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Is The Taycan Turbo S Too Fast?

We know the Taycan Turbo S. We love the Taycan Turbo S.

It’s not just another electric car with a quick 0-60 time. It’s not just some commuter box that is comfortable and quiet. It’s a proper sports car. Forget all that, it’s a proper Porsche. This thing has all of the touchstones of a real deal European sports car with just bucket loads of power and torque available instantly from the electric motors. It’s quicker than any sports car Porsche has ever built, the center of gravity is lower than any Porsche ever built, and the car’s drag coefficient is the lowest of any Porsche ever built. Big specs, but how is it to drive?

Great steering, great handling, not-quite-911 braking, and big, juicy, effortless speed. With those characteristics, the Taycan Turbo S might be at the top of my list of the best cars I’ve ever driven. I’ve driven a whole lot of Porsche models, and this one takes the cake. Would I have one over a new 911? Absolutely, I would. I agree with pretty much everything Matt Farah says in this video below.

It’s crazy. It’s fast. It’s crazy fast.

Mr. Farah has been talking to cameras while driving for over a decade, and has driven some insanely fast machines. This is probably the first time I’ve ever seen him get a little flustered by the speed and capability of the machine. The car is so quick that it takes a bit of mental energy to maintain the correct driving line. Focus on the road is always a good thing, and I’m happy that the Taycan encourages drivers to keep driving.

Something interesting to note, Porsche’s digital assistant keeps interrupting Matt during his drive, which might add to the distraction and his ability to focus. The digital assistant’s wake word is « Hey Porsche » so many of the times he says « Porsche » in the video, the car thinks he’s talking to it. It’s a weird Taycan-specific problem, but one that probably wouldn’t come up in an everyday situation.

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Porsche’s André Lotterer Grabs Formula E Podium In The Team’s First Race

I have contended from the very first E-Prix that Formula E is not only the future of motorsport, but it is among the most exciting racing anywhere in the world. The double-header from Saudi Arabia this weekend was no different, an absolute banger from start to finish in both races. And now that Porsche is in the series, I have a definitive team I can root for! I was absolutely ecstatic to see André Lotterer work so well with the new Porsche 99X Electric race car. Teammate Neel Jani didn’t fare quite as well, but André has years of practice in Formula E and this marked Neel’s first start in the series. Surely as the season progresses, both drivers and the car will become proper forces to be reckoned with.

Lotterer had a decent race 1 qualifying, starting the race from 7th on the grid. Jani’s fast lap had to be aborted late in the run for a yellow flag during qualifying, so he started the race from 20th on the grid, putting him immediately on the back foot. At the start Jani could not see the starting lights from where he was positioned on the grid, so he lost a spot at the green lights to slow reactions as well. Up front meanwhile, Lotterer used excellent ATTACK MODE management to leapfrog through the field. A few drivers were pushed out with crashes and penalties, but Lotterer persevered to come out in second place behind race winner Sam Bird. Jani gained a few positions through the course of the race to finish in 17th.

In race 2 Lotterer had a slightly less good qualifying, starting from 10th. He raced extremely well to end the race in 6th, but there were some issues with a handful of mid-race caution periods. The first was caused by race one winner Bird being taken out. When the race re-started many drivers dove for ATTACK MODE activation zone, while others passed them under safety car conditions. I didn’t see it on the race broadcast, and trust me I went back and watched numerous times, but Lotterer was hit with a drive-through penalty post race for passing under yellow. Instead of 6th, he was given a time penalty which demoted him to 14th and out of the points. Jani finished 13th.

Win some, lose some. If Lotterer had been awarded his 8 points for a 6th place finish, he’d be sitting level on third right now with Sam Bird at 26 points. That just proves Porsche has a car and driver ready for the fight this year. I can’t wait for the season to continue.

Here are some quotes from the team following race 1.

Michael Steiner (Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development Porsche AG): “What happened today was just crazy. I hadn’t expected that. We are proud that we have reached the podium in our first race and we will go on the attack again tomorrow.”

Fritz Enzinger (President Porsche Motorsport and Group Motorsport Volkswagen AG): “What did we learn in Riyadh? Porsche can perform electrically too. Unbelievable – our first race and we made it to the podium. The work we put in over the past year and a half has paid off. André Lotterer was superb and Neel Jani drove well too. A huge thank you to everyone involved in the project and to all our Porsche colleagues who had their fingers crossed for us. Now we are concentrating fully on the second race.”

Pascal Zurlinden (Director Factory Motorsport): “That race went like a dream – and we were already feeling positive after qualifying. Reaching the podium on our first attempt, what more could we wish for? We will continue to work hard and attempt to repeat today’s success.”

André Lotterer (Porsche 99X Electric, #36): “A great debut for all of us: second place. When I told the team a few weeks back that I wanted to reach the podium, they all looked at me like I was mad. And now we’ve done it with hard work and a bit of luck. Qualifying went OK and we finished seventh. I started the race quietly enough, paid attention to my energy management and was able to use ‘Attack Mode’ early to get past a few other cars. At the end, I thought we were even in with a chance of winning the race, but I didn’t want to take too many risks. Starting off with a second-place finish isn’t too bad.”

Neel Jani (Porsche 99X Electric, #18): “Firstly, congratulations to André and the whole team. Reaching the podium in our first race shows that we have done some good development work. Qualifying was not ideal for me and I had to start the race from way back. However, I had found the right pace and rhythm by the middle of the race. I will build on that tomorrow.”

 

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The 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Is A Crystal Ball To The Future Of Porsche

The Taycan is a seer, of sorts. As I sit down to the table with this car, it begs me to peer into its orbuculum for a glimpse of Porsches yet to come. The next decade of Porsche development is perhaps the most important the company has ever faced. Everyone in the automotive industry is pretty certain that battery electric is the future, but is there a way to make EVs which are not boring appliances? Can Porsche make an electric car not only fun, but feel like a Porsche?

In short, hell yes they can.

It’s been something of a slow burn watching Porsche experiment its way into the electrified automobile universe. Raise your hand if you remember the extremely fast hybrid GT3 R race car of a decade ago. That car kicked off an obsession with battery and electric motor technology that Porsche has been working on ever since. It’s best we all forget about that brief foray into diesel technology. It doesn’t do well to dwell on the past, eh? It followed that up with a series of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and the all-conquering 919 Hybrid LMP1 racer. While the company has developed a handful of electric prototypes in relative obscurity, the Mission E concept from four years ago was the first indication that a proper BEV might be coming from Porsche. The rest is history. Now it’s time to peer into the future.

How It Looks

Lets begin with how the finished product looks. It’s not quite as low and lithe as the Mission E concept was all those years ago, but it’s a damn fine looking sedan with some definite Porsche cues that work quite well on the road. Porsche managed to carry over some of the styling of the concept, like the silver barrels of the wheels and the aggressive crease of the front headlight surround. The back of the car is slightly bland, as the corporate rear treatment is carried over from other Porsches and makes it less distinguishable from a comparatively run-of-the-mill Panamera. In profile, the sloping roof line is excellent with shades of 992 as it convenes at the rear lid with a pair of wide set hips. The 21″ wheels of the Turbo S we tested look a bit on the large side, but somehow fit within the wheel arches. The SportDesign package added a few splashes of carbon fiber to the exterior, which was a nice touch, but I’m not sure it was worth $5660.

As I climbed aboard this electric rocket ship, Porsche’s familiar sport seats wrapped around me, and the steering wheel looks pulled straight from the company’s internal combustion sports cars. There are still the traditional floor-hinged pedals to rise up and meet your feet. The center PCM screen looks familiar to any current model Porsche owner, but the center console now houses a screen for HVAC controls, volume, and a pad to finger scrawl letters instead of typing. The traditional Porsche gauge cluster has been replaced by yet another screen with three configurable dials to help keep information right in front of you. My favorite piece of this new screen is the ability to make the whole thing your navigation map. It also has some 928-esque buttons on the outer edges of the panel which are haptic touch buttons, which is neat.

Wait, where is the shifter? Oh, its been moved from the center console up to the dashboard to the right of the steering wheel. A little toggle to shift from drive to neutral to reverse. And a little button marked « P » sits astride. I was a bit spooked when I moved my left hand up to the dash looking for the slot to insert the now-familiar key fob. *GASP* What’s this? A start button? The first Porsche in history to start without turning a key. I am beside myself!

How it feels

There is an intrinsic feeling that this is a proper sports car from the second you climb in. It doesn’t fit the driver like a downsized Panamera but rather a longer wheelbase 911.

For one thing, the cockpit fits tight around you. I’m a tall guy, so I was forced to push the driver’s seat back behind the car’s B-pillar and push the power adjustable steering wheel out to meet my hands. Combined with the shallow driver door opening, I found it took a bit of contorting to get my legs under the steering wheel and slide my butt back into the seat. Perhaps this would be an easier maneuver with the standard seats, but the bolstered sport seats are well worth the hassle.

This is when the sedan shape begins to make sense for this sports car. Porsche wanted to come out in this electric vehicle market swinging. That means the car had to have adequate performance to keep sports car nerds like me happy, but it also had to offer enough electric range for the car to make sense as a daily commuter and occasional longer trip. So while it’s likely someone within Porsche initially wanted this EV to be a two-seater sports car, the longer wheelbase and four doors were given over to provide extra room for batteries in the floor.

 

Speaking of those batteries in the floor, for a car that sits so low off the ground, the seats are elevated just a bit to make room for the juice. The seating position is the one thing that feels more sedan than sports car. That said, the rear seats are significantly more useful than those of any 911. There are no batteries where the rear seat passengers feet would go, allowing for what Porsche calls a « foot garage« . That means you’ve got plenty of leg room to sit upright under the sloping roof line. I attempted to sit in the back of the Taycan behind the driver’s seat adjusted to my 6’2 » frame, and while I wouldn’t be able to ride across the country like that, a 20 mile trip across town wouldn’t be impossible.

How it drives

The statistics of this car paint an odd picture. Sure, it’s got a sub-3 second stopped to sixty time. But it’s also about 5200 pounds, and we all know weight is the enemy of sporty behavior on the road or the track. How can Porsche circle the square of all that weight in a sedan they’ve dubbed a sports car?

There is certainly some technological wonder in Porsches active chassis control systems, but the pure win of the Taycan is that its weight—largely the batteries—is kept low to the ground and inside the car’s wheelbase. That means it has an incredibly low center of gravity and a balance that is difficult to upset. Both of these things can contribute to a very well behaved on-road dynamic. I was told by the Porsche team that the Taycan’s suspension and dynamics tuning were the task of the same team who worked on the 718.

The weight is certainly still noticeable, particularly under braking. 5200 pounds is a lot of pounds to deal with, regardless of the massive tires, incredible acceleration, and gigantic carbon ceramic brakes. It doesn’t roll around and pitch about, but you can feel the hulking heft dancing around underneath you. It’s an NFL linebacker trained in classical ballet. It makes all the right moves and hides its weight well, but it’s definitely there, partially obscured by a veneer of electronic aids.

To say that it drives pretty much like a 5000-pound Cayman with 700 horsepower is pretty much spot on. It has prodigious grip through even the tightest of corners and allows you to carry speed like only a proper Porsche can.

Our drive route on the test began with a jaunt across Los Angeles in moderate morning traffic, which was aided by the car’s exquisite adaptive radar cruise control system. Unlike some systems, it has proper stop-and-go capabilities, working all the way down to a complete stop, and allowing the car to take off from a stop again when the car in front has moved. It is not a « self-driving » system like some claim to have, and you definitely still have to keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, but it’s a slick system. Porsche, as of right now, doesn’t believe in autonomous driving. Porsches are for people who enjoy driving, so drive!

After lunch we headed all the way down the twisting and winding spine of mountain roads known as Angeles Crest Highway. It is easy to see why this road is known as one of the best driving roads in the country, because it’s a desolate and rarely trafficked road composed of quality pavement. You have to keep an eye out for the occasional rock in the middle of the road, or the odd brave squirrel, but it’s a few hours of excellent driving in even the fastest of sports machines.

This is a great locale to test a car’s road holding and steering. Porsche has always been at the forefront of steering feel, and even when the company switched over to electrically-assisted steering it didn’t take long for that tech to catch up to the manual racks of yesteryear. You might expect a 5000 pound sedan to have steering feel injected with a fistful of Novocaine, but that is about as far from the case as you can get. This rack possesses every millimeter the feel that a 991 or 981 does. Which is doubly surprising, considering the Taycan has four driven wheels.

I have not driven the new 992-generation car, but I suspect its steering might bear a bit more than a familial resemblance. There is an effort to the steering that isn’t unwelcome, and communicative would be an understatement.

Because our tester was equipped with a set of sticky Goodyear track-ready rubber on a massive set of wheels, I was hardly surprised that the car gripped like it was Velcro’d to the pavement. The AWD and mid-engine-like balance meant you could point the steering wheel where you wanted to go and jam on the accelerator (don’t call it the gas) and shoot off in that direction. You can adjust steering and throttle to your whim mid-corner and the car will just continue on the trajectory you’ve set for it. The one or two times that I carried too much speed into the corner, a quick stab of the brakes brought it in line and we kept rolling.

I’ve got a pair of 60-ish pound basset hounds who spend most of their day lazing around the house, but every once in a while a big-eared desert hare will find its way into our back yard and the pair will go shooting off after the thing with a speed, verve, and energy you’d never expect. In a way the Taycan is a bit like that. When you see the weight figures of the car, you think that it can’t possibly be as quick as they say. But then it is. Holy Moses is it ever quick!

If you pop the car over into Sport+ mode and hold your left foot on the brake while shoving the accelerator to the floor it’ll activate launch control. You’d better have a long stretch of road ahead of you to manage this feat, because it’s going to go and it’s going to go NOW. There is no reason that any mortal human needs this level of neck-snapping acceleration, but Porsche will let you have it if you can put down the cash. And if you hold your finger over the haptic control button for traction control, it’ll turn completely off and the electric torque will give you the ability to instantly create a smoke screen around your Taycan. Now, of course, I’m a responsible driver and I definitely would not have tested either of these features on a public road in the middle of the day, nor would I suggest you commit these illegal acts. You’ll just have to use your imagination.

How it charges

The public charging infrastructure for this car isn’t quite there yet. I left the start of our drive with a 220 mile available range, and after driving 170 miles of anything-but-easy miles, the dashboard told me I still had about 50 miles left to the charge, and I could easily have made it back to the end point without needing a top up. Porsche, however, wanted me to experience the car’s ability to charge at the Electrify America 800v station. This particular station was located at the Walmart in Burbank, and is capable of charging at up to 350kW, though the Taycan is only capable of sucking down 270kW at a max.

Plugging in was pretty easy. There is a DC fast charge port on the right side of the Taycan, hidden behind a small door which you can slide your finger under to get it to open electrically. Then, you flip down the cover for the fast charge plug in, and shove the big unweildy plug into the car. It feels a little like pumping gas in that the plug’s cable is easily as thick as the hose on a fuel pump. Then you swipe a card or use the app on your smart phone to start up the charge and it spins up a magic electron pump to get your battery charged up again. I took on about 60kWh of energy, which cost us $21.81. I can’t remember the last time I had a gas fill up that only cost twenty bucks. My last fill up in the 912E was over a hundred!

In about 20 minutes my Taycan Turbo S went from about 13% charge to 80%. It was convenient that there was a Walmart there, as I was able to pop inside for a soda and by the time I came back it was almost done. It’s not quite as convenient as filling up a gas car, but the real crux of this car is that you can own it and never ever need to go to a charging station. Chances are pretty high that if you can afford a $200,000 electric Porsche, you probably own a house or at least have a place with a garage. If you charge up at home every night, you can go on a 200 mile trip every day and still not need to go to a charging station to top up. If you don’t drive like a hooligan, you might be able to get even more miles out of it than I did!

But really, where’s the fun in that?

What’s the verdict?

Realistically, nobody needs the massive 750 horsepower that this Taycan Turbo S delivers. If I were in the market for an electric Porsche, I’d probably settle for the upcoming Taycan 4S, or (hopefully) Porsche will release a rear-wheel drive version with an even longer range and a lower price tag. That’s the one I’d really want. But, if you’re looking for the biggest and best that Porsche offers, this is a damn fine toy that plays to all of the strengths of a Porsche, plus the ability to help reduce your carbon footprint.

It’s obvious that the Taycan is an early marker toward the future of Porsche, and if I’m being quite honest, it’s the thing they make right now that I’d most want to have in my driveway. Not only is it reasonably practical, it’s attractive and fun to drive to boot. Have your eco-friendly cake and eat it, too!

If this is the kind of car Porsche can turn out when electric propulsion is on the menu, I can’t wait to see what the company and its genius engineers can do when they build an electric 911. It’s coming, and you may as well get used to an electrified Porsche. Don’t fret, an electrified Porsche is a good thing.

Anything bad?

Well, as I mentioned before, the ingress and egress leave a bit to be desired, but I’m an above average sized human, and this car has the big bolster sport seats. I also mentioned the expensive price tag, but hey, you have to pay to play, right? And the final thing that was slightly annoying was the thin sliver of a rear window through which you have to see out the back. That’s it. It’s a certified good car.

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Here Are The Things You Can Do While Waiting For Your Taycan To Charge

Carfection, as per usual, has the best produced and most insightful video reviews on the internet. They’ve returned with Henry Catchpole to review the Taycan Turbo S on the road. As we already knew, the Taycan is a certified good car, and gets the unofficial Carfection seal of approval. But what it doesn’t do is take the place of an internal combustion engine sports car. Is the Taycan a 911 beater? No way. Is it a pretty good alternative to a Panamera Turbo? That’s right!

One of the many things people find to complain about electric vehicles is the length of time it takes to charge. The average fuel stop is 5-ish minutes, right? Tack on a few minutes to hop in for a pee and grab a soda pop and a Little Debbie brand snack cake from the convenience store, and you’re still in and out in about 10 minutes. The Taycan will take 20 minutes to charge up to 80% of the battery life. That last 20% takes quite a bit longer, as you have to taper off power delivery as the battery gets full. That means you’ve got an extra ten minutes to kill when you stop to recharge your brand new Taycan (assuming you can find a fast charger).

Thankfully Carfection is here with a list of things you can do while your Taycan recharges. Along with a full and comprehensive review of the car, naturally. Check it out!

 
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Porsche Taycan Turbo S : Essai de la Porsche 100 % électrique

Plus de pistons, ni d’échappements ! La guerre entre les berlines routières hautes performances se fait désormais avec des piles et des écrans. Pour se mesurer à  la Tesla Model S, la nouvelle Porsche Taycan reprend la même architecture et le même gabarit (4,96 m de long pour 1,97 m de large). Mais l’allemande adopte un style de coupé 4 portes plus élancé pour affirmer son esprit sportif  quitte à renoncer à certains aspects pratiques.

4 portes, 4 places et 4 écrans dans la Porsche Taycan Turbo S

Dépourvue de hayon, la Porsche Taycan se contente d’un coffre de 366 litres à l’accès étroit. L’autre petit coffre situé sous le capot permet juste de loger les câbles de recharge ou un bagage cabine. À l’arrière, la Taycan n’accepte que deux adultes et leur impose de courber l’échine pour s’asseoir au ras du sol.  Une option 4+1 à 480 € permet d’ajouter une ceinture et une assise au centre mais l’imposant tunnel de servitude ne laisse guère d’espace aux jambes. La planche de bord, bardée d’écrans tactiles, impressionne à première vue et la qualité de fabrication reste rigoureuse même si quelques plastiques rigides sur les parties basses du mobilier laissent à désirer. Le tableau de bord numérique à la lisibilité parfaite offre une foule d’informations facilement accessibles via les commandes au volant. La Taycan intègre la lecture des panneaux de signalisation et le système Apple Car Play qui font défaut à la Tesla Model S. Autre avantage, le système de navigation autorise des points de parcours intermédiaires. En revanche, la qualité des graphismes, la fluidité de l’affichage et la réactivité des commandes ne sont pas aussi abouties que dans la Tesla Model S dont l’immense écran principal comparable à un iPad permet de surfer sur le web, faire des jeux vidéo et même regarder des séries sur Netflix.

 

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