Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
While developing the Taycan, the biggest issue Porsche had to battle with was weight. You see, the batteries that electric cars need in order to give them a decent range between charges tend to be very heavy. This is why the Taycan weighs several hundred kilos more than the slightly larger Porsche Panamera.
However, as much of that weight as possible has been positioned low down in the car, and the Taycan feels remarkably agile as a result. True, every Taycan we’ve tested has been equipped with clever active anti-roll bars (Dynamic Chassis Control Sport in Porsche speak) to help its cause, but, when it comes to grip, balance and resistance to body roll, the Taycan is in a different league from any electric car that’s come before.
The same goes for the Taycan’s steering, which gives you a much better sense of connection with the front wheels than you get from a Tesla Model S. That’s partly thanks to how nicely the weight builds as you turn the wheel, but also due to how accurate the steering is. Every millimetre of movement has a subtle but noticeable influence on the car’s onward trajectory.
Yet, take the standard adjustable suspension out of its more extreme Sport and Sport Plus settings and ride comfort becomes surprisingly plush. With its relatively small 19in wheels, the 4S deals with bumps and ruts brilliantly and is the most comfortable Taycan for those who need to make long journeys. However, it’s arguably the Turbo S that's most surprising; the range-topper is never fractious despite coming with enormous 21in alloy wheels .
The only slight complaint you might have on longer journeys is the amount of road and wind noise. However, one reason it’s so noticeable is that there’s no petrol or diesel engine drone to drown it out.
Optional on the Turbo and standard on Turbo S is a feature called Electric Sport Sound, which at a standstill pumps a synthetic rumble through the speakers to let you know that the car is alive. Squeeze the accelerator pedal and that rumble turns into an accelerative thrum that makes your Taycan sound like a Star Wars Podracer – say “oooOOO” out loud while going up a couple of octaves and you’ll get the idea. It’s an interesting concept, and one that will no doubt impress passengers, but we reckon after a few weeks of use you’ll simply turn it off and forget about it.
Perhaps most impressive of all, though, is the Taycan’s acceleration. Every version has two electric motors that can drive all four wheels, but the power those electric motors produce depends on the model you choose. The 4S offers 429bhp as standard, rising to 483bhp if you opt for the Performance Battery Plus. That figure rises to 617bhp for the Turbo and Turbo S. However, all Taycans can offer boosted power for short periods of time, with up to 750bhp available in the Turbo S.
Unsurprisingly, the Taycan is very fast – even the 4S can crack the 0-62mph sprint in 4.0sec. The Turbo S can do the same job in 2.8sec – only fractionally longer than it takes a Tesla Model S Performance. It’s very good at stopping, too. Unlike those of many electric cars, the Taycan’s regenerative brakes (which recapture energy that would otherwise be lost during braking and feed it back into the battery), are predictable and feelsome, making it easy to slow down smoothly.
As for the more practical considerations of owning an electric car, the 4S can officially travel for 252 miles between charges in standard form, or up to 287 miles if you choose the Performance Battery Plus option mentioned above. Meanwhile, the Taycan Turbo can manage up to 279 miles on a full charge, with the Turbo S promising up to 256 miles. You’ll struggle to match those figures unless you drive very gently, but over 200 miles should be easily achievable no matter which Taycan you go for. If a longer range between charges is required, though, the Tesla Model S is a better choice.