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
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If the Porsche 911 is like a massive Marshall guitar amplifier, the new Taycan is more like a modern Bluetooth speaker. It does a similar job, but in a much more high-tech way that’s 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 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 the Taycan 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 sits in place of Porsche’s trademark analogue rev-counter – there’s a central infotainment screen, a seperate touchscreen for the car’s heating and ventilation controls. There’s even an optional screen above the glovebox for the front-seat passenger if you’re fine with handing over the keys to the driving music.
All the batteries needed to keep these screens running – as well those that 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 two 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. You can have a third seatbelt optionally for a ‘2+1’ layout, but sitting in the middle is nothing short of miserable.
Sadly, boot space doesn’t live 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. It’s the perfect place for storing the charging cables, though.
Even the entry-level Taycan is a great car, but you should stump up the extra cash for the 4S. It's the real sweet spot in the range.
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 entry-level Porsche Taycan is capable of covering 268 miles before you’ll need to plug it back in. Upgrade the rear-driven car’s battery and that rises to 301 miles.
Move up to 4S and you will see that dip a little to 257 miles. Next up, the 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.
Watch our Audi RS e-tron v Porsche Taycan Turbo group test
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 rear-driven entry-level car can still manage that sprint in a respectable 5.4 seconds, though it doesn’t feel as quick behind the wheel as that figure suggests. The 4S is a bit quicker, managing 0-60mph in four seconds flat.
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 air suspension (standard on all but entry-level cars) 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. Air suspension is standard on all but the entry-level car (where it’s a must-have option) 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. Check out the latest Porsche Taycan lease deals.
Or, for an in-depth look at the new Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo electric estate car, tap on the video below.
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