No flat-six? No problem.
The Porsche Taycan project presented an extremely long list of challenges for designers and engineers alike. Never before had Porsche build an all-electric vehicle. But with every challenge comes the opportunity for innovation and Porsche's talented Taycan team embraced this. The final result speaks for itself.
Of the many critical elements Porsche had to overcome, the vehicle's sound was perhaps one of the most important. With a long history of flat-six engine excellence, not only do its sports cars have unique driving traits, but they also sound special. So what to do when there is no flat-six? You innovate, of course.
In this latest chapter of a video series produced by Porsche discussing Taycan development, we meet Active Sound Design manager Tobias Hillers, a lifelong Porsche fan himself. As a kid, he learned to recognize the distinct sound of a Porsche 911. Decades later as a Porsche employee, he was given the task of creating a recognizable but still unique "engine sound" for the Taycan.
Although it's artificial, a tremendous amount of time and passion went into this. In short, he had to invent a way for electric Porsche vehicles to sound like Porsches. That signature sound couldn't be ditched entirely, but rather had to be reimagined for an EV era.
This task is far simpler for automakers like Tesla because it lacks decades of tradition. Even for Porsche's fellow VW Group brand Audi, the job isn't quite as challenging.
But will the Taycan's new artificial sound stand the test of time? Hillers is confident it will, even decades from now. But now that the Taycan and Taycan Turbo have finally arrived, does this mean that Hiller's job is done? Definitely not. In fact, it's only just getting started because there will be more all-electric Porsche's coming, such as the rumored 718 Boxster and Cayman. And, perhaps one day, an electrified 911.