On Tuesday, Porsche filled out its Taycan electric vehicle lineup with a cheaper, lighter variant. It’s just called the Porsche Taycan—no S, no Turbo, not even any numbers—and it differentiates itself from the other Taycans by virtue of having just a single electric motor, which drives the rear wheels. It’s even keenly priced, for a Porsche. At $79,900 (before any tax credits or incentives) it’s almost $24,000 cheaper than the next variant in the range, the Taycan 4S.
As with the 4S, there is a choice of two batteries. The standard Taycan comes with a 79.2kWh (total capacity) pack, and a rear motor capable of 321hp (240kW) and 250lb-ft (339Nm), boosting up to 402hp (300kW) and 254lb-ft (344Nm) if you use launch control. Do so—exiting a highway tollbooth, for instance—and the Taycan will reach 60mph in 5.1 seconds. Find a derestricted stretch of German autobahn, and eventually the Taycan will call time at 143mph (230km/h). At 4,566lb (2,071kg) it’s the lightest Taycan, although the drag coefficient of 0.24 makes it slightly less slippery than the 4S or Turbo unless you add back the optional air suspension.
Thanks to Porsche’s 800V electrical architecture, fast recharging is indeed fast. Connected to a 350kW-capable DC fast charger, the Taycan will charge at up to 225kW and from 5-80 percent state of charge in 22.5 minutes, just like the more expensive Taycans. An official EPA range should be available in the next few weeks, so for now an EU figure of 28kWh/100km—which equates to 2.2 miles/kWh, with the understanding that the WLTP test is very different to the EPA’s, making direct comparison difficult—is all the information we have. (The Taycan is notorious for having a greater real world range than its EPA estimate.)
But wait, there’s more
If you want a little more power and a little more range, the Taycan is also available with a 93.4kWh (again, total capacity) “Performance Battery Plus”. This bumps the price to $85,680 (again, before incentives) but also increases power to 375hp (280kW), or 469hp (350kW) and 263lb-ft (357Nm) when using launch control. The bigger battery adds more curb weight (4,742lbs/2,151kg) so the 0-60mph and top speed is the same, although the performance battery plus car is a little quicker in the standing quarter-mile.
The bigger battery can accept a more powerful charge—270kW like the much more expensive Taycans. Recharging time should still be 22.5 minutes from 5-80% SoC.
I must admit, I’m more than a little curious to get behind the wheel of a standard Taycan. Losing the front motor-generator unit saves 205lb (93kg) compared to the Taycan 4S, and all that weight has been removed from the front axle, which should improve the Taycan’s ability to change direction, an exercise at which it already excels.
What makes the entry Taycan even more intriguing is the fact that it’s cheaper than a 911, even before you account for the $7,500 IRS tax credit. $19,300 cheaper than the cheapest new 911, in fact, for a car with better tech, an amazing interior, usable rear seats, and no exhaust emissions. Is it just me, or did the future just arrive?
Listing image by Porsche