With the Taycan, Porsche Launches Into the Electric Future

The sports car built to slingshot Porsche into the electric future has finally arrived. Today, in simultaneous events held on three continents, the German automaker unveiled the battery-powered, zero-emission Taycan sport sedan. The low-slung four-door arrives in two versions—the base model Turbo and specced up Turbo S—with the kind of stats that should make even petrol-chugging gearheads drool. Think 0 to 60 in 2.6 seconds in the S, along with 750 horsepower. But the Taycan also delivers on Porsche’s reputation for engineering prowess by pushing electric driving tech forward in all sorts of ways.
The Taycan (née Mission E ) uses an industry-first 800-volt battery, which allows for smaller cabling than the standard 400-volt system, making the car lighter. That also enables extra fast charging: The 93.4-kWh battery (roughly what you get on a top-end Tesla) can be filled to 80 percent is just 22.5 minutes, using one of the high-speed chargers Porsche is installing at dealerships around the country . The company estimates the range at 279 miles for the Turbo and 256 for the Turbo S, though the EPA hasn’t determined the official numbers.
For the reveal, Porsche held events in three places that each represent a different form of renewable energy production: Berlin for solar power, China’s Pingtan Island for wind, and Niagara Falls, Canada, for hydroelectric. But the automaker’s fiercest fans are probably less concerned with what makes the Taycan’s power, and more curious about what makes it a legit Porsche.

Porsche doesn’t have an end-of-life plan for the Taycan’s batteries. Nor are they designed to be replaced—a potential issue for Porsche owners, who often treasure their cars for decades. Porsche
For performance enthusiasts, that comes down to handling and responsiveness. Chassis engineer Ingo Albers points to the new all-wheel-drive system, which scraps a central system in favor of putting control within each of the dual motors. That saves milliseconds of delay as the wheels communicate with the controller and the controller sends instructions back. “It's faster, it's smoother, and the performance is better,” Albers says. “The traction control is up to 10 times faster than on a normal Porsche.”
The Taycan will feel more nimble and agile than Porsche’s other sports sedan, the Panamera, Albers says. Better balanced, too, since its weight is concentrated in its middle. But it will please those with drifting in mind. The new control system distributes torque to the front and rear axles in such a way to make the rear-biased system easier to control with deft working of the throttle. “The torque is there, and it can be distributed within milliseconds,” Albers says.