Porsche has unleashed something special.
Four years ago, Porsche previewed the Taycan as the Mission E Concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show. On the cusp of Frankfurt 2019, the production version was revealed to the world, and what a revelation it is. The concept's styling has carried over to the production version, including the quad LED daytime running lights, the LED light bar running the full width of the rear, the front bumper air intakes, and even the black and white wheels. The biggest revelation though is the Taycan's drivetrain and the sheer amount of power it delivers. Many electric cars have tried to topple Tesla, but where others failed the Taycan has every chance to succeed.
Inside the Taycan, there are up to five screens, including a fully digital floating gauge cluster, as well as a digital assistant that responds to the call of "Hey, Porsche!" There's also an option to go with a leather-free interior that features panels made from recycled materials. Just remember, this is a Porsche, so all of the luxury and safety features will come at an additional cost. For family duties, and due to the electric layout, the Taycan has both a front and rear trunk with 2.8 cubic feet of cargo space at the front and 12.9 cubic feet in the rear.
The Turbo model makes 616 horsepower which is increased with launch control to 670 hp and 626 lb-ft of torque. Porsche claims a 3.0-second sprint to 60 mph. In Turbo S form, launch control cranks the output to 750 hp with a stomach-churning 774 lb-ft of torque to get things going. The 0-60 mph time claimed for the Turbo S model is a staggering 2.6 seconds. Porsche hasn't gotten over-excited with power and overlooked handling and comfort with the Taycan though. An optional adaptive air suspension and electronic dampers work with electronic roll bars to maintain control of the Taycan's 5,132 lbs of mass.
All that weight needs serious brakes, and they're color-coded to the model. The steel rotors have white calipers on the Turbo models while the Turbo S gets carbon-ceramic rotors with yellow calipers. According to Porsche though, Taycan drivers should be able to find that 90 percent of everyday braking can be performed without engaging the mechanical braking system.
It isn't enough for the Taycan to just be quick, it needs to be quick to charge as well. The Taycan is the first production car to fast-charge using an 800-volt electrical system. Out on the road, it makes up to 750 horsepower from its 93.4-kWh battery pack and electric motors on the front and rear axles, which give the electric Porsche all-wheel drive. Power is managed by a two-speed transmission that uses the first gear for accelerating from a standing start before the longer second gear takes over for power and efficiency at higher speeds.
The 800-volt electrical system will take the Taycan's battery from a 5 percent to an 80 percent state of charge in just 22.5 minutes with a maximum charge rate of up to 270 kW. Porsche will even install 800-volt fast chargers at its dealerships across the US for Taycan owners to use. There are no EPA numbers for range yet, but Porsche claims range of around 236 to 279 miles in Turbo trim and 241 to 256 miles in the Turbo S.
Audi and Jaguar have each entered the EV segment with crossovers, so the Taycan really just has to contend with the Tesla Model S until the next-generation Jaguar XJ and Mercedes EQS arrive on the market. Porsche has priced the Taycan at $153,310 for the Turbo and $187,610 for the Turbo S, meaning that with options, it will be double the price of the most expensive Model S. But in this price range, we suspect buyers are willing to pay more for brand prestige and in the EV space, Tesla has pretty much gone unrivaled until now.
It will be intriguing to see how Model S sales fare with stiff competition from Porsche. But if we had to place early bets, the situation does not look good for Tesla.