Tay­can set to re­de­fine new elec­tric age

IN­TER­NA­TIONAL LAUNCH/ The car maker’s first full elec­tric car will get fast charg­ing, faster driv­ing

Business Day - Motor News - - FRONT PAGE -

Weis­sach, Ger­many: The first bat­tery-elec­tric Porsche will in­spire a flood of new ze­roe­mis­sion sports cars when its full pro­duc­tion be­gins late next year. The first prod­uct of an as­ton­ish­ing €6bn in­vest­ment pro­gramme be­tween now and the end of 2022, the Tay­can will be smaller than the cur­rent Panam­era and will be priced be­tween the big lift­back and the Cayenne SUV.

Porsche has al­ready an­nounced that the Tay­can (pro­nounced “tie-can”) will be spun off into at least one other model (shown at this year’s Geneva mo­tor show as the Audi All­road­style Mis­sion E Cross Turismo con­cept), but it will also be made in both all-wheel drive and rear­wheel drive.

The Tay­can will be built in right-hand drive from the start of pro­duc­tion, and its de­sign is faith­ful to the stun­ning Mis­sion E con­cept car, with the most no­table change be­ing the ad­di­tion of a con­ven­tional B-pil­lar to im­prove its crash per­for­mance.

The Tay­can has al­ready reached its sec­ond level of pilot build pro­duc­tion in the same hall that pro­duced the 918 Spy­der, and Porsche has de­signed and built a new €700m fa­cil­ity, scat­tered around its bulging Zuf­fen­hausen head­quar­ters, to build it.

Due to reach the mar­ket in late 2019, the Tay­can will com­pete not only with the Tesla Model S, but with the faster etron GT from sis­ter brand Audi and Mercedes-Benz’s up­com­ing EQS, which will boast Benz’s first ded­i­cated EV plat­form.

While the ini­tial cars will use all-wheel drive, there will also be a rear-drive vari­ant, and Porsche plans to use its power elec­tron­ics to make the car han­dle more like a rear-drive car than an all-wheel drive model.

“We started this in 2014 and it opened up a new chap­ter in Porsche his­tory. I don’t know if there’s any­thing like that in the rest of the in­dus­try,” the Tay­can’s Com­plete Ve­hi­cle Model Line di­rec­tor, Robert Meier, said.

“It’s not straight­for­ward oth­er­wise it wouldn’t have taken so long. The tar­gets were 0100km/h in less than 3.5 sec­onds, 600 horse­power, and more than 500km of range.”

Meier in­sisted the Tay­can’s han­dling would be sparkling, with a cen­tre of grav­ity 80mm lower than the 911’s.

The Tay­can bat­tery runs at 800V rather than the in­dus­try­s­tan­dard 400V — this al­lows for fast charg­ing ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing 100km of range in just four min­utes with­out com­pro­mis­ing the bat­tery life.

“It has 300kW of charg­ing power with­out hurt­ing the bat­tery. We switched it to 800V be­cause we have recog­nised if you look at the charg­ing power, it’s the lim­it­ing fac­tor to­day.

“If you look at the time nec­es­sary to recharge 100km it’s about 10 min­utes to­day, but it will go down to eight min­utes, but we will be down to four min­utes. We want to drive fast and recharge fast.”

Porsche will of­fer the Tay­can in a range of power out­puts peak­ing at 450kW for its ini­tial run of pro­duc­tion cars, with 300kW, 350kW and 400kW units set to fol­low.

It sends this per­for­mance to the wheels via a two-speed trans­mis­sion (the e-tron, the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla use sin­gle-speed units) and torque vec­tor­ing will be stan­dard across the board.

It’s shorter than it looks in pho­tos, but will still stretch to about 4,850mm long and 1,990mm wide, mak­ing it al­most 200mm shorter than the Panam­era but 53mm wider.

The in­te­rior will be dom­i­nated by a huge, curved dig­i­tal in­stru­ment clus­ter, de­vel­oped from the Volk­swa­gen Touareg’s In­no­vi­sion in­fo­tain­ment screen.

Porsche is al­ready be­lieved to be well ad­vanced with both coupe and con­vert­ible Tay­can vari­ants, too, though there’s no word on when the first of the ex­tra body styles will ar­rive.

Porsche plans only a pro­duc­tion rate of 20,000 to 25,000 Tay­cans a year (about eight per­cent of its cur­rent vol­ume).

Porsche pre­dicts that more than 50% of its mod­els de­liv­ered from 2025 will be elec­tri­fied.

The Boxster and the Cay­man could turn into full bat­tery-elec­tric cars in their next gen­er­a­tions, the com­pany says, and hints that the Ma­can SUV — or an SUV just like it — could also be one of the Tay­can fol­low-ups into the BEV world by 2022. The clas­sic 911 sports car won’t be turned into a full bat­tery-elec­tric ve­hi­cle, but the next (992 series) 911 due to be un­veiled in Novem­ber will in­clude petrol­elec­tric hy­brid mod­els.

The low cen­tre of grav­ity prom­ises typ­i­cally nim­ble Porsche han­dling, de­spite an es­ti­mated weight of about 2,000kg.


POWER ON THE GO: The Tay­can can be charged to de­liver 100km of range in just four min­utes.

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