TAYCAN: MISSION E’S NEW NAME
The concept car formerly known as...
With production due to begin next year, Porsche has revealed the retail brand name of what has hitherto been referred to as Mission E. Porsche’s first pure-electric car will be known as Taycan when it goes on sale in 2019.
Derived from an unspecified Eurasian dialect, the name can be roughly translated as ‘lively young horse’ and is a nod to the imagery at the heart of the Porsche crest, which has featured a leaping steed since 1952.
“Our new electric sports car is strong and dependable. It’s a vehicle that can consistently cover long distances and that epitomises freedom”, said Oliver Blume, Porsche’s incumbent chairman, at the recent 70 Years of Sports Car ceremony.
Much of the the appeal of the Taycan hinges on Porsche’s revolutionary new 800-volt charging technology. It’s roughly twice as powerful as anything currently available, such as Tesla’s Superchargers. Porsche says the new technology allows 100km of range (slightly over 60 miles) to be added in just four minutes. Porsche reckons an 80 per cent charge from empty will be possible in 15 minutes.
All told, the Taycan will have a total range of over 500km, though that figure is according to the soon-to-be defunct NEDC metric rather than more demanding measures of range such as WLTP. As for performance, in a recent video on Porsche’s official Youtube channel, former F1 racer and ongoing Porsche retainer Mark Webber revealed that the car would offer 600hp from dual electric motors. Webber also said the Taycan’s low-mounted batteries make for a much more dynamic and agile package than one might expect given the car’s relatively high mass, the latter being a factor of the weight of the large-capacity lithium-ion pack.
The Taycan won’t just be about electrification for Porsche. Blume has also confirmed the Taycan will offer Level 4 autonomous driving capability (self-driving in most situations, with driver attention not required), though not fully autonomous driving over longer distances. “There are situations in traffic jams where you will be able to read a newspaper, but our customers take pleasure from driving and this will remain,” Blume said.
Of course, the Taycan is just one piece of Porsche’s broader electromobility puzzle. Porsche plans to invest more than six billion euros in electromobility by 2022, doubling its originally planned expenditure into electric cars. Of the additional three billion euros, some 500 million euros will be used for the development of Taycan variants and derivatives, around one billion euros for electrification and hybridisation of the existing product range, several hundred million for the expansion of production sites, plus around 700 million euros for new technologies, charging infrastructure and smart mobility.