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Porsche wants you to know the Taycan is coming

Porsche's first all-electric car is probably a year away. But the ground is already being softened

By Nic Cackett / Wednesday, June 13, 2018

You can expect Porsche to be talking about 'soul' a lot over the next twelve months. It will need to. Its first electric car - the Taycan, as it was announced last week - will be a four-seat model in the Panamera mould, meaning that it will be a rival for the Tesla Model S and every other prestige zero-emission saloon-shaped model on the drawing board. Given the fundamental similarities of anything powered by electric motors and underfloor batteries, its badge - and the cachet that comes with it - will be a key point of differentiation.

The Taycan itself has already been heavily previewed, not least with the Mission E concept that we saw at Geneva. The production version though is clearly at an advanced stage as the latest teaser video shows. Alongside the corporate-level puffery, Porsche has also let its highest profile works driver (and actually fairly decent presenter) Mark Webber take the prototype for a spin on its own test track. It's by virtue of this video that we know that the Taycan will have '600hp' - alongside the 300ish mile range and the ability to fast charge to 80 per cent battery capacity in 15 minutes that was suggested by the concept.

Naturally you can take everything else the big Aussie says with a pinch of salt given the signature on his cheques, but the enormous pace and traction of the all-wheel drive Taycan is probably beyond serious question, no matter how much heavier it is than anything else built in Zuffenhausen. Everything else in the equation though is still up for grabs; including the 'game-changing' status claimed for the car. Despite Porsche's plea to the heart, the new model will ultimately need to appeal to the head of deep-pocketed early-adopters as well. To this end, the manufacturer is said to have future-proofed the Taycan with 800v charging technology and it will likely be invested with Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities and over-the-air updates by the time it hits showrooms.

The charge time alone maybe the clincher. Porsche is rumoured to have teamed up with Hitachi to deliver a superior level of lithium-ion battery replenishment (with a suitably hefty charger, of course). The Taycan will also benefit from what is claimed as bespoke architecture, the J1 platform being much lower to the ground than the C-BEV structure that underpins Audi's forthcoming E-tron. In contrast to the SUV, Porsche has mounted the batteries where it most benefits handling and its twin motor configuration ought to give it perfect weight balance, too. Whether or not its engineers can make the result live up to the 'lively, young horse' evoked by its Eurasian name - or, indeed, 'feel' like a Porsche - remains to be seen.

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