The automotive industry is going through a massive shake up and this new car shows the changes will be amazing.
Once the big car makers put their energy into building an electric car it can be amazing, this car proves it.
It’s hard to make a $300,000 car look like great value, but Porsche’s Taycan Turbo has a fair crack. Priced from $268,000 plus on-road costs (about $300,000 drive-away), the electric Taycan Turbo matches the performance of Porsche’s range-topping Panamera sedan while undercutting its price by a whopping $150,000, and comes close to the benchmark 911 Turbo coupe for a similarly generous discount.
This mid-range Taycan also undercuts the range-topping Turbo S by $70,000, but misses out on the top-end power and ceramic brakes of the big gun. You still get 500kW of electric wallop and 420km of range, along with an arsenal of luxury and performance hardware.
But a three-year warranty disappoints, as does the lack of capped-price servicing.
The Taycan is the most expensive electric car on sale, so it’s no surprise to find the cabin is appropriately luxurious. It has well-bolstered heated seats with 14-way memory adjustment up front, plus heating in the front and back and four-zone climate control to keep everyone happy. Sporty ergonomics are spot-on and the Taycan’s glass cockpit is resolutely modern, with four huge displays in our test example – a curved digital dashboard, rectangular infotainment panel, tablet-like climate controls and even a screen for the passenger.
It’s quieter than petrol-powered Porsches and the air suspension also offers an impressive balance between control and comfort.
Crash-testing Porsches is an expensive exercise, so there is no ANCAP rating for the Taycan. But you do get 10 airbags and a suite of driver assistance features including auto emergency braking, active cruise control and lane-keep assist.
Other elements that should be standard aren’t, though. Self-parking and rear cross-traffic alert are optional extras.
The Taycan deserves to wear one of the proudest badges in motoring.
This Turbo model officially makes 460kW, but can summon 500kW for launch-control starts resulting in a supercar-rivalling 3.2-second dash to 100km/h.
While that’s a great party trick, the real-world reality is effortlessly rapid acceleration available anywhere, anytime. Impressively, the rest of the package is just as polished.
The suspension does an astounding job of keeping 2.3 tonnes in check, and Porsche spent years perfecting brake responses that shame every other electric car. That said, cleverly coated steel brakes on our test model weren’t quite as confidence-inspiring as the full fat Turbo S’ ceramic stoppers when pressing on.
Smart torque vectoring and optional four-wheel-steering also help the Taycan feel more agile than rivals – if not quite as alert as the brand’s much lighter two-door sports cars.
As a driver’s car, it’s head-and-shoulders above any other electric vehicle.
The first electric Porsche is deeply impressive. And the mid-range Turbo shows you don’t have to buy the most expensive model to get an outstanding drive.
Audi e-tron GT RS, on sale soon.
Riding on the same platform as the Taycan, Audi’s promising alternative has edgier styling and up to 475kW of wallop.
Tesla Model S Plaid, from $233,000 drive-away
A promised 637km of range and a 2.1-second sprint to 100km/h build on dated underpinnings. Due locally next year.
Porsche Panamera Turbo S e-hybrid, from $456,000 drive-away
Not ready to go electric? The range-topping Panamera blends V8 and battery power to deliver 515kW held in check by impressive poise.
PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO VITALS
Price: About $300,000 drive-away
Warranty/servicing: 3-year, unlimited km
Electric motors: 500kW/850Nm
Thirst: 28kWh/100km, 420km range
Safety: 10 airbags, auto emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping and blind-spot warning
Cargo: 366 litres
Spare: Repair kit