ROAD TEST: 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo

By Shari Prymak

It is no exaggeration to say that the Porsche Taycan is a pivotal model for the storied brand. It represents the brand’s first foray into the world of full-blown electrification. Although Porsche has dabbled with plug-in hybrid versions of the Panamera and Cayenne, the Taycan is the brand’s first go at a proper full-electric vehicle. Fortunately, nothing about the Taycan feels like an experiment or work-in-progress – quite the opposite actually. The Taycan is rolling proof that Porsche is fully prepared to take on an electrified future.

The idea of a luxurious four-door sedan with a massive battery pack and electric motors might not sound like magic to the ears of hardcore Porschephiles, but the result is far more extraordinary than many could imagine. In the case of the range-topping Taycan Turbo S, the electric motors on the front and rear axle combine for a total system output of up to 750 horsepower and 774 lb-ft of torque. The result is blindingly fast acceleration that you have to experience to believe. 0-100km/h comes in as little as 2.8 seconds, which is fast enough to blow away most supercars, never mind the average Porsche 911 Carrera. My Taycan Turbo tester is nearly as quick, delivering the deed in a still blisteringly quick 3.2 seconds.

For those who believe it takes far more than just sheer speed to deliver a proper Porsche experience, the Taycan should not disappoint. The Taycan manages to corner with an incredible agility and urgency that defy its size and curb weight. Thanks to its low centre of gravity and sophisticated suspension technology, the chassis remains planted and perfectly stable even when hustled at a track-level pace. Porsche dynamic chassis control (PDCC Sport), rear-axle steering, Porsche torque vectoring, and adaptive air suspension are just a few of the engineering marvels which allow the Taycan to dance around a circuit with the grace and delicacy of a thoroughly-honed sports car.

The Taycan doesn’t just offer the performance of a proper Porsche, it looks the part as well. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful design that manages to perfectly combine classic Porsche design elements with contemporary details. The interior too is a beautiful space filled with luxurious finishes and high quality materials foreign to any Tesla. The digital displays (up to five altogether) are graphically impressive and well-designed. Porsche communication management (PCM) offers an incredible depth of features that’s well structured and fairly intuitive to use. Rear seat space is on the tight side, but the Taycan offers decent practicality offering both front and rear storage compartments.

As an everyday use electric vehicle, the Taycan largely succeeds as well. With the adaptive air suspension set to normal, the Taycan feels appropriately refined and comfortable enough for the daily commute. The massive 93.4 kWh battery allows for a respectable real world driving range of 350 to 400 km. With an 800-volt charging architecture, the Taycan is able to manage a 5 to 80 percent charge in less than 30 minutes when plugged into the latest high speed DC fast chargers. Most level 3 chargers can manage the 80 percent charge in under an hour, but they remain few and far between. Electrify Canada is working on a Canada-wide network of high-speed chargers accessible to the Taycan, but it remains to be seen if it will ever be comprehensive enough to rival the Tesla supercharger network.

There’s no question that Porsche made sure to cross all the t’s and dot the i’s when it came time to designing its first all-electric vehicle. Those eager to try the Porsche of electric vehicles hopefully won’t be surprised by the equally Porsche-like pricing. The MSRP ranges from $132,270 for the Taycan 4S up to $218,360 for the Taycan Turbo S before options. A hefty sum, but the product is one like no other. Is the Taycan just an electric car, a performance car, a luxury car, or even a real Porsche? The answer is all of the above and more. If this is the future of Porsche, the future looks bright indeed.