Finally, after months of speculation, sneak peeks, ride-alongs, and prototype drives, the official range, power, tech, charging, and performance specs of the Porsche Taycan are here! Ahead of the EV supersedan’s official debut, we were given the full rundown on the production Taycan at Porsche’s U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, where we discussed the forthcoming car in depth with engineers and project leads.
Let’s start with the most important stuff. At launch, early adopters will have a choice of either the Taycan Turbo or Taycan Turbo S. Yes, not even a complete lack of turbochargers will stop Porsche from slapping a “Turbo” badge onto the top-tier model. It’s similar to when Porsche turbocharged the base 991.2 911 and the base Macan, yet still offered a 911 Turbo and Macan Turbo at the higher end of the model family. Don’t think too hard about it—it’s just a label. Read on for all the details:
Electric Motors and Batteries
Both Turbo and Turbo S Taycans—and all forthcoming future iterations—ride on a shared “skateboard” platform, incorporating a low-mounted 396-cell lithium-ion battery that powers dual motors, one for the front wheels and one for the back axle. At launch, the most power-dense option is the 93-kWh Performance Battery Plus, with a nominal voltage of 723 volts and a maximum power output of 629 kW. A pulse inverter at the front and rear manages all that juice for the dual permanent synchronous motors (DPSM).
Powertrain engineers lauded the benefits of DPSM over cheaper induction motors, citing compact design, high-power density, high efficiency, and good thermal behavior. The Taycan’s motors incorporate a hairpin wire design, as opposed to traditional pull-in wire. According to Porsche, the copper fill rate (or density) is 70 percent compared to pull-in wiring’s 45 percent, leading to easier insulation and efficient cooling.
Based on what Porsche outlined, both the Turbo and Turbo S share the same 335 kW (449-hp) rear motor. Stick with the Turbo, and maximum torque from the rear is 405 lb-ft. The Turbo S packs the same base-level torque, though output temporarily jumps to 449 lb-ft with Turbo S’s launch control. A proprietary two-speed transmission manages all this twist on the rear axle, while a single-speed transmission handles the front axle. In normal day-to-day driving, stationary starts are handled in second gear; first gear is reserved for performance driving and launch control. The motor on the front axle is where the Turbo and Turbo S begin to diverge. On the Turbo, the 16,000-rpm motor puts out 175 kW (235 hp) with 221 lb-ft of torque. In the Turbo S, output climbs to 190 kW (255 hp) and 295 lb-ft.
With the front and rear motors working in tandem, both the Turbo and the Turbo S make a mighty 460 kW, or 616 horsepower, as default. Engage launch control, though, and the Turbo temporarily gets 670 horsepower and the Turbo S 750 horsepower. The overboosted torque figure for the Turbo sits at 626 lb-ft, while the Turbo S can stump up a whopping 774 lb-ft.
This all adds up to some seriously impressive performance figures. For starters, the Turbo accomplishes the zero-to-60-mph sprint in 3.0 seconds flat, and charges from a standstill to 124 mph in 10.6 seconds. For us Yanks, that translates into a quarter-mile time of 11.1 seconds. Predictably, the Turbo S is quicker, dropping that zero-to-60 mph time to 2.6 seconds and the 0-124 mph time to 9.8 seconds. The Turbo S dispatches the quarter-mile in just 10.8 seconds. Keep your foot in it, and both models won’t stop accelerating until achieving a top speed of 162 mph. Of course, this being Porsche, expect these conservative figures to be lower in reality when independent testers get their hands on the cars.
Weight and Aerodynamics
That’s damn fast, but it suffers from the weight penalty shared by all EVs. Thanks to the heavy motors and their dense battery packs, both trims tip the scales at 5,121 pounds. Porsche says U.S.-spec Taycans are a bit porkier than other international models thanks to the American cars’ standard glass roof.
To compensate, the both the Taycan’s chassis and aerodynamics were developed to the high standards of any other Porsche—and perhaps even higher. Those low, lean looks aren’t just for show, for example; according to Porsche, the Taycan has a center of gravity and a 0.22–0.25 drag coefficient lower than even the current 911’s. Active aero plays a large part of this, the package including active cooling flaps, rear spoiler, and brake cooling. There are three distinct settings and positions for both the cooling flaps and the spoiler. In Standard stationary mode, the spoiler is retracted and the cooling flaps are open. Switch to Eco mode, and the spoiler raises partway and the cooling flaps shut. Finally, the Performance profile extends the spoiler and opens the cooling flaps. The car is also fitted with plenty of air-smoothing underbody panels.
Suspension and Chassis
Rather than start from scratch, a portion of the suspension is derived from the existing Panamera’s. As such, a three-chamber air suspension is standard at least on the Turbo and Turbo S. It is sourced from the Panamera, but aside from the control arms, everything else is completely redesigned and reworked. Depending on the speed, ride height can drop up to 22mm (0.9 inch), including a 10mm (0.4 inch) drop at around 55 mph and an additional 12mm (0.5 inch) at 111 mph. However, you can toggle into either the Range or Sport Plus driving modes to automatically activate the full drop.
Rear-wheel steering is standard on Turbo and Turbo S, reducing turning radius and increasing cornering stability. Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) is optional, and aside from a reworked electrical system, is mostly a carryover system from the Panamera. Porsche Stability Management follows the existing formula with three distinct settings: PSM on, PSM Sport, and PSM Off, though toggling PSM Off does not disengage all-wheel drive. Thanks to the incredibly quick response from the motors, task times for traction and stability control are down to just two milliseconds, compared to 10 to 20 milliseconds for internal-combustion Porsches.
There’s a truckload of wheel options available for both trims. Turbo comes standard with 20-inch Taycan Turbo Aero wheel, with 245/45 tires in the front and 285/40 tires in the rear. Optional 21-inch Mission E Design wheels and Taycan Turbo Exclusive Design wheels with carbon aeroblades wear 265/35 rubber in the front and 305/30 tires in the rear. Regardless of wheel design and size, summer, all-season, and winter compound tires are available.
Conventional and Regenerative Brakes
The conventional brakes for the Turbo are Porsche’s Surface Coated Brake (PSCB), a low-dust setup with 16.3-inch rotors and 10-piston calipers up front. In the rear, 14.3-inch rotors are clamped by four-piston calipers. For the Turbo S, the standard carbon-ceramic system has 16.5-inch front rotors with 10-piston calipers and 16.1-inch rear rotors with four-piston calipers.
This being an EV, regenerative braking features heavily. As enumerated in both our first drive and first ride in prototypes, Porsche made a conscious decision to leave out one-pedal driving, instead incorporating regen into one overall braking program. As such, the first 0.4 g’s of deceleration handled entirely by the regenerative system, which is to say, even if the brake pedal is depressed, most of the speed is scrubbed using the regenerative system. It isn’t until the 0.4 g threshold is met that the conventional braking system is engaged.
For regular day-to-day city driving, the regenerative system is more than adequate, and you’ll rarely need to engage the full braking system. Beyond the regen instigated by the brake pedal, there are three modes: recuperation off, recuperation on, and automatic energy recuperation. Even with energy recuperation toggled on, it doesn’t provide enough resistance for one-pedal driving, again a conscious decision by Porsche. According to Taycan engineers, coasting is more efficient, provides smoother drivability, and is more comfortable overall. The automatic recuperation mode is the best of both worlds. As we said in the first drive of the prototype: “[Automatic] uses the onboard sensors and radar cruise-control systems to adapt the aggressiveness of the regen to the environment. In other words, when the road is clear, it’s smooth sailing. Run into traffic, and the regen system kicks in, automatically slowing the car down as necessary—all without driver intervention. It’s highly intuitive, and we used this setting more than the others.” When fully engaged, energy is scavenged at an impressive 265 kW, which Porsche claims is a massive improvement over its competitors’ 50-to-100-kW levels of recuperation.
Inside, Porsche admits it did its best to channel both classic and modern 911. As such, the steering wheel is ripped straight from the current 992, while the three-section all-digital gauge cluster is a first for Porsche. The 10.9-inch center screen controls infotainment and navigation, while an 8.4-inch lower display in the center console handles climate and vehicular controls. For the first time, an identical 10.9-inch screen can be ordered for the passenger-side dash, giving those riding shotgun access to infotainment, performance data, and navigation.
Even if you have range anxiety, you don’t have to worry about interior storage. As the frontal area is devoid of any mechanical bits, there’s a 2.9-cubic-foot storage bin that complements the standard 14.1-cubic-foot storage space in the rear hatch area. Rear passengers should be more than comfortable, thanks to what Porsche calls a footwell “garage”—simple cutouts designed into the floor-mounted battery pack to increase foot room on the rear passenger floor. Befitting the Porsche badge up front, all Taycans are offered with all manner of high-spec interior trim and upholstery. Three seat configurations are available—Standard, Comfort, Sport—as is a variety of upholstery. Leather is standard, though a sustainable leather package treated with olive leaves is available, along with an even more sustainable and eco-friendly cloth upholstery.
Range and Charging
What about the all-important estimated driving range? Well, that’s tricky. As of right now, U.S.-spec EPA range ratings aren’t finalized, and what’s been announced was measured using the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) cycle and reported in kilometers. If we convert the non-U.S. spec range figures to miles, the Taycan Turbo has a potential range between 236 and 279 miles, whereas the Turbo S has a potential range between 241 and 256 miles. But the WLTP protocol is often optimistic compared to the EPA procedure, so we estimate the Turbo to feature between 213 and 250 miles of range, and the Turbo S 215 to 230 miles of range, once our government puts numbers to the cars. Notably, these figures are much lower than the recently updated Tesla Model S’s 345- and 370-mile figures, depending on spec.
Regardless of range, the Taycan’s charging capability is its party piece. If you thermally condition the battery for charging with the onboard charge planner, the Taycan is capable of charging from 5 to 80 percent capacity in just 22.5 minutes with a peak power input of 270 kW. Predictably, this comes with a few caveats: To achieve this stellar charge time, drivers must use the onboard charge planner, the charge station itself must be capable of 800 volts of output, and the ambient temperature must be between 32 degrees and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Of course, the amount of 800-volt charge stations is outmatched by the amount of existing DC 400-volt stations. If you charge at home using the onboard AC charger and specialized Porsche home charge unit, you’re limited to just 9.6 kW and an 11-hour charge time from flat to full. The same goes for charging at work and charging at public inner-city charge points: 9.6 kW.
However, out on the highway, your charge options are greatly diversified. Thanks to Electrify America, there will be 600 high-output charging stations by the end of 2020, each with at least five charging poles, and at least two 330 kW chargers per station. Not bad, considering Porsche claims there will be only an average of 75 miles between two stations. Plus, Porsche throws in 30 minutes of free charging per session for the first three years of ownership at qualified charge stations.
While this is quite a lot of information to swallow all at once, we await pricing. Look for those numbers—as well as the official EPA range estimates—later this year.