This is the new Porsche Taycan Turbo, the first battery electric vehicle from the storied German car maker. [credit: Jonathan Gitlin ]
HAMBURG, Germany—When a new car is as anticipated as the Porsche Taycan, it’s easy for assumptions to grow in advance of anyone actually getting to drive the thing. Car makers are generally reticent about sharing too many details before a model is officially launched, so it’s only natural that speculation fills the gaps. And since this is the first battery-electric vehicle from the storied German car maker, pre-launch chatter went from 0-60mph fast.
With few facts to go on, the bench-racing over the Porsche Taycan was rampant: It’s a “Tesla Model S killer” we were told by people with as little info to go on as the rest of us. Others claimed it was no more than a Panamera sedan minus the internal combustion engine. But forget all of that; after driving the new Porsche battery electric vehicle for a couple of days across Northern Europe, those comparisons are misplaced. Porsche says it set out to make a four-door electric sports car, and it did. What’s more, the Taycan is every bit as good as you’d expect of a Porsche that will cost you at least $ 150,000, which is to say it’s very good indeed. It’s just that this car uses electricity to get you where you’re going, too.
To show off its latest creation, Porsche’s press office decided a big road trip was in order. Some people are scared to consider BEVs because of range anxiety, so how better to show that long distances are no problem than by driving a circuitous route that started in Oslo, Norway, and ended in Stuttgart 18 days and 4,001 miles (6440km) later? Our briefing was simple: join up with the convoy in Denmark and drive Taycans from Copenhagen to Hamburg over the course of two days and several hundred miles. We got to experience the Taycan Turbo ($ 150,900 before tax credits and the infamous Porsche options list) and the even faster, even more expensive Taycan Turbo S (which starts at $ 185,000) on all manner of roads, from narrow country lanes and low-speed urban streets to stretches of straight, smooth, derestricted autobahn. Plus, such a road trip meant a chance to check out the Taycan’s fast-charging ability when connected to an 800V DC charger.