbo S, Porsche states 388 to 412 kilometers, for the Taycan Turbo with a maximum of 680 hp, which will also be available from the beginning of 2020, it is 381 to 450 kilometers, depending on the selected equipment and tires. Both variants have a battery capacity of 93.4 kWh. The electric athlete thus offers a range that is suitable for everyday use and travel, even if the power consumption is higher than that of the only competitor at the moment: At 23.0 or 26.7 kWh/100 km, the stated factory consumption is around 8 kWh/100 km according to the WLTP measurement km above that of a Tesla Model S.

Challenging Tesla: Porsche brings the electric sports car-sports

Classic Porsche design language at the rear.

However, the Porsche can make up for the higher consumption at the charging station with a higher charging capacity. It can charge with up to 270 kW at a suitable direct current column. Under optimal conditions, it only takes 22.5 minutes to charge the battery from 5 to 80%. These optimal conditions also include finding a charging station from the Ionity network with sufficient power. There are currently 150 stations in operation in Europe. By the end of 2020 there should be 400. “One charging park is added every day,” says Mayk Wienkotter, spokesman for e-mobility at Porsche.

The navigation system helps the driver with intelligent route planning so that they are always supplied with electricity on the go. What I particularly like about the first test drive: the system always shows how much power is likely to be left in the battery when you arrive and calculates it continuously. In addition, the system shows on the map exactly how far the electricity would still reach. Not just in a simple circle, but through a precise profile that takes into account the actual course of the road.

This means that the Taycan is also equipped for long journeys, especially since the sporty sedan can offer the corresponding driving comfort. The suspension comfort is good and the sound insulation ensures relaxed gliding. Only the sporty tires sometimes make for clearly audible road noise, otherwise there is silence in the interior. On the back seat of the four-seater you sit comfortably thanks to a recess in which the feet can be placed under the front seat. Passengers taller than 1.85 meters only get cramped overhead.

Digital into the future

If you take a seat in the front seat, you will find yourself in the digital world – surrounded by four displays. In addition to the central center display for navigation and entertainment, there is another screen in the center console that serves to control the air conditioning and as an “input field” that can be used to operate the navigation unit.

Challenging Tesla: Porsche brings the electric sports car-challenging

Digital world in the interior.

In front of the driver, for the first time in a Porsche, there is a completely digital speedometer unit that not only presents the speed, but also the navigation map and information on fuel consumption and range in pin-sharp detail. That suits the ultra-modern ambience in the Taycan. Just like the optional display for the front passenger, a kind of extension of the central navigation screen, which the passenger can use not only to monitor the speed, but also to operate the navigation system or control the music.

Driving fun in a new dimension

In view of the new world in the interior and in the drive, the question arises as to whether the Taycan can continue to deliver the driving pleasure that one expects from a Porsche.

At the foot of the Silvretta High Alpine Road we switch to sporty driving mode. Now the two-speed gearbox installed on the rear axle for the first time in an electric car is activated. It provides better acceleration at lower speeds and more efficiency at higher speeds and is noticeable by an occasional small jolt.

With the battery installed in the underbody, you sit a little higher than in other Porsche models, but the car’s center of gravity is unbeatably low. Added to this is the state-of-the-art air suspension with rear-axle steering and roll stabilization. The Taycan sits extremely firmly on the road and, despite its heavy weight, feels extremely nimble even on tight bends. Because it steers precisely and builds up a lot of lateral support and, thanks to the always powerful electric drive, it literally rushes out of tight corners. It proves impressively that sporty driving pleasure is also possible with electricity. Or precisely because of the power development of the electric drive.

However, Porsche is paying dearly for the versatility and fascination of the Taycan, which will be rolling out from 2020. The Turbo costs from 194,900 francs, the Turbo S with a more powerful engine and more extensive equipment even at least 237,500 francs.

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