PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO
Fearsome acceleration and great touring ability mark this as a landmark Porsche, and it isn’t even the flagship
THE PORSCHE Taycan Turbo’s party trick is its launch control, a silent assassin that allows you to surprise unsuspecting passengers by soundlessly and instantly unleashing 500kW and 850Nm of furious electrical power upon them.
Don’t do this with people of a frail disposition, or anyone with an iffy neck, as their (and your) head will be slammed against the seat as 2305kg of Taycan Turbo teleports to 100km/h in 3.2sec, two black lines evidence of the tyres’ struggle to facilitate the recent and rapid departure of this remarkable new Porsche.
Okay, so the fact an electrically powered Porsche is fast in a straight line should be news to no-one, but is it a one-trick pony? Can this silent 2.3-tonne four-door provide the driving engagement for which models from this marque are renowned?
Before we get into that, let’s take a closer look as to what constitutes the $268,500 Taycan Turbo. Specifically, what does the extra $80,000 buy you over and above the entry-level Taycan 4S?
For starters, the 93.4kWh (83.7kWh net) Performance Battery Plus, an $11,590 option on the 4S, comes as standard. This not only adds extra grunt but increases the range and allows for faster charging. The Taycan Turbo claims to take nine hours to charge on an 11kW AC plug (0-100 percent), 93min on a 50kW DC plug (5-80 percent) and 22min on a 350kW ultra-rapid charger (5-80 percent).
Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus is standard, while the brake disc diameter grows from 360mm to 410mm at the front and 358mm to 365mm at the rear. Various exterior inlays are painted in body colour rather than black and Porsche’s dynamic LED matrix headlights (PDLS Plus) are also fitted standard.
Finally on the mechanical side of things, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport, which includes active anti-roll bars and is a $6870 option on the 4S, is included as standard.
On the inside, there’s four-zone climate control, Race-Tex roof lining, heated seats front and rear, ambient lighting and adaptive sports seats (as a no-cost option). The very cool leatherfree interior also becomes a $1000 option rather than $8530 in the 4S.
The interior itself is beautiful in
terms of quality and design, though it will help if you like the look of screens because there are a lot of them.
The main infotainment screen is familiar from other Porsches; it’s a swipe-and-tap affair controlling Porsche Connect, navigation, Apple CarPlay, a 14-speaker Bose stereo and a variety of car functions, such as drive mode selection.
When you’re not terrifying your passengers with full-bore launch control starts, the Taycan is a very serene place to be. This is partly down to the lack of engine noise, but often this absence makes other mechanical noise (tyre and wind roar, for example) more noticeable in other cars. Not so here. The other attribute that makes the Taycan so relaxing to drive is its excellent ride. You can feel its substantial heft, to the point that on really bumpy roads a click to Sport helps keep the body in check, but general comfort is excellent.
As for range, obviously the maximum you achieve will be highly dependent on not just your driving style but whether you have the aircon pumping or the heated seats on, but Porsche claims 452km on the European WLTP drive cycle.
In any of its four drive modes, the Taycan feels exactly like a Porsche, with a lovely harmony to the weighting and feel of the throttle, brakes and especially the steering. Like other Porsches, the Taycan is also utterly unfazed by being driven hard. It has outstanding grip, brilliant brakes, great feedback and, in ‘Turbo’ guise, eye-watering punch out of corners. There is not the slightest hesitation, the acceleration delivered instantly.
It is truly impressive, though to call it fun is perhaps stretching the truth. And that’s perfectly fine. In fact, it almost suits the Turbo branding.
Putting aside the fact that the Taycan Turbo doesn’t actually have a turbo, the name has traditionally signified the ‘grand tourer’ of the respective Porsche range, the model that can handle daily use without raising a sweat while covering long distances at speed and in comfort. This is a role to which the Taycan Turbo is perfectly suited.