The Tesla Model S has essentially stood alone as the only all electric luxury sports car for some time – but the Porsche Taycan will be a worthy alternative when it lands in Australia some time in 2019.
In 2015 Porsche was one of the first major manufacturers to announce that it would be bringing a competitor to the performance offered by the likes of the Tesla Model S P100D – this has now been badged the Porsche Taycan, with orders being taken globally for this high-end electric sports car.
Back in 2015 concept was referred to as the Porsche Mission E (for electric no doubt) and ever since releasing the design and specifications interest has been understandably high.
Winning numerous design awards and looking like a full on, proper luxury sports car built from the ground up to be electric this is everything we know about the now officially named Porsche Taycan.
Drive Zero Car Guides are written for people trying to get a feel of the electric car landscape in Australia. We only wrote guides for battery (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) electric vehicles that are confirmed to be on sale in the market in Australia now, or are coming soon.
Our goal is to summarise as much as you might want to know about the different considerations for each of these electric cars and who they may be useful for. That said, we’re not qualified car reviewers, so full reviews of these models, we’ve included the best links and video for reviews that we could find.
Concept vs Official
First up we need to state that almost all the photos that are in this piece are currently concept images only. Porsche has released a teaser video of what the official Porsche Taycan will look like… but it doesn’t exactly show much as you can see below.
That being said, Porsche has continuously insisted that the Taycan will be “fairly similar” to the concept and given the very similar body shape to the concept images seen below it does seem like they’re telling the truth.
So just be aware that even though the images aren’t renders or CGI, they don’t represent the official, final stage of what the Taycan will look like. I can’t imagine Porsche will drift too far off course given the huge positive feedback they’ve received with the design, but reality – and usually more importantly cost – can sometimes change things quite dramatically.
Mission E vs Mission E Cross Turismo vs Taycan
There also seems to be two distinctly different models that are both under the general “Mission E” umbrella. Originally when the Mission E was announced in 2015 it included images such as the one below.
Obviously this is a sports car with four doors. Then earlier in 2018 Porsche announced a Mission E Cross Turismo car that they’re referring to as a “Cross Utility Vehicle” or CUV seen below.
As you can see, there are a number of similarities between them – not least of which is that they’re both all electric – but the Mission E Cross Turismo is more skewed towards the SUV crowd with a much bigger boot and a higher ground clearance.
If we’re to take Porsche’s headlines literally, which is that the “Mission E becomes Taycan” it would seem to indicate that the Taycan will be the Mission E sports car. This is generally confirmed too in their teaser video from above where you can see that the outline of the car more closely matches the Mission E sports car rather than the Mission E Cross Turismo.
Perhaps later on the Mission E Cross Turismo will become a different named model and we will have multiple all electric sports cars for Australians to choose from!
What’s the big deal about the Porsche Taycan?
While other car manufacturers have been making all electric cars for around a decade now the Taycan will be Porsche’s first. Assuming they hit their Australian release date it will have taken them over five years to turn an initial artist sketch into a full, production ready car.
It’s clear through the comments they’ve made and the specs they’re targeting that the Tesla Model S (and especially the performance versions) have had a big part in inspiring the Taycan. At the same time Porsche are definitely bringing their own styling and rich sports car heritage.
One of the big talking points that comes through is the Taycan’s ability to do “multiple jump starts in succession without loss of performance”. This is particularly hard in high performance BEV’s as the battery can overheat when being used at high powers and quickly get damaged.
While it might be fine to do one or two 0-100 km/h launches, once you’re wanting to drive around a high demand track for 30+ minutes it can cause a whole host of different issues.
Porsche are also playing up the heritage factor, referencing that they actually began by creating an all electric car first many, many years ago. The name Taycan can also roughly be translated as “lively young horse” and is supposed to epitomise freedom. According to Chris Jordan, Porsche’s local public relations boss some lucky Australians will get to feel that freedom with the Taycan arrives in Australia in 2020.
So what does a Porsche Taycan cost and what versions are there?
Porsche have released a number of details about the Taycan but unfortunately price isn’t one of them. Unconfirmed reports have suggested that it will start at about $75,000 USD with three difference performance trims, but that obviously can change and doesn’t really reflect Australian GST, duties and more importantly, luxury car taxes. Our best guess is that pricing for most models will be north of $200,000 AUD on the road.
Some information we have been given – although again it was mainly in reference to the Mission E concept not the official Taycan – is that it will be a four wheel drive system that puts out over 440 kW or 600 hp.
It will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in under 3.5 seconds and go from 0-200 km/h in under 12 seconds. Its top speed will be somewhere north of 250 km/h and the car will have a range greater than 500 km’s (NEDC).
It’s unknown whether those will all be base specifications or different depending on the trim level. For instance the range might only be 500 km’s if you purchase the “bigger battery” package. The 0-100 km/h time of 3.5 seconds might only come with the top tier performance package.
The numbers do certainly sound amazing and should compete well with the likes of the leading all electric sports car champion, the Tesla Model S P100D. Even with 0-100 times slightly slower than the P100D it’s quite easy to see that many would prefer the more well known brand name over Tesla.
The Model S is also quite large and heavy where as the Taycan could be more nimble and fun to throw around the corners especially given Porsche’s history with building some of the worlds best sports cars.
Porsche Taycan key details
|Taycan (Mission E Concept)||Mission E Cross Turismo Concept|
|Table last updated July 2018|
|Price||Starting at $75,000 USD|
|> 500 km (NEDC Range)|
|0-100 km/h||< 3.5 Seconds|
|Battery||No size officially specified. Given charging times it's estimated to be a 100 kWh Lithium Ion Battery|
|Drivetrain||> 440 kW (600 hp) - All Wheel Drive Dual Permanently excited Synchronous Machine (PSM) High Performance Motors|
|Seats||4-Door Sports Sedan, Seats 4 Passengers||4-Door Cross Utility Vehicle (CUV), Seats 4 Passengers|
|Charging||CCS Type 2 Plug At Up To 350 kW|
100 km in 4 minutes with Turbo-Charging
400 km in 15 minutes with Turbo-Charging
|Vehicle & Battery Warranty||Unknown|
While the Taycan is still only being teased by Porsche they have given some pretty specific targets. Things like the less than 3.5 second 0-100 km/h time or greater than 500 km (NEDC) range.
0-100 km/h acceleration isn’t the entire measure of a sports car by any length and I’m sure the Taycan will have its own special abilities. I think one of the biggest factors in purchase decisions comes down to brand recognition and the kind of statement the buyer wants to make.
By comparison to Porsche, Tesla stands for modern, high tech luxury. Porsche stands for timeless, luxurious craftsmanship with a long legacy of racing. The market will easily big enough for both car makers to do extremely well.
Beyond the raw speed specs Porsche have also said it will have 21-inch wheels in front and 22-inch wheels in back just like the 911 GT3 and 911 Turbo models. Its chassis is derived from the famous 911 and will have an active suspension system that shares the brand’s famous ability to combine sportiness with comfort.
This makes the Mission E suitable for the race track and it’s expected to lap the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring in less than 8 minutes.
The overall height of the car will be under 1.3 metres with an arrow-like front that is reminiscent of the 918 Spyder. There are obviously many Porsche design ques all over the Taycan making it unmistakably a Porsche from the minute you see it.
One thing that has been made clear is that while the concept Mission E had hidden camera’s that took the place of the side mirrors, the official production car Taycan doesn’t seem to. In the teaser images you can clearly see traditional side mirrors as it seems there are just too many laws to fight if you don’t want them!
Porsche Taycan Pricing
Porsche plan to release the Taycan overseas first in 2019, so when they do that we should get a better idea of where it will sit in relation to other Porche’s that we have here in Australia.
Regardless of the starting price, it’s probably safe to assume that you’ll be able to load it up with optional extras and higher performance models that will send the base price soaring.
In the meantime if you’re interesting in buying one you can sign up to the Taycan Expression of Interest (EoI) Program on Porsche’s Australian website here. You’ll need to put down $2,500 and even then you might not be first in line as apparently “Interest in Taycan is very strong in Australia” according to Porsche’s local public relations boss Chris Jordan.
What’s the Porsche Taycan like to drive?
As Porsche have only just started teasing the official Taycan images there’s no one that has driven the final production vehicle just yet. Few have even driven the prototype vehicles but there are a couple of videos floating around.
The first is a news piece video produced by Porsche where Mark Webber drives it around a test track in Weissach.
The second and final one is a more recent video, again made from Porsche, with Adam Levine driving the Mission E at their experience centre in Los Angeles.
There are a number of other non-Porsche looks at the Mission E Cross Turismo prototype as you can see below. Do understand though that these are reviews and first drives of what is essentially a “show car” and obviously nothing even close to the final product.
Once the Taycan is released overseas I’m I’m sure we’ll see many more full reviews pop up and eventually ones from Australian specific reviewers once it’s released later on in 2020 so stay tuned.
Porsche Taycan – Battery, Charging and Power
As a pure electric vehicle it’s important that potential owners understand the options for charging the Porsche Taycan.
While Porsche doesn’t have the famous Tesla Supercharger network or their other huge Tesla Destination network they do look to be going with the new European standard of Type 2 / CCS Combo for charging. This will make the car easily compatible across a number of already installed charging points around the country.
Depending on where you’re charging, the Taycan can charge quite quickly too. Porsche has announced big plans for what it calls “turbo-charging”. These are 350 kW, 800V charging stations that give some quite next level charging times.
- 100 km’s in 4 minutes
- 400 km’s in 15 minutes
They already have plans in place to roll these out in Germany plus the joint venture Ionity charging stations look to be adopting a similar structure. There’s no word on when or if they’ll be rolling either out to Australia just yet though.
Regarding the battery Porsche haven’t officially announced anything just yet, however based off the quite detailed charging times they’re given we can roughly estimate its size. Porsche claim that their 350 kW, 800 V “Turbo-Charge” chargers will be able to fill the Taycan up to 80% in just 15 minutes.
Over a 15 minute period at a charge rate of 350 kW, the Turbo Charger would output 350 / (15/60) = 87.5 kWh of power.
If we assume that the chargers have a ~90% efficiency rating (ie. outputting 1 kWh of power into the car results in the battery increasing by 0.9 kWh) then that 87.5 kWh of power would increase the battery by 87.5 x 0.9 = 78.75 kWh.
Finally, given Porsche states this 15 minute charge would only result in an 80% “fill up” we take our 78.75 kWh number and divide it by 0.8.
78.75 / 0.8 = 98.44 kWh total battery size.
As you can see, this is quite close to 100 kWh so it’s highly likely that 100 kWh will be at least one of the possible options for the Porsche Taycan. They’ve also been able to use the battery to give the Taycan improved weight distribution and even inductive or “wireless” charging.
What does the interior of the Porsche Taycan looks like?
As you would expect for a car in this premium luxury class, the interior is a sea of opulence and tech. From the leather seats, to the five OLED round instruments that are virtually displayed on the flat, free-standing instrument panel to the leather steering wheel Porsche have a history of making excellent interiors and it shows in the Taycan too.
There’s also a huge range of smarts integrated into the car such as eye-tracking systems that track the drivers attention and help to adjust those five OLED round instruments so it doesn’t matter which position you’re sitting in.
There’s a holographic display that is activated using hand gestures and a heads up display as well. You can use their Porsche Car Connect app to change and monitor the cars functions remotely. This works via the built in mobile data connection which can also be used to receive updated features, engine or suspension settings.
There is a central divider between the driver and front passenger as well as multiple touch and gesture sensitive screens to control everything from the navigation to music to climate control.
This central divider extends all the way into the back seats as it only has four individual seats rather than a back bench style seating. Each of the seats look very impressive with lots of lateral support as well as their own integrated seat belt.
One of the most eye catching things about the interior is actually the doors which open out without any central pillar. Whether this makes it into the final production Taycan or is just a “concept feature” is yet to be known.
Summing Up – the Porsche Taycan is at the high end of the luxury sports car market, as well as being electric
Porsche have been making great cars for a long time. They are one of the top premium German brands and they know what they’re doing. So it’s thrilling to see them bring their full weight into the all electric car scene.
Their long tradition and stunning attention to detail will no doubt help them to make a big splash with this new, built from the ground up, all electric sports car. The Porsche Taycan obviously won’t be for everyone given its likely high premium price, but there’s never any harm in having more competition.
On top of that competition will also come more attention, advertising and also hopefully their new super fast chargers. If these 350 kW chargers get rolled out across Australia it will help not just Porsche, but all EV’s that have the same CCS Type 2 charging ports.
Overall it’s very exciting to see what Porsche have to bring, along with with their other announcements and plans to invest over €6 billion in “electromobility” (code for both all electric cars and hybrids) over the next 4 years.