New pictures of the Porsche Taycan have been revealed in one of the strangest press releases you’ll read this year.
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The pictures show portions of the car, which is wearing what looks like a glow-in-the-dark-wrap, and the
#SoulElectrified hashtag so you can follow the Taycan’s development – including Mark Webber stress testing it on track. The Taycan is Porsche’s first purely electric sports car and, with four-wheel drive and a 0-62mph time of under 3.5 seconds, it should feel it. On a more practical note, it’s set to have a range of around 300 miles and its battery can be fast charged from empty to 80% in just 15 minutes.
For now though, strap yourself in for the official press release. It’s a goody:
“It is a warm early afternoon, around 1 pm, in an inconspicuous hall in an industrial zone on the edge of Stuttgart. The windows of the building are completely covered up, the gates are carefully locked so that nobody can look in or come in without authorisation and nothing is leaked to the outside. Inside is a bewilderingly camouflaged test model of the Taycan. In 70 years of sports car history, it is the first purely battery-powered Porsche from Zuffenhausen. At this point, only rough outlines are known about; the trade journals are outdoing each other with more or less futuristic phantom images, but one thing is clear: the Taycan will enter a completely new dimension of the Porsche brand, which traditionally draws its power from high-performance combustion engines. A quantum leap. And, like any radical change, not without risk.
Right next to it, in the dark, the new Porsche 911 is parked – the classic which, since its première in 1963, has been engraved in the collective consciousness, whether as the absolute core, synonym or heart of the Porsche brand. A myth, with more than a million cars built, a phenomenon of contemporary, cultural, technology and design history, an automobile which is constantly new and yet so provokingly unchanged. Two worlds collide – but they have a single origin. And a common goal: to define what Porsche is in a new way. What the brand stands for. And what it means to the two men who are now circling the vehicles, busy in discussion.
August Achleitner, a lean, rather boyish-looking 63-year-old, is more or less the brain of the 911. The automotive engineer has been head of the model line for 18 years; the eighth generation of the 911 will be his last. He has constantly preserved this inheritance by carefully developing it in line with the Porsche values of tradition and innovation: transition yes, radical change no. He has shaped the 911 as few others have done, although he would scarcely admit it. If you mention his role to him, his answers quickly meander towards “my team” or “my people”. “The development of the 911 is always an evolution, never a revolution”, he says. “At the same time, we have created each new generation in such a way that it will not devalue its predecessors. This explains why Porsches are so timeless.”