Top-tier Taycan makes soul-stirring 750 horsepower and 774 lb-ft of torque
The much anticipated Porsche Taycan has finally been unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show this week, and it’s one formidable performance EV. In fact, with 750 horsepower and 774 lb-ft of torque available it can sprint from zero to 100km/h in just 2.8 seconds.
Is that enough to knock Tesla’s most potent Model S P100D off its four-door EV throne? The American electric car producer claims 2.6 seconds for the same feat, despite only making 613 horsepower and 686 lb-ft of torque. Can you see an epic drag race in our not-too-distant future? No doubt it will be repeated over and over on every cable and YouTube car show credible enough to pull it off, and thanks to Porsche’s normally conservative claimed performance numbers the new Taycan Turbo S might just beat its archrival off the line.
Superior power and handling result in record-setting Nürburgring lap time
Of course, there’s much more to the 2020 Taycan than straight-line performance, the super sedan’s expected ability to run rings around the Model S and any other competitor when corners arrive likely its strongest suit, evidenced by a pre-series model’s EV record-setting 7:42 minute lap of the storied Nürburgring-Nordschleife. And the best time for a Tesla Model S P85D? Ouch! It took more than a minute longer at just 8:50.
The Taycan’s standard three-chamber air suspension, Porsche Active Suspension Management, and Porsche’s 4D Chassis Control enhance the already well-sorted independent suspension setup, while available Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control and rear-axle steering (optional with the Turbo and standard on the Turbo S) take performance up yet another notch.
As for braking performance, the transmission manages about 90 percent of the braking duties, with the front transmission capable of applying up to 221 lb-ft of recuperative torque and the rear gearbox good for 406 lb-ft. In typical German over-engineering form the actual standard brake rotors measure 415 mm up front and 365 mm in the rear, and get clamped down on via 10-piston monoblock calipers for the former and four-pot calipers for the latter, plus feature a dust-reducing tungsten-carbide surface coating. Porsche even offers its optional carbon-ceramic brakes for extreme overkill, these measuring 420 and 410 mm front to back.
Stunning interior features a bevy of high-definition digital displays
Of course, there’s a lot more that separates the new Porsche from the old Tesla than merely going fast with zero local emissions. Most obviously is styling, the Taycan being newer than new and visually otherworldly in its advanced shape and wonderfully sculpted details, whereas the seven-year-old Model S’ is geriatric as far as car lifecycles go, albeit still handsome. Fit and finish should be best-of-the-best in the Taycan, while all new Porsches are industry leaders for on-board electronics too.
The Taycan boasts a unique pod-like digital gauge cluster that appears to float behind the steering wheel. It’s filled with an artful array of high-definition graphics in a classic curving Porsche oval, while its dash-wide set of dual touchscreens, the second ahead of the front passenger, and third capacitive display on the centre console provide an unprecedented level of hands-on control that today’s EV owners should appreciate.
Sophisticated EV drivetrain provides ultimately competitive performance
No doubt one of those digital interfaces will provide animated power-flow graphics, and that moving diagram will show a permanent-magnet synchronous motor at each axle combining for the aforementioned output figures depending on trim, incidentally outputting 616 horsepower no matter the model when not in launch mode.
When switched back to that overboost setting, the slower of the two can manage standstill to 200 km/h in a mere 10.6 seconds, while a standing quarter mile takes a fleet 11.1 seconds. Do the same in the quicker car and 200 km/h arrives in just 9.8 seconds and the quarter mile in 10.8, while both models’ terminal velocity is electronically limited to 280 km/h.
A single-speed front transmission and a larger two-speed gearbox in back push power to the wheels, the latter unit incorporating one gear for acceleration and another taller gear for cruising. The chosen rear gear is selected automatically by monitoring a driver’s style and as well as manually from one of the car’s five driving modes.
As it sounds, Range mode ekes out the most efficiency from the drivetrain and therefore asks everything from its taller second gear while temporarily shutting down the front motor, whereas Normal mode prioritizes the second gear yet utilizes first gear when needed. Alternatively, Sport mode prioritizes first gear up to about 90 to 100 km/h, but the transmission will shift to second if the driver eases off the throttle at anytime, and then back to first again if the need for speed returns. The Taycan includes Sport Plus and Individual drive modes too.
Grueling endurance testing promises much more reliable performance
Where the Model S is known for overheating when pushed hard, Porsche is promising cooler running by incorporating a special hairpin winding technique to the stators’ copper solenoid coils. This provides a copper fill factor of 70 percent compared to 45 percent when wound the old way, and results in increased outputs while keeping things cooler than they’d otherwise be.
To prove the Taycan’s endurance in hot climates (of 42°C with a track temperature of almost 54°C), Porsche ran a pre-production model around Italy’s high-banked Nardò Ring test track at speeds ranging between 195 and 215 km/h for 24 hours straight, a marathon sprint that included six test drivers covering 3,425 kilometres. At least as grueling, Porsche punished the Taycan further by undergoing 26 back-to-back sprints from zero to 200 km/h in less than 10 seconds apiece, with a 0.8-second difference between fastest and slowest acceleration times. Then there’s the aforementioned Nürburgring stint, which truly sets the Taycan Turbo S apart from mere stoplight dragsters.
Taycan delivers impressive EV range and quick charging times
Set into the floor of each Taycan is an LG-sourced 93.4-kilowatt-hour high-voltage lithium-ion battery with enough stored energy for 381 to 450 km of range with the Turbo model on the Europeans’ WLTP rating system. The more performance-oriented Turbo S is claimed to achieve a 388 to 412 km range.
Recharging that big battery is made easier and faster thanks to an 800-volt electrical architecture that allows for a maximum charging rate of 270 kilowatts. This makes it possible to refill from five to 80 percent in just 22.5 minutes. The Tesla and all other electric vehicles use 400-volt architectures and therefore need more time to recharge.
At least as interesting is the Porsche Charging Planner, which has the ability to chart a given course to your destination by factoring in the best places to recharge along the way, if necessary. For instance, the Charging Planner has the ability to choose a faster 270-kW charge station that can save you time over a regular 50-kW DC charger, even if the quicker charger is a bit out of the way. What’s more, the Charging Planner preconditions the battery to 20°C, optimal for faster charging. It does more, but we’ll leave the rest for you to discover with your Porsche Centre Vancouver representative.
2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S are ready to order now
On that note, the 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S are now available to order from Porsche Centre Vancouver, so make sure to act quickly if you want to be first on your block to own the most exciting electric car ever made.
The most affordable Taycan Turbo, with its 671 max horsepower, 627 lb-ft of torque and 3.2-second sprint to 100 km/h hits the road at $173,900 plus freight and fees, while the Taycan Turbo S is priced from $213,900.
Take note that Porsche decided to launch its highest performing Turbo variants first, with less formidable versions arriving later this year and the Cross Turismo four-door crossover coupe set to arrive toward the end of next year.
To learn more about the 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S, contact Porsche Centre Vancouver by phone at (604) 736-7911 or come visit us in our showroom at 688 Terminal Ave, Vancouver.
And while you’re waiting for your Taycan to arrive, enjoy the bevy of Porsche-supplied videos below:
World Premiere Porsche Taycan (40:33)
The new Porsche Taycan – Designed to enliven (1:28)
The fully electric Porsche Taycan accelerates 0-90-0 mph on the USS Hornet (0:59)
Onboard Lap - Porsche Taycan Sets a Record at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (8:09)
New Porsche Taycan sets a record at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (0:58)
Taycan Prototype Convinces at Endurance Run in Nardò (0:57):
The new electric Porsche Taycan proves its repeatability of power before upcoming World Premiere (1:05)
A thank you to electricity: The Porsche Taycan (0:45)
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Date Posted: September 11, 2019