Car Reviews

Porsche Taycan review

Porsche Taycan Turbo S

Every now and again a new car rocks up and it changes everything. The remarkable Porsche Taycan is one such vehicle.

The company’s first all-electric car isn’t just stunning, it embodies everything we’ve come to expect from Porsche – cutting-edge tech, kerb appeal, sublime driving dynamics and superb build quality.

Bigger than a 911 and a little smaller than a Panamera, the Taycan is a proper four-door saloon and a long-awaited rival to Tesla’s pioneering EV, the Model S.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S

With a luxurious cabin for four full-sized adults and decent luggage space (at 366 litres, about the same as a Ford Focus), plus an extra 81 litres under the bonnet, it’s practical too.

Of course, buyers won’t just plump for the Porsche because of the Taycan’s packaging – they will be lured by its intoxicating blend of performance and spectacular handling.

With a 0-62mph time of just 2.8 seconds, it’s savagely fast, but it’s not just about acceleration and top speed (161mph) – it’s how it gets there.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S

Even though it weighs 2.3 tonnes (about the same as a BMW X5, thanks to its battery pack), it defies physic and is unbelievably agile, while the all-wheel drive and rear-axle steering systems mean traction is phenomenal and it steers like a sports car.

Instant torque, flat cornering and a serious amount of grip from those enormous 305/30ZR21 rear tyres add to the thrilling, often playful, behind-the-wheel experience.

The five drive modes (selected by a button on the steering wheel, just like a 911) include energy-saving Range, Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual, plus there are three specs – the 4S, Turbo and Turbos S.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S

Priced from £83,367 to an eye-watering £138,826, we tested the top-of-the-range Turbo S.

Yes, even though the Taycan is 100% electric, Porsche has kept to its conventional naming convention even though there isn’t a “turbo” in sight. What’s more, the battery range indicator on the dashboard still features a fuel pump.

But, hey, Porsche’s quirks are easily forgotten once you’re behind the wheel of this technical tour de force.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S

You sit low in the cabin. Ahead, there’s a sculpted bonnet with raised wings that are classic Porsche. A glance at the door mirrors reveals muscular haunches enveloping massive tyres. Inside it’s minimalist with three large digital displays – two in the centre console and one in front of the driver.

As with all EVs, there’s just a vague whine from its two electric motors, plus modest road and wind noise. There’s optional “Electric Sport Sound” if you’re a sci-fi spacecraft fan, but the novelty wears thin after a while.

Depending on which model you choose, Porsche claims a range of between 206-280 miles, with the mid-range Turbo probably providing the best balance between performance and economy. From our experience, the Taycan’s range is certainly realistic, even after some spirited driving.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S

However, this is one area where Tesla has the edge – its top-of-the-range Model S has a 379-mile range.

That said, thanks to some clever tech, the Taycan can be charged up to 80% in as little as 23 minutes, which is similar to a Tesla Supercharger. Sadly, rapid chargers are few and far between, so it’s more likely to take around 1.5 hours using a 50kW public charger, or around nine hours via an 11kW wallbox which can be fitted at home or an office.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S

And just like other electric cars, the Taycan charges the battery as it drives during coasting and via regenerative braking – the smoothest and most responsive system we’ve ever experienced in an EV.

All this adds up to a hugely impressive, if expensive, car that’s as happy on a zero-emissions school run as it is lapping up the miles on challenging country roads.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S

Needless to say, it’s also safe. Awarded a maximum five-star crash test rating by Euro NCAP, it’s brimming with driver assistance feature such as adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert and night vision, along with autonomous emergency brakes, lane assist and blind spot monitoring.

Verdict: The all-new Porsche Taycan is a game changing EV. A planet-friendly combination of sizzling performance, driver engagement, luxury and surprising practicality, it’s an incredible achievement.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S