Porsche Officially Debuts its Electric Taycan, its Competitor to the Tesla Model S

Porsche Officially Debuts its Electric Taycan, its Competitor to the Tesla Model S

Author: Eric Walz   

German automaker Porsche officially unveiled its fully-electric Taycan sedan, a car expected to become a serious rival to the Tesla Model S for those with the money to spare. Since its introduction in 2012, the Tesla Model S faced little to no competition from other automakers, that is until now. 

Porsche, along with other automakers, have followed Tesla's lead and are beginning to introduce their own fully-electric models. The Taycan is Porsche's first electric vehicle.

The two Porsche Taycan models to debut in the new electric series are the more powerful Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo variants. The 750-horsepower Taycan Turbo S costs $185,000 and the 670-horsepower Taycan Turbo is priced at $150,900.  

Less powerful variants of these all-wheel drive vehicles will follow this year. The first additional model will be the Taycan Cross Turismo at the end of 2020.

The Porsche Taycan's world premiere took place simultaneously in North America, China and Europe, three of the most important sales markets for the new electric sports car.

"The Taycan links our heritage to the future. It carries forward the success story of our brand – a brand that has fascinated and thrilled people the world over for more than 70 years," said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, who opened the world premiere in Berlin today. "This day marks the start of a new era."


Porsche engineers worked hard to give the electric Taycan its unmistakable Porsche DNA. The pronounced shoulders of the wings result in a sharply emphasised rear, typical of the Porsche brand. 

Looking from the front, the Taycan has a wide and flat stance with big arches to accommodate the wheels. The silhouette is further shaped by the sporty roofline sloping downward to the rear. The highly sculpted body sections are also characteristic of the Taycan and stay true to the original design first unveiled in 2015 as the Porsche Mission E concept.

There are also innovative design elements such as the glass-effect Porsche logo, which has been integrated into the light bar at the rear.

The Taycan Turbo S can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, while the Taycan Turbo completes the same sprint in 3.2 seconds. The Turbo S has a WLTP range of up to 412 km (256 miles), and the standard Turbo a range of up to 450 kilometers (279 miles) 

The flagship Turbo S version of the Taycan can generate up to 560 kW of overboost power in combination with Launch Control, and the Taycan Turbo up to 500 kW. 

The top speed of both all-wheel-drive models is 161 mph (260 km/h).


The interior of the Taycan

First Production Vehicle with 800 Volts

The Taycan is the first production vehicle with a system voltage of 800 volts instead of the typical 400 volts for electric cars, which include Tesla models. The battery pack can be recharged using direct current (DC) from the high-power charging network. The higher system voltage allows the Taycan to charge in just over five minutes for a range of up to 100 kilometers (according to WLTP). 

The charging time for five to 80 percent SoC (state of charge) is just 22.5 minutes for charging under ideal conditions, and the maximum charging power (peak) is 270 kW. Taycan drivers can also charge their cars with up to 11 kW of alternating current (AC) at home.


The Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo have two exceptionally efficient electric powertrains, one on the front axle and one on the rear axle, thus making the Taycan an all-wheel drive electric vehicle.

Both the range and the continuous power of the drive benefit from the high efficiency of the permanently excited synchronous motors. The electric motors, transmission and pulse-controlled inverter are each combined into a compact drive module. 

Porsche says the modules have the highest power density of all electric powertrains on the market today. 

A special feature of the electric motors is the more efficient "hairpin" winding of the stator coils. The hairpin winding reduces the spaces between the copper windings, making it possible to incorporate more copper to surround the stator. The additional copper increases power output and torque while maintaining the same component size.

Porsche engineers worked hard to incorporate the company's DNA. The automaker developed a innovative two-speed transmission for the rear axle of the Taycan. The first gear gives the sedan more powerful acceleration from a standing start, while second gear with a long gear ratio ensures high efficiency and equally high power reserves for more power, even at very high speeds.


Centrally Networked Chassis Systems

The Taycan uses what Porsche calls a "centrally networked control system for the chassis." This innovative chassis system include adaptive air suspension with three-chamber technology including Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), electronic damper control, as well as the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) electromechanical roll stabilization system including Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus). 

The integrated Porsche 4D Chassis Control analyzes and synchronizes all chassis systems in real time. 

The all-wheel drive control with two electric motors and the recuperation system are unique. At up to 265 kW, the potential recuperation power is significantly higher than that of competitors which adds to the overall range of the Taycan.

Porsche says that driving tests have shown that approximately 90 percent of braking in electric vehicles is performed by the electric motors alone, without the traditional hydraulic brakes being applied, although the Taycan comes with a high-performance braking setup typical of a Porsche vehicle.

The mechanical operated hydraulic brakes include ten-piston aluminium monobloc fixed calipers at the front and four-piston aluminium monobloc fixed calipers at the rear. Up front, the pads are mated to internally vented carbide-coated cast-iron brake discs.

The high-performance Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) pads consists of tungsten carbide, a mixed crystal so hard that it can be used to cut glass. Tungsten carbide is one of the hardest materials in the world after diamond. 

The Taycan offers four distinct driving modes including "Range", "Normal", "Sport" and "Sport Plus". In addition, individual systems can be configured as required in the "Individual" mode.

"We promised a true Porsche for the age of electromobility – a fascinating sports car that not only excites in terms of its technology and driving dynamics, but also sparks a passion in people all over the world, just like its legendary predecessors have done. Now we are delivering on this promise," said Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board of Porsche AG – Research and Development in a statement.

The Porsche Taycan Turbo S and Porsche Taycan Turbo are now available for customers to order.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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