Surrey’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine

Taycan – a test for Tesla?

Euan Johns looks at what could turn out to be a real challenge for Elon’s brainchild.
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Porsche has a long history and so do the names the marque chooses for its cars, so let’s start there. The Taycan has a name that apparently fulfils every phonetic, legal, creative, strategic and model-specific requirement that its maker adheres to and espouses. Composed of two terms of Turkic origin, the word can roughly be translated as ‘soul of a spirited young horse.’

Well that’s exactly what this first fully electric Porsche is aimed to be: lively and vigorous, light-footed on long stretches without tiring and free-spirited. The name reflects both the source and the future: the horse on the Porsche crest, the expression of its soul on its way into a new era of the sports car.

A perfect fit too, it would seem, with the slogan of the advertising campaign: ‘Soul, electrified.’ It doesn’t stop there, Taycan also has positive associations in many of the world’s languages. For example, in Japanese, taikan means roughly ‘physical experience’ – driving in its most electrifying form. Porsche didn’t want its EV to get any special treatment. That’s also why it’s called Taycan – a typical Porsche name – rather than an uninspiring Mission E as it started out at conception.
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On this car’s credentials and performance, Porsche and electricity appear to be a natural association. Even if the combustion engine-based terminology is a little confusing in the two models – turbo and turbo S. There is, however, method to the madness of it all. The use of turbo does beg the question: why use conventional terms for what is an all-electric car? A possible reason is to send a clear marketing signal to its loyal and (probably) wealthiest followers to forget the opposition and to look no further as this is the real deal. Oh, and one more thing, Porsche’s decision to use the turbo badge on an EV. Since badged on the 911 in 1974, turbo has become a sub-brand, denoting the fastest models in every model line.

If anyone does need convincing that this is the real and all electric McCoy, then let it be known that the car set a lap record for an all-electric four door car round the legendary 12.8-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife. In fact, its time of seven minutes and 42 seconds was marginally slower than the Corvette ZR1 and tied with the Porsche 911 GT3. Neither of these being slouches.

If all goes well and Porsche produces the first electric production driver’s car, then the consequences could be enormous, setting Tesla trembling in its boots.
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Before we get into a ‘this is a free lunch in saving the planet mode’, let it be known that although the tailpipe may produce zero emissions, the high-performance batteries required to make the Taycan misbehave as it does remove its free lunch status.

Now that we’re clear that we are not going to save the planet singlehanded by driving one of these machines, we’ll move on. This is simply a marvellous and (pardon the pun) electrifying car. What an achievement from the luxury car maker. The Taycan’s interior finish is second to none and puts Tesla firmly in its place. Everything about it screams high end. The car’s low driving position has been maintained, despite the fact that batteries are positioned underneath. Apart from that, it really does drive as a true Porsche should, making 0–60 in 3.5 seconds. The car’s two motors power all four wheels and provide a monumental 670bhp (751bhp and 0–60 in 2.6 seconds in the Turbo S).

This car topples all its electric peers and frankly gives any current four-door Porsche a run for its money. If the Taycan is the future, then that really will be something to look forward to in old age. It’s still in the production stage, but it could be job done. The starting price point is going to be around the £118k mark, and yes, Teslas are cheaper, but the ride quality and sheer fun of driving the Taycan in my opinion justifies any price differential.

A torchbearer for the future of the performance car? Perhaps not, but it certainly points the way forward.

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