Not too long ago, there was a time when the thought of electrified sports sedans like the Porsche Taycan Turbo seemed like a distant prospect, something we would see only in a time of AI-managed societies. Yet here we are in 2021, with Porsche continuing to deliver spectacular results with its Taycan and especially with the powerful Taycan Turbo that is the subject of this review. As is common for electric vehicles, all-wheel-drive is a standard feature. The Taycan Turbo S features an overboost function too, which boosts power from an already astonishing 616 horsepower to 750, while twist measures 774 lb-ft of torque. The "regular" Taycan Turbo only produces up to 670 hp and 626 lb-ft of torque, but it's still blisteringly fast. While competitors like the Tesla Model S offer a greater claimed range, the Taycan is still a Porsche product at heart with performance as its main focus, and the Turbo models are the ultimate personification of Porsche's commitment to making everything fast.
For the 2022 model year, Porsche is only making a few under-the-skin changes to the Taycan. The infotainment system is improved, with (wired) Android Auto now finally part of the spec sheet, joining the existing (wireless) Apple CarPlay functionality. The infotainment software is improved and its voice commands enhanced. New too is the Remote Park Assist feature, which can park your Taycan without you having to be behind the wheel. The new Turbo Charging Planner allows rapid charging to start sooner after you've plugged in to reduce charging time, in conjunction with better management of the battery's cooling and charging systems. Last but not least, there is a new Porsche "Paint to Sample" program that allows you to choose custom paint colors, even those of classic '90s Porsches.
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Porsche's goal with this car wasn't just to create something fast in a straight line or an EV with a great range. No, it must still reflect that it's a Porsche by the way it handles, the way it feels. After all, the company that created the 911 - arguably the greatest sports car ever and one of the most enjoyable vehicles to drive - could not be forgiven if they produced a car that simply met expectations on paper only to fall down as an experience. Thus, every Taycan comes with adaptive air suspension, 4D chassis control, and active aerodynamics for high-speed stability. As a side-note, the weight of the car is low-down as with most EVs, and when the heaviest components (the batteries) lie in the floor, the center of gravity is very low. In conjunction with the advanced chassis and suspension, the Taycan handles like it's on rails. Body roll is all but nonexistent and the steering, a hallmark of a great Porsche, is delightfully accurate and sharp. Of course, there isn't as much feel or engagement as in something like a 911, but Teslas feel like boats in comparison. If you want an even better drive, you can spec options like rear-wheel steering for even better turn-in and high-speed stability. Braking is excellent too, and the Turbo S gets carbon ceramic discs as standard, while the regular Turbo boasts an almost dust-free yet sharp coated-disc braking setup.
We've talked a lot about how this car behaves when the driver doesn't want to, but how does it fare in terms of living up to its luxury billing? Well, comfort is equally good, and it takes moronic driving over the largest bumps for occupants to register that you're not driving over glass. All in all, then, the Taycan Turbo is a hit straight out the gate, offering phenomenal handling ability along with excellent road manners. Sorry Elon, Porsche is just the best when it comes to driving emotion and enjoyment.
The purpose of this section is generally to advise you as to whether a vehicle is worth considering for purchase or not. Generally, when an automaker debuts completely new tech, and especially when that tech is a departure from the brand's bread and butter offerings, it's a good idea to avoid being the guinea pig. In this case, however, we feel differently. Porsche has an impeccable track record of over-engineering and perfecting everything they do, and the Taycan Turbo looks to be no different. Is it worth considering over a Tesla? Well, it doesn't offer as much range, nor is it likely to be as practical for most, considering its proportions. However, in every other respect, the Taycan Turbo is far more tempting. It's luxurious, handles like a dream, provides astonishing acceleration, rides well, and is packed with forward-thinking tech. For us, the brand bias is already enough to choose the Porsche, but the components that go into the Taycan make it a compelling offer too. If you can afford one, go for it.
There's one thing that the Porsche can't rival Tesla for, and that's a sense of self-righteous superiority. That is the reason that many people opt for Teslas in much the same way that celebs once flocked to the Toyota Prius. It makes people feel morally superior, but with the Tesla, they can also subtly flex on how well off they are, something the Prius couldn't offer. The Taycan Turbo, on the other hand, is a first for Porsche and will take some time to be recognized as an Earth-friendly performance car. In terms of performance specs, the Tesla also boasts ultimate bragging rights. In its latest Plaid trim, the Model S can get from 0-60 mph in under two seconds - over half a second quicker than the Turbo S. That said, Porsche has been known to be conservative with their performance claims. How about range? Again, the Model S boasts better figures, with a substantially longer claimed range of 396 miles for the Model S Plaid. The Tesla is also less luxurious and less involving to drive, but offers more cargo space and a lower base price. For us, our admiration of Elon Musk's achievements is comprehensively beaten by the excellence of the Taycan Turbo. We'll take the Porsche this time.
If you're in the market for a car that can comfortably carry at least four people while wearing a Porsche badge, but you don't care for performance as much as you do for comfort and cargo space, the Cayenne is a worthy alternative. In standard form, its 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine produces 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, but it also boasts reasonable off-road ability and a towing capacity of 7,700 lbs. Its interior is just as gorgeous as that of the Taycan Turbo, but in a different manner. For those concerned with cost, the base price of $69,000 means you could buy two Cayennes for the price of a single Taycan Turbo. Nevertheless, we like how different and special the Taycan Turbo is, but the choice for buyers will likely come down to what the vehicle is most likely to be used for.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Porsche Taycan Turbo: