2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo debuts, minus a turbo, ignites Twitter war with Tesla
Tesla’s Model S has been ruling the roost in the 4-door pure-electric performance sedan category for a long time as, to be honest, there were no worthy competitors. But now, Stuttgart’s in the mix with its new offerings, the Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S.
The Porsche Taycan has been no mystery, as its development has spawned numerous spy shots and speculations that gave us an early insight into this new beast in town. With the Taycan, Porsche is taking a top-down approach with the potent Turbo models arriving first, which will be followed by the more affordable models and the Taycan Cross Turismo.
And yes, the rumours were correct. Porsche did retain the Turbo moniker for their flagship Taycan, though a turbo’s relation with an electric car is as wide as that of Porsche with Tesla. But the German brand did not want to alter its long-standing naming methodology. As unfortunate as that is, it’s in the same vein as all the new turbocharged Porsche 911 Carrera models not being badged as “Turbo,” or all those new SUV “coupes,” or the Tesla “supercharger” stations, which Tesla boss Elon Musk was kindly reminded of by the Twitter public when he sarcastically tweeted about the Taycan Turbo naming absurdity.
Going by electric car standards, the Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S are quick. The Turbo S can run from 0 to 100 kph in 2.8 seconds while the Turbo will take 3.2 seconds to do the same. This can be attributed to the colossal 1050 Nm of maximum torque in the S and the 850 Nm of torque in the “base” Turbo. To ensure top notch performance, the S gets 751 hp with Launch Control and the Turbo gets an overboosted 671 hp.
Both the vehicles get a 93.4 kWh battery pack which gives the Turbo a range of 380 kms to 448 kms of range in the WLTP tests. In the same scenario, the more powerful Turbo S will get 386 kms to 410 kms of range. To make charging faster, both cars utilize an 800 volt circuit. Using a high voltage circuit allows to reduce the current flow, which in turn reduces the heat in the batteries during charging. This can facilitate faster charging. The Taycans can charge from 5-80% in just 22.5 minutes using a 270 kW fast charger which, on the flipside, is quite a rare thing to find.
The Taycan uses four different motors, one four each wheel. This makes it similar to an all-wheel-drive system. Unlike almost all electric vehicles, both the Taycans come with a gearbox. It is a two speed unit the first gear of which is automatically selected when sudden acceleration is required. The second gear is a low-torque unit used for highway cruising to improve efficiency. The selection is based on many factors including driver’s accelerator input and the selected drive mode.
The Taycan is also loaded with a pretty good suite of modern tech that includes Porsche Adaptive Suspension Management which lowers and raises the ride as per changes in the road topography, and Porsche’s 4D Chassis Control commands the softness and stiffness of the air suspension. It also gets the rear-axle steering system from the all-new Porsche 911. Adding to this is the optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control from the Panamera which has been adapted for its new application. This keeps body roll and lateral movement of the Taycan in check, improving its dynamics.
The 2020 Porsche Taycan is a genuine attempt to go up against the Tesla Model S which had been enjoying its monopoly till date. Of course, unlike Tesla’s Model 3, Porsche has nothing to take on the lower end of the segment, so the German carmaker won’t be dominating electric sales charts anytime soon. The Taycan will range in price from Dhs 550,000 to Dhs 900,000 in the United States, and probably a bit more in the UAE and GCC.