Porsche Taycan Turbo review

Porsche’s Taycan was a project that had the potential for real pit-falls for the Stuttgart manufacturer. Electric vehicles have proven themselves as being seriously quick, and driving ranges are more than enough for most drivers. Recharging times are simply a case of installing the right hardware, but handling… that’s trickier to get right in a car that will naturally be heavy because of a chunky battery. Few manufacturers could be so affected by the shift to electric vehicles; in fact I can only think of Lotus in a similar position. So the question is, is the Taycan a true Porsche?

Review by Chris Lilly

PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO: PERFORMANCE

Tested here is the Porsche Taycan Turbo which, attempting to avoid comment on a silly ‘turbo’ moniker for a vehicle with no place to add a turbo, puts the model in the middle of the line-up. It’s powered by twin electric motors producing a combined 460 kW (625 hp) and putting it through all four wheels. Performance promises to be typically Porsche then. The 0-62mph time is just 3.2 seconds, and believe me the Taycan feels that quick. In fact, the 0-124mph time is an incredible 10.6 seconds, with the Porsche proving every inch a performance car. It’s one of the fastest cars in the real-world, on UK roads (rather than a track) that I’ve driven, and even the pedals are set up to allow for easy, comfortable left-foot braking. It’s an EV that bristles with performance pedigree.

HANDLING

If the pace aspect is ‘easy’ because of the electric motors, Porsche’s handling engineers had a far greater challenge on their hands. Despite a kerb weight of more than two tonnes, the Taycan feels agile and somewhere between a sportscar and a performance saloon. The test vehicle included adaptive air suspension with active management, and there’s other tech such as torque vectoring management to keep the Taycan on the black stuff no matter the weather. It all works too, but it also doesn’t feel as though the electronics impede on the driving experience. The handling is the finest I’ve come across in an EV, and will challenge non-electric models comfortably. Steering is precise, well weighted, and offering good levels of feedback. It feels settled on the motorway and nimble around town, but it comes alive on a country road. If the biggest test for Porsche was to make a fine-handling EV, they have passed with flying colours.

BODY STYLE

Looking remarkably like the Mission E concept, Porsche’s Taycan is one of the sleekest saloons on the road. I think it’s a great looking super-saloon, a complete contrast to the likes of Alfa Romeo’s Giulia GTAm, but every inch as striking. The four-door saloon is just that - unlike the Tesla Model S which is in fact a hatchback - with seating for four adults comfortably and a decent sized boot. There’s a front load area as well, which is handy for charging cables, and head, leg, and shoulder space is good throughout - despite the Taycan being a relatively low car with a swooping roofline.

COMFORT & CONTROLS

Porsche Taycan Turbo review interior

The cabin is quite restrained, with many features that will be familiar to drivers of the current Porsche range of cars. The main difference is a portrait screen on the centre console that controls a range of functions, including shortcuts to open the charging ports and pre-conditioning the battery for maximum charging potential. The rest of the controls feel brilliantly designed, well built, and nicely laid out. The touchscreen infotainment system can be little fiddly to find certain functions, but is good on the whole, and the digital driver’s instruments are crisp and easy to read - as well as customisable.

PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO: RANGE & RUNNING COSTS

Fitted with the Porsche Performance Battery Plus, the Taycan Turbo tested has the larger of the two battery options available. As such, the official driving range comes in at 272 miles on a single charge. In reality, I found a realistically achievable range in winter was 230 miles on a charge, but that’s making full use of the Taycan’s performance potential. Back off a little, treat it more carefully, or stick to longer stints in urban areas and the Taycan Turbo comfortably achieves 250 miles on a charge, even in cold weather.

GREEN CREDENTIALS

The Taycan doesn’t focus on extra strong brake energy recuperation as the default setting, unlike many EVs. Instead, it brakes more like a ‘normal’ car, but there are settings that can quickly change that. Coasting, engine braking, and auto are available, but all require the use of the brake pedal, which is in keeping with the car’s ethos. When on the brakes, the car can recuperate a significant amount of energy, it just goes about the process in a different way. Driving modes help eke out range or give everything the beans, each easily selectable via a dial on the steering wheel. Charging is the fastest available on the market at up to 270 kW on CCS DC points, which will get drivers to 80% in just 20 minutes thanks to an 800V system underpinning everything, allowing the 93.4 kWh battery to be topped up quickly. AC charging is possible at up to 11 kW on Type 2.

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

The specifications tend to be closely linked to the performance levels - in this case Turbo - with packs and individual options not short in supply. As standard, the Taycan Turbo gets 20-inch aero alloy wheels, air suspension, drive mode select, climate control, battery pre-conditioning, LED headlights, keyless start, cruise control, park assist, Porsche Connect with Apple CarPlay, Porsche Communication Management with live navigation, and Bose audio system. Options fitted to the test car included a two-tone interior, dynamic chassis control sport, rear-axle steering, electric sport sound, surround view cameras, night vision assist, powered charge port cover, heated steering wheel, and 20-inch sport aero alloys.

PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO: MODEL SUMMARY

A true Porsche? That's a resounding 'yes'. In fact, this is the start of the next chapter in Porsche's story, and it's a very promising start indeed. Sharp handling, more performance that you could need, excellent build quality, and a long range with fast charging makes for a convenient and desirable driver's car.

Porsche Taycan Turbo review rear

Model tested: Porsche Taycan Turbo with Performance Battery Plus
Body-style: Performance saloon
Engine / CO2: 460 kW twin electric motors / 0 g/km
Trim grades: 4, 4S, Turbo, Turbo S

On-road price: Turbo from £115,858
Warranty: Three years / Unlimited mileage
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 5 Stars

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:25th Nov 2021

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