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The Porsche Taycan is a highly digital, outrageously fast and impeccably capable electric car that paves the way for a brighter future.

07 Oct 2020







Press and hold power button to deactivate. 

That's the sort of prompt you'd expect to see on a modern 21st century device like a Playstation 4 or a De'Longhi coffee machine. That's not a prompt that you'd imagine seeing in a car, and most definitely not the sort of prompt you'd expect to see in a Porsche. 

But then, the Taycan isn't your typical Porsche. This, as Porsche will gleefully remind you, is the future. 

The Taycan is Porsche's all new all-electric offering
When Porsche first unveiled its Mission E concept car back in 2015, it caused quite a stir, a combination of both excitement and apprehension. "Wow, Porsche is going electric?" "Why is Porsche making an electric car?" "Should Porsche be even making electric cars??"

The Mission E set the groundwork for Porsche's first-ever all-electric model - the brand new Porsche Taycan. And, there's arguably a lot riding on this car. Might it redefine what we imagine an electric car to be? Will this be the torchbearer of electric performance? Will this usher a new era of electric mobility for Porsche? There's a lot riding on this car...

Clean shine

You can open the frunk simply by wiping your hand across the front of the bonnet
One look at the Taycan and you immediately know that it's something different. While it does retain some identifiable Porsche design cues, the car looks unlike anything else. Its striking, almost spaceship-like design is bold and unbashful about screaming to the world its futuristic ambitions. One reason for the Taycan's design is aerodynamics - the Taycan boasts an impressive 0.22 Cd figure. 

The futuristic, almost sci-fi-esque experience with the Taycan begins before you even enter the car. Walk up to it with the key fob on you, and the car automatically unlocks itself. Get in, close the door, rest your foot on the brake pedal, and the car activates itself, ready for you to depart. The whole hands-off approach is delightfully fun. 

The 16.8-inch curved digital instrument display has three configurable dials
In the Taycan, Porsche has leaned all the way into digitalisation. Most of your analog controls are gone. The entire centre console is devoid of a single analog button less the hazard lights, and the only other actual buttons you will find in the cabin are for controlling the windows and the wing mirrors. 

Everything else is digital. The 16.8-inch curved instrument display features three configurable dials, along with touch-control fields at either side to control functions like head lights, traction control and suspension settings. The 10.9-inch central infotainment display can be controlled via touch operation, using the haptic touchpad on the 8.4-inch touch panel lower down on the centre console, or via voice control by saying "Hey Porsche".

Digitally adjusting the air-con vent position is more complicated than needed
This full-on digitalisation is expected for a car touted to be the future, and generally it works quite well. The only real gripe is with the air-con - adjusting the vent positioning requires you to dive into a couple of menus, which is a lot more work than if they had just made the vents manually adjustable. 

The rest of the Taycan's interior is a pleasing combination of style, functionality and luxury. Space wise, it's on par with a compact executive model (think 3 Series, C-Class), even though its exterior dimensions are closer to the 5 Series. It's not as spacious as its overall body size would suggest, but it's comfortable enough. Our test car is configured as a 4+1 (a cost option), but the middle seat is best left for children only. You can also have your Taycan as a strict four-seater. Boot space at the rear is 366 litres, while there's also an additional 81-litre frunk - plenty of daily practicality and usability all around. 

Clean and jerk

Drive settings like suspension and ride height can be adjusted on the touch-control fields
Being an electric car, you'd imagine the Taycan to be unlike any other Porsche to drive. And in some ways, that's true. It's eerily quiet, save for the strange high-pitch wooshing sound you get from the motors.

And the ride is so ridiculously and unfathomably comfortable. Not comfort-for-a-sports-car comfortable. It's luxury-cruiser levels of comfort. The car's air suspension soaks up bumps in the road and modulate body movement so well that every journey is entirely soothing and relaxing. 

That is until you prod the throttle. The Taycan immediately transforms, unleashing performance in a way that's undeniably a Porsche hallmark. Performance is electrifying (pardon the pun).

Acceleration in the Taycan is instant, vicious yet silent
Our test car, with the Performance Battery Plus, makes 483bhp and 650Nm of torque. Put your foot down and the car batters you and your passengers' heads backwards, rushing to 100km/h from a standstill in just four seconds. It's OUTRAGEOUS. I have no idea why there are two even faster versions of the Taycan, because this here is enough to induce whiplash over and over again. 

0-100km/h is shocking, and yet 70-120km/h is arguably even more bewildering. Even 30% throttle takes you up to license-revoking speeds in a way that's worryingly effortless and uneventful. It's mindboggling how instantly and incredibly quick this car is able to accelerate, no matter the situation. 

The Taycan's sharp steering and stellar handling set it clearly apart from other electric cars
Instant acceleration is a fairly 'typical' electric car party trick. Where the Taycan sets itself apart is the way it drives. The steering is sharp and accurate, direction changes immediate, and the car handles with an agility that should not be possible considering it weighs 2.2 tonnes.

The car's driving dynamics are managed by a networked control system for the chassis - adjusting the suspension settings, ride height, active roll stabilisation, and torque vectoring. Together with the optional rear axle steering, the Taycan's handling prowess is undeniable. While you do feel the car's heft when you get on the brakes, in every other situation it feels like a car that weighs a tonne less. The driving position is also almost-identically-911 (i.e. perfect). 

The charging port can be opened with hand gestures
As far as range goes, even after 152.7km of uneconomical driving, there was 265km left on the clock. That adds up to about 418km of total range. We started the day with 430km on the clock. The press materials quote 414km of range on a full charge with the Performance Battery Plus, so Porsche's figures are clearly conservatively realistic and achievable. 

Clean out

All this performance and capability don't come cheap, of course.

Unfortunately, Singapore's charging infrastructure isn't yet on par with what the Taycan is capable of
The car starts at $485,988 without COE, and this car here is fitted with $163,008 worth of options. A lot of that money goes into the new 800V electric architecture that the Taycan uses to allow it super-quick charging capabilities - 100km of charge in five minutes, and five to 80% in 22.5 minutes at a high-power 270kW charging station.  

There's one problem with that - no such charging station is available in Singapore right now. You're then limited to either 50kW DC chargers, or the more standard 11kW AC wall-box chargers that you can install at home. 

Clean sweep

The highly-digital cabin is indicative of the Taycan's future-oriented capabilities
The Porshe Taycan really does reconfigure the way you think about performance motoring, electric or otherwise. It combines outrageous and capable performance with tranquil silence and comfort in a way that no other car can. 

It's clear that even Porsche approaches the Taycan as much more than just a car. It's something quite different - a 21st century intelligent device pointed purposefully at the future, a smart device that embraces digital capabilities.  

It's also a proof of concept - to show the world that Porsche truly knows how to make an electric, future-ready car that doesn't compromise driver involvement and driving pleasure. The electric technologies and know-how will likely filter down into its popular SUV offerings, and that's where Porsche will likely make its money. 

The Porsche Taycan is a remarkable car that harkens towards a bright and exciting future
And yet, with the Taycan, there's so much that's different, yet so much still remains the same. The Taycan has gone fully electric and fully embraced digitisation, yet many of the same Porsche qualities remain. It handles impeccably, is plenty quick and, most importantly, feels realised for the joy of driving. 

The Porsche Taycan is a stunning and remarkable achievement. And if this is truly the future, then it's one to look forward to, and one to behold.

Car Information

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Porsche Taycan Electric 4S (A)
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Promotion
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Price

: $485,988

Engine Type

:

Permanent magnet synchronous motor

Engine Cap

:

-

Horsepower

:

390kW (523 bhp)

Torque

:

640 Nm

Transmission

:

2-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

4sec

Top Speed

:

250km/h

Fuel consumption

:

unknown

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