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Test drive Porsche Taycan 4S

Porsche Taycan - A new sports car era

With the current Taycan, Porsche has embarked on the era of global series production for electric sports cars. The Porsche Taycan 4S is currently the entry-level model. While most manufacturers still insist on their own layout for the electric cars, we recognize the typical Porsche DNA on the Taycan at first glance. Although it is only 9 cm shorter than a Porsche Panamera, it immediately looks more delicate and sporty with the large wheel cutouts for the sports rims and the generously dimensioned brake calipers. We take a look at the emission-free future of Porsche sports cars.

Porsche Taycan Mamba Green Metallic
Porsche Taycan Mamba Green Metallic

The new era begins with striking colors for the Taycan such as "Mambagru Metallic", "Volcano Gray Metallic" or, like our test car, has a striking "Frozen Blue Metallic". The LED lighting is part of the standard equipment. As an option, you can switch to matrix LED lights. 19-inch rims are standard for the Taycan 4S, but more exclusive sports rims in 20- or 21-inch format are more often chosen. The overall package of design, coloring and rims give the Taycan an individual character. When you look at it, it conveys attributes from racing and is currently more noticeable than any other Porsche. With the purely electric version, it does justice to the zeitgeist. New orders for the Taycan have already reached 10 percent of all new vehicles at Porsche.

Central display from the Porsche Taycan
Central display from the Porsche Taycan

New target groups

While the classic Porsche drivers with gasoline in their blood and a variety of switches, rocker arms or buttons still teased every ounce of performance out of the car, the Taycan is a large digital cinema program. While in the past the eye wandered over a field of rockers, touch segments, buttons and toggle switches at Porsche, a 16,8-inch curved display now dominates the playing field. The digital cockpit can be individually adjusted to the desired information from the navigation map to the driving mode. At the edge they are partially covered by the leather steering wheel rim. The central, very high-contrast displays for speed, power consumption and battery level dominate while driving. The 10,9-inch infotainment monitor sits enthroned above the center console to the right of the steering wheel. Below that, a smaller 8,4 inch display is primarily used for air conditioning, and also for the covers of the charging plugs and trunk. The settings are very different and of course also allow the operation of seat ventilation and heating.

2 motors and 2 gears

In the interiors of the latest generation of electric cars, the trend is towards the use of recycled materials. For the first time, Porsche is using ambitious surface structures without animal skins. A microfiber made from recycled polyester fibers is used under the name “Race-Tex”. The recycled fiber “Econyl yarn”, which is made from recycled fishing nets, among other things, is used in the flooring. The steering wheel is covered with microfibers. The interior looks spacious and offers a good sense of space with many sporty and high-quality details. The smooth, black high-gloss surfaces, on the other hand, quickly collect fingerprints and dust. The seats are individually very extensively adjustable and the positions can be saved for different drivers using the memory function. The seating position provides a good overview of the cockpit and lane while driving.

Taycan central locking and memory functions
Taycan central locking and memory functions

Top dog Taycan

A top dog with enough space for four adults is already a family car. It is not as lavish as a large-format SUV, but it not only offers enough space for the sports car architecture, but also optionally offers individual air conditioning for the passengers in the rear. The recesses in the battery in the rear footwell also contribute to legroom. In the case of luggage, the front and rear trunk with 80 l and 370 l loading volume, on the other hand, are not as generous. The loading area is extended by folding seats in the rear.

The Porsche Taycan with all-wheel drive is driven by two permanently excited electric motors on both axles. With the so-called hairpin technology, the winding of the stator coils consists of rectangular wires. Compared to conventional round windings, the filling space with copper increases to 70 percent. A slightly smaller 4 kW motor works on the front axle of the Taycan 190S, and the larger motor on the rear axle, which is coupled with a two-speed gearbox.

Taycan - sports values

Anyone who wants to test the sporting values ​​and would like to experience the true inner values ​​compared to a Tesla is clearly in good hands here on the test tracks. We used the quarter mile on the “Hungry Wolf” test site run by the North Transport Institute for the acceleration tests. This will show whether the Taycan can stand up to the competition from Tesla. A few essential technical details are already apparent on the first trips, the 800-volt architecture paired with efficient thermal management develop a high level of performance stability. The accelerations from 0 to over 200 km / h can easily be repeated a few times without any reduction in performance.

This performance architecture clearly makes the Taycan appear as a reference in the sports car class at the moment. The thrill of the automatic shift to second gear, in particular, has its very own appeal in this class.

Showdown on the quarter mile

The Taycan also offers a very low center of gravity in everyday life with the batteries installed deep in the vehicle floor. An adaptive 3-chamber air suspension and roll stabilization allow it to pull through corners with a stable track. A good 90% of all braking processes are fed back into the vehicle via recuperation in normal everyday driving. Especially at high speeds, this results in a pleasant amount of energy that flows back into the battery. Brake calipers and disc brakes are completely relieved of thermal load. Its own coating ensures less rust film with less use.

Despite its high dead weight, the chassis shows its own balance with the extremely low center of gravity. Sports cars and comfort are not in stark contrast here, as is the case with many traditional combustion engines. And that creates a very special voltage on the electric Taycan. The more intensely you drive it, the more you can experience all the technical details. The good noise insulation also contributes to this, allowing quiet and balanced driving even at high speeds.

Prices and accessories

With all the technical refinements, there are of course limits to the range. In sport mode, the Taycan allows itself well over 30 kWh / 100 km. So that the driving pleasure is not spoiled for too long, even the charging process has a sporty character. Under optimal conditions, the Taycan can be charged with 270 kW direct current. In our test, we used the Ionity fast charging stations. Since the last 20% of the battery charge is draining, we only charged up to 80 percent, and we were able to achieve that in less than half an hour.

Seen in this way, the Porsche is well prepared against the competition from Tesla in the overall balance of the test drives. But just like the competition, the premium segment naturally has its own price level. The naked basic model Taycan 4s starts at a list price of 105.607 euros (06/2020). Another plus point in the premium segment is extensive special equipment and individual equipment for the interior and exterior. A few technical delicacies are interesting.

Technical tidbits

Performance Plus battery (6.521,20 euros)
What the larger tank is in a gasoline engine is clearly the larger battery pack in an electric car. It includes the expansion of the standard performance battery from 79,2 kWh gross battery capacity to 93,4 kWh gross battery capacity (net battery capacity: 83,7 kWh).

Night vision assistant (2.213,40)
We have already extensively tested the assistant on other Porsche models. This includes an additional display of an infrared heat difference image in the center of the curved display. Detected pedestrians and larger wild animals are highlighted in yellow. Pedestrians at a critical distance are highlighted in red and the driver is warned (optically and acoustically).

Adaptive cruise control (1.739,40)
The adaptive cruise control is a relief for long distances and vacation trips. It uses radar and video sensors to monitor the distance to the vehicle in front and automatically regulates the distance - if necessary to a standstill with a stop-and-go function (adjustable speed range: 30 km / h - 210 km / h).

Summary

The powerful appearance and dynamism already surpass classic sports cars with combustion engines. The handling, the non-marking chassis and the acceleration dynamics are strong attributes of the new Taycan. The ranges, on the other hand, depend very much on the selected mode and the pressure on the power pedal. In normal everyday operation in warm spring, however, a good 300 km to the next power charger could be achieved. From our point of view, the symbiosis of performance and comfort can be classified as a reference in this sports car segment.

Addendum

Test from summer 2020

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N. Hawthorn
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