LET US TALK LOOKS.
Porsche Mission E is a concept car developed and showcased to the world back in the 2015 Frankfurt Motor show, and it made the world sit up and take notice. Fast forward to current times, the Taycan is very close to the original concept, making everyone happy. Very rarely do we get to see production cars be so close to their actual concepts. You could easily mistake it for something out of a sci-fi movie.
The Taycan is unmistakably a Porsche in the looks department. It looks like a smaller, sportier and more athletic Panamera. The look is very clean and minimalistic, and functional. The entire purpose of the design is to make sure the car is aerodynamically efficient, delivering maximum range and performance.
The front bonnet has a slight dip in the design. The headlights are also quite slim but easily identified as a Porsche. The headlights are flanked by this vertical slit which channels air around the front.
You can spec the Taycan with 19-inch rims. The maximum you can go is up to 21-inches. The car I drove had the 20-inch Taycan Turbo Aero wheels. Obviously, there are optional. IMO 20s are the optimal size for this car.
Down the sides, you have another vertical functional vent channelling air from the tires to around the car’s flanks. The sides are have not much going and are pretty plain. Coming to the rear, the roof slopes in a gentle arch much like a 911 towards the flat deck style rear. The rear has this handsome light bar that wraps itself around the back. It also has cool 3D Porsche lettering inbuilt into the light bar giving it a futuristic look and feel. Being an EV, it has no exhausts.
All in all, the Taycan reminds me of a Tomahawk missile. Sleek, effective, purposeful and just super sexy. I do love the look of the Taycan.
OKAY, ENOUGH ABOUT THE LOOKS; HOW IS IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
Now ain’t that the million-dollar question? In the usual Porsche style, the Taycan comes with multiple trims and performance choices. You can even buy the Taycan in wagon style with the Taycan Cross Tourismo (the Cross Tourismo does not come with the RWD option).
Porsche offers enthusiasts the choice of four performance levels the base Taycan (which I drove), the Taycan 4S, the Taycan Turbo and the Taycan Turbo S.
Taycan RWD comes with two battery options, a 79kwh with 322hp, and on over-boost mode, it makes 402hp. The base Taycan can be also be specced with the 93 kwh Performance Battery Plus, which produces 375hp or 469hp in temporary over-boost mode. The power is sent to the rear wheels with the single motor at the back via a two-speed transmission. The range on the base battery is a claimed 431kms and with the performance battery 484kms. All the higher performance models come with AWD systems and two motors. Real-life scenarios, you would probably discount the above range by 25%.
In today’s day and age, where your average performance cars are producing 600hp plus, and your hot hatches are touching 400hp, you would wonder why this car produces only 375hp and what is so exciting; about just 400 horses?
Exciting enough! It is just not about the number of horses but how all of that power is deployed. And that power is deployed very, very well. Even though this is an EV, the experience somehow feels analogue. You are highly in tune with what the car is doing. You sit down and low and still have excellent visibility. Never do you think you are in a two-tonne EV. The chassis setup is sublime. You can sense the bends and take them with confidence and precision. The car provides you with ample grip and feedback. The steering weighs up perfectly with a lot of accurate feedback. The Taycan is properly darty and can switch directions at the flick of a steering wheel. No other car that weighs this much can drive and handle the way the Taycan can. It is a proper sports car disguised as an EV. The steering is probably the perfect sized steering on earth! And because this is RWD guess what it can do? Hint, hint.. it can drift! Yes, and it can do it properly. Switch traction control and the other systems off spot a corner, give it the beans and flick the steering and voila! You are sideways!! At slow speeds, the slide is easily correctable, and you will be facing north as easy as it was to slide in the first place! Chris Harris did the world’s longest drift in an EV of over 41kms in this car!
But enough about sideways action. I know you lot care about taking on other straight-line EVS and cars. Yes, it is not as fast as the Turbo S, other supercars and the Tesla Model S, but it is plenty fast. You can keep using launch control all day long, and the car will happily satisfy your needs—no fuss, no lengthy setup process, nothing. Within a few seconds, the vehicle is ready for launch control and BOOM, and you have blasted away into the distance. The entire experience is enough to put a smile on your face and that of your passengers. It is not violent like the Taycan Turbo S but still enjoyable. Porsche claims a 0-100kmph time of 5.4seconds, and that is fast enough. During launch control, we managed to do around 0-100kmph 5.5 seconds with three adults in the car. The Taycan makes rearview mirrors obsolete as you do not need to see the back and side of your vehicle; look ahead, point and floor it. The car will exactly dart into the chosen space and keep ongoing. By the time anyone else on the road has the chance to react, you have probably travelled a few hundred meters. The performance in the Taycan is like the perfect juicy burger. All the right ingredients are coming into place seamlessly for that big satisfying deep bite, YUMMMM!
The suspension is perfectly set up. The base car gets the steel-sprung suspension which IMO is absolutely spot on. It comes with Porsche’s adaptive dampers. You can spec it with air suspension, but I do not see the need for that if you want a more “engaged” driving experience. You can even spec the car with rear-wheel steering.
HOW DO I TOP UP MY TAYCAN?
According to a Porsche forecast, approximately 80% of Taycan owners will charge their batteries at home overnight. The Taycan has charge ports in the two front side sections of the body. The vehicle can be charged on both sides using AC (in most markets); it can also be charged using DC on the right-hand side. Taycan drivers can comfortably charge their vehicles with up to 11 kW AC at home. While on the move, the car has an 800-volt technology, and Porsche provides a temperature control strategy for the battery. The Performance Battery Plus allows the vehicle to be charged with higher currents DC, thus speeding up the process. In just over five minutes, the battery can be recharged for a range of up to 100 kilometres. The charging time for five to 80% is 22.5 minutes in ideal conditions at 800-volt high-power charging stations, with a maximum charging capacity (peak) of 270 kW.
For home charging, Porsche offers multiple ways to charge your Taycan.
With a capacity of up to 11 kW, Porsche Mobile Charger Connect is a quick and convenient way to charge the Taycan at home overnight.
The portable, three-kilogram Porsche Mobile Charger Plus (available from mid-2020) can be charged at home or on the road with a maximum of 11 kW.
Mode 3 cable: A 4.5-metre charging cable for charging at public alternating current charging stations.
Home Energy Manager (HEM): An electrician can integrate the intelligent control centre into the domestic power grid, ensuring problem-free and convenient charging at home.
Depending on which part of the world you are in, Porsche is developing charging infrastructure. In the UAE, we can charge the car at multiple points in malls, restaurants, cafes, petrol stations and various DEWA outlets. A lot of public multistories now are offering designated parking spaces for EV charging. Many residential buildings are providing the same service. And If you live in a villa or a townhouse, then it is even easier. Yes, planning a long road trip is a concern, but then the PlugShare app comes in handy for planning long road journeys. We still have a long way to go for a fully stable, reliant and accessible EV charging network.
OKAY, THEN WHAT IS IT LIKE ON THE INSIDE?
Spaceship like, that’s what it is like. The driver gets this crisp curved digital dashboard with all the relevant information. The information is precise and relevant and exactly what you need. The entire centre console has two screens. The top one managing the infotainment, and the bottom vertical managing your HVAC and other features. The passenger can get their screen as well; however, it is optional. The entire interiors are an array of screens. It is minimalist, and there are no buttons to be found anywhere. The good thing is that the screens are responsive, intuitive and easy to use.
The seating is low but is spacious enough for four adults with good visibility all around. Regardless of the low sloping roofline, tall passengers can fit easily at the back. A five-seater, it is not. You can easily drive all day and not be tired at the end of it. I did enjoy the full fixed glass roof. It adds a lot of character to the car IMO. There is enough storage around the car, and it comes with Apple Car Play as standard.
The build quality is topnotch, and all the materials are high quality and luxurious. In a typical Porsche fair, you can pretty much spec the car interiors and exteriors in whatever way you please. You can add the Porsche Electric Sound if you actually want it to sound like a spaceship. You can add the usual fair of Porsche performance words such as Sport Chrono Package, PDCC, PASM, etc. Porsche is more than happy to take your money for anything and everything. Be ready to spend that money. I would love to tell you to spend your money wisely, but in my hearts heart, I would end up spending that money as well.
IS IT STILL THE BEST CAR MONEY CAN BUY?
So let us take into account a few things.
If you drive around 30 km a day, you use up only half the battery of the Taycan in a week. So once a week, an overnight charge at home is perfectly suitable.
It is fast enough to take care of your midlife crisis.
It can seat your family of four easily with enough cargo space in the trunk and frunk.
You can charge it on the road quickly enough to be able to make it to wherever you want to go. (Obviously, this is subjective to where you live and where you want to go.)
It is luxurious, built well, futuristic and can be customized to your heart’s desire.
It is priced higher than other performance sedans in its class; however, you do not pay for fuel.
It has over-the-air updates to make sure its software is up to date.
The starting price is around $88,000, depending on which region you are in and goes upwards depending on which options you tick.
If you can figure charging out, the Taycan fits pretty much all your needs, requirements and desires. Buying the Taycan is not a choice but just a matter of time for me. Porsche has done a brilliant job, and the Taycan is the perfect one-car garage for me. Well, most people who will buy the Taycan will have a multiple-car garage. Thank you to Porsche Center Dubai for letting me test drive their Taycan RWD.