Porsche Taycan (2021): Version with rear-wheel drive in the first test

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Even with one motor less, the electric all-rounder from Porsche impresses

Porsche Taycan (2021): Version with rear-wheel drive in the first test-version

There are two types of automaker: some fill every imaginable niche (examples: BMW and Mercedes), while others sell dozens of variants of just a few vehicles. Porsche clearly belongs to the latter. The Zuffenhausen company has only six series: 911, 718, Cayenne, Macan, Panamera and Taycan. But there are countless variants based on these models.

It was therefore not surprising that a new version of the all-electric Taycan was announced in January. What we didn’t expect, however, was the single-engine, rear-wheel drive Taycan that Porsche had already presented for China in the summer of 2020, as reported by InsideEVs USA. At just under 84,000 euros, this car is the most affordable member of the electric Porsche.

Porsche Taycan (2021): Version with rear-wheel drive in the first test-taycan Porsche Taycan (2021): Version with rear-wheel drive in the first test-rear-wheel

An engine gone is not bad

The difference between the new Taycan and the Taycan 4S is simple.The basic model has only one electric motor, which is located on the rear axle – while the 4S has another on the front axle. Yes, the equipment is also different, but technically you only lose an electric motor. The car has the same 800-volt architecture, the same two-speed gearbox in the rear and the same battery options: 79 kilowatt hours are standard, and 93 kWh are optional. These batteries have the confusing names Performance Battery or Performance Battery Plus.

The electric motor in the rear is the same as on the 4S, even if the power is a little lower. The permanent magnet synchronous motor is good for 300 kW (408 PS) and 345 Nm. As with the 4S with two motors, the output increases to 350 kW (476 hp) and 357 Nm when the large battery is selected.

Both variants accelerate to 100 km / h in 5.4 seconds, although the 93 kWh Taycan feels a bit more nimble at higher speeds. This means that the basic Taycan is 1.4 seconds slower than the Taycan 4S and 2.2 seconds slower than the Tesla Model S Long Range. It can hardly be denied that the rear-wheel drive model is slower than the Porsche badge on its nose suggests.

Reason? Well, when you step on the gas with this Taycan, you experience the immediate start of the electric drive. But even though it throws you into the seat, the performance is neither breathtaking nor really surprising – 5.4 seconds for the standard sprint is what every driver can handle. Drivers of a 911 Carrera S or Audi RS 7 will not be intoxicated by this, but those who have just leased a bourgeois Audi A6 or the Porsche Macan and are considering their first electric car will find the Taycan‘s performance exciting and yet tolerable.

Porsche Taycan (2021): Version with rear-wheel drive in the first test-rear-wheel Porsche Taycan (2021): Version with rear-wheel drive in the first test-2021

And in everyday life, the basic Taycan leaves most of the other cars behind on the road. When driving through the greater Detroit area, the German version of our test car accelerated only too willingly when it came to overtaking slower vehicles. Even at highway speed, losing an engine has little effect on the driving experience.

But one thing caught our eye. Where other Taycan variants shift really hard when the two-speed transmission shifts from the everyday first to the powerful second gear, we barely felt the upshift on the basic Taycan. Even when trying to provoke rough behavior, the two-speed gearbox looked more sophisticated.

Those who opt for the rear-wheel drive Porsche sacrifice some performance, but get more exciting handling in return. The front axle weighs 100 kilos less, which makes the basic Taycan feel more nimble when changing direction. The Porsche Active Suspension Management, the air suspension and the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus ensure firmness in the corners. In terms of agility, however, there are hardly any major improvements to be seen compared to the Taycan 4S we drove a few weeks ago.

Porsche Taycan (2021): Version with rear-wheel drive in the first test-taycan Porsche Taycan (2021): Version with rear-wheel drive in the first test-taycan

Range

It is difficult to say how not using an engine will affect the range. Electric cars are not like cars with internal combustion engines – less power does not automatically mean lower consumption. The rear-wheel drive model can keep up with the 4S in terms of range: the Taycan can manage around 430 km with the basic battery and 480 km with the Performance Battery Plus. The corresponding figures for the Taycan 4S are around 410 and 460 km.

Experience with the Taycan shows that the consumption values ​​in real driving operations are often exceeded. Our day with the rear-wheel drive shows that this trend is likely to continue. At temperatures well below freezing and a slightly enthusiastic driving style, we covered about 150 km and used 40 percent of the charge. That makes you optimistic about the range.

The single-engine model can also be charged with 270 kilowatts on the DC fast charger (if the conditions are right); Charging from five to 80 percent then supposedly takes 22.5 minutes. Unfortunately, the software in our German test car prevented us from trying out this charging capacity, and we had to be content with 50 kilowatts.

More Porsche Taycan news: Porsche Taycan (2021): Version with rear-wheel drive in the first test-porsche Porsche Taycan (2021) as a basic version with rear-wheel drive for 83,520 euros

Porsche Taycan (2021): Version with rear-wheel drive in the first test-rear-wheel Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo: Teaser indicates an imminent premiere

Since the vehicle was built for European cellular networks, we were also unable to test the electric car-specific Porsche Connect functions, but according to Porsche USA, the Taycan with rear-wheel drive will get the same features as the other US versions of the Taycan when it goes on sale in the US in the spring.

Porsche Taycan (2021): Version with rear-wheel drive in the first test-porsche Porsche Taycan (2021): Version with rear-wheel drive in the first test-rear-wheel Porsche Taycan (2021): Version with rear-wheel drive in the first test-rear-wheel

To immerse yourself in the world of electric cars

The most interesting thing about the rear-wheel drive Taycan is of course the price. Compared to a Taycan 4S (around 106,000 euros), our rear-wheel drive car (around 84,000 euros) is over 20,000 euros cheaper. Compared to a basic Panamera (around 94,000 euros) you save around 10,000 euros, although the Panamera is two tenths of a second slower in the standard sprint (5.6 instead of 5.4 seconds).

We doubt that many Model S buyers or longtime electric car drivers will consider purchasing this Taycan version. But as an entry-level vehicle for people who are buying an electric car for the first time, the Taycan’s performance is sufficient without being disturbing. The real range is appropriate, the loading speed exemplary, and the price tag almost cheap.

In addition to these advantages, the rear-wheel drive car has the same look, the same comfort, the same quality and basically the same technology as its stronger siblings. So it is understandable that Porsche brought this model onto the market.

Taycan competitor

  • Audi e-tron GT
  • Tesla Model S

Porsche Taycan Performance Battery Plus

engine Electric motor (permanent magnet synchronous motor, PSM)

power 350 kW

Max. Torque 357 Nm

drive Rear wheel drive

Gear type Two-speed automatic

Acceleration 0-100 km / h 5.4 sec.

Top speed 230 km / h

battery 93 kWh

Electric range 385 km (WLTP)

Charging port 11 kW AC / 270 kW DC

Empty weight 4,600 pounds (est)

length 4,963 mm

broad 1,966 mm

height 1,395 mm

Trunk volume 84 liters at the front, 407 liters at the rear

Base price 89,243 euros

consumption 28.7 kWh / 100 km

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