by Jared Rosenholtz
Porsche decided to lead with its big guns first when revealing its first all-electric model, the Taycan. The first models Porsche showed off were the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S, the two most powerful (and most expensive) variants. With 616 and 750 horsepower on tap respectively, the Turbo and Turbo S models are squarely positioned to defeat the fastest Tesla Model S Performance model, which is no low bar. There is only one problem with this comparison: the Tesla is way less expensive than the Porsche.
We knew Porsche, true to form, would reveal several other versions of the Taycan. The first of these models, the Taycan 4S, has just arrived, and it offers a lower level of performance at a much lower price point. There will likely be an even cheaper Taycan 4 coming later on but at least for now, this is the most affordable Taycan you can buy.
Aside from the smaller 19-inch Taycan S Aero wheels, there isn't much to separate the 4S model from the more expensive Turbo and Turbo S. Porsche typically offers the wheels from its performance models on lower trims, so you may even be able to opt for the Turbo wheels when the configurator goes live. The Taycan does feature a slightly remolded grille and rear diffuser but only the most diehard Porsche fan will likely take notice.
Much like the exterior, we don't see much to differentiate the Taycan 4S from its more powerful siblings. The cabin is still filled to the brim with screens in the gauge cluster, center console, and passenger-side dashboard. Even the steering wheel looks the same with a rotating drive mode control built-in, though the wheel itself is now finished in Alcantara instead of leather (likely an option). Porsche says the 4S includes partial leather interior as standard, but full leather should be available as an optional extra. Eight-way power-adjustable front seats are also a standard feature and will likely have less bolstering than the chairs found in the Turbo models.
Though the 4S is nowhere near as powerful as the Turbo and Turbo S, it is no slouch. The car is offered with two battery sizes and even the smaller 79.2 kWh single-deck Performance battery produces 523 hp, which is more than a 911 GT3. The larger 93.4 kWh two-deck Performance battery Plus is even more impressive with 563 hp on tap. No matter which battery you opt for, 0-60 mph takes just 3.8 seconds and the top speed is 155 mph. The smaller battery is capable of traveling 253 miles on a charge while the larger unit boasts a range of 288 miles.
All of the electric power is sent out to all-wheel-drive through a two-speed transmission and with the larger battery, charging from 5% to 80% takes just 22.5 minutes. The Turbo and Turbo S might be much quicker, but the 4S will be more than enough for most buyers.
The 4S may be the least expensive Taycan on sale so far, but it certainly doesn't qualify as cheap. Pricing starts at $103,800 for the base battery or $110,380 for the performance battery. This is around $50,000 less than the base Taycan Turbo, which starts at $153,310, but it is still over $20,000 more expensive than the Tesla Model S Long Range, which starts at $79,990.
Not only does the Tesla have more range than the Taycan (370 miles), but it is also quicker to 60 mph as well. Porsche has never been a value brand and the Taycan is no exception. But there will likely be plenty of people willing to pay more for the car with the Porsche crest on it.