Porsche Taycan Review
The Porsche Taycan is a seriously fast, seriously luxurious four-seater sports car that’s packed with tech, comfy to drive and better than a Tesla Model S in the corners
What's not so good
Porsche Taycan: what would you like to read next?
If the Porsche 911 is like a massive Marshall guitar amplifier, the new Taycan is more like modern Bluetooth speaker. It does a similar job, but in a much more high-tech way that’s a bit easier to live with.
Sure, all its electrical gubbins might have more in common with what you find lurking under the skin of a Tesla Model S than a petrol-powered 911, but the Porsche Taycan’s slinky body leaves you in no doubt this is an electric car designed to turn its volts into outright velocity.
Its curvy bonnet, subtle air intakes and sleek sloping roofline look like a cross between the 911 and the Panamera, while the laser-like full-width brake light and optional uber-aerodynamic alloy wheels give it its own futuristic flavour.
This theme continues inside, where the Porsche Taycan combines the 911’s driver-focussed cabin layout with more tech than you can shake a memory stick at. In addition to the widescreen digital driver’s display – which replaces Porsche’s trademark analogue rev-counter – there’s a central infotainment screen, a touchscreen for the car’s heating and ventilation controls and an optional screen above the glovebox for the front-seat passenger.
All the batteries needed to keep these screens running – as well as power the Taycan’s electric motors – are tucked beneath the car’s floor but, despite this, you still sit nice and low in the driver’s seat.
The back seats aren’t quite as roomy as those in the front – those over six-feet tall will struggle slightly for headroom – but at least there’s plenty of knee room and a fair few cubby spaces to help you keep the Porsche Taycan’s cabin neat and tidy.
Sadly, bootspace isn’t quite up to the level of the likes of the Audi RS7 and the Taycan’s front-boot isn’t as large as in the smaller 911. That said, it’s the perfect place for storing the charging cables.
The Taycan is Porsche’s first all-electric car but, as successful debuts go, it’s right up there with J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter and Guns and Roses’ Appetite for Destruction.
Speaking of charging, brimming the Porsche Taycan’s batteries from empty using a wallbox at home will take around nine hours, while a 50kW public charger can boost its batteries from 0% to 80% charged in around 75 minutes. If you can find a 270kW charger, however, this time drops to just 23 minutes.
With its batteries fully charged, the Porsche Taycan Turbo can travel for up to 279 miles, while the more powerful Turbo S has to make do with 257 miles. That’s not bad – it’s more than enough for a few days’ commuting – but the Tesla Model S Long Range still leads the field with a whopping 370-mile range.
There’s less to choose between the Porsche Taycan and the Tesla Model S in the performance stakes, though. A top-spec Turbo S model can blast from 0-60mph in less than 2.8 seconds and reach 161mph while the Tesla Model S Performance manages the same sprint in 2.4 seconds and tops out at 155mph.
The Taycan’s higher top-speed is partly thanks to its two-speed gearbox. Most electric cars do without a box of cogs, but the Taycan comes with low- and high-speed gears to boost its off-the-line acceleration, increase its top speed and reduce its energy consumption while cruising.
There are also a bunch of high-tech electrical systems designed to make the Porsche Taycan one of the most fun-to-drive electric cars around. These control the four-wheel-drive system, the torque-vectoring system, the standard air suspension and the steering to make the Taycan feel much nimbler than most cars weighed-down by a stack of heavy batteries.
Sure, its sheer size means it can’t tackle a series of hairpins with quite as much vigour as the 911, but the Porsche Taycan’s composure through tight turns will leave a Tesla Model S feeling more than a bit envious.
Like its petrol-powered Panamera cousin, the Porsche Taycan makes an excellent motorway cruiser. It comes with air suspension as standard and there’s plenty of sound insulation to make it even quieter and more relaxing to drive than the Tesla Model S; despite not having quite so many driver-assistance features.
All this means the Porsche Taycan isn’t just a good electric car, it’s also a true Porsche, and well worth a place on your new-car shopping list.
The Porsche Taycan’s interior looks and feels fantastic, but you can’t get it with Android Auto and the optional fourth touchscreen feels like overkill