Behind a slight restyling, the new Porsche Taycan receives a major update to match the latest Tesla Model S.
Launched in 2019, the Porsche Taycan was produced in 150,000 units including the three versions available, namely the 4-door coupe, the Sport Turismo station wagon and its all-road version Cross Turismo. The 2024 model presents itself not as a new generation, but as an optimized and restyled version. But there are many developments, both on the “software” and “hardware” level.
In terms of looks, the Porsche Taycan adopts new front and rear shields with refined aerodynamics. As on the new Porsche Macan, the Turbo and Turbo S models adopt a specific design with more prominent air intakes. The redesigned Matrix front headlights change the look while the rear section incorporates a long light strip with a backlit Porsche logo. Optimizing the look and air resistance also involves the use of new alloy rims.
4+1 of Grand Touring
On board, the habitability hardly changes and therefore remains significantly lower compared to that of the Tesla Model S. Narrower and confined, the Porsche accommodates only four passengers with an additional central seat offered as an option. The enveloping seats nevertheless ensure a good level of comfort and enough legroom for adults of average height. The trunk (407 liters on the sedan and 446 liters on the station wagon) like the frunk (84 liters) are not huge, but enough for a family weekend. At the front, the heated and ventilated bucket seats ensure a perfect driving position with good lateral support and can be adorned with real leather or a covering combining fabric and imitation leather. As always with Porsche, the finish and assembly inspire confidence.
Color digital instrumentation and more information on charging or music settings. The central touch screen is not huge, but still supported by a lower screen to quickly control the air conditioning, charging or volume. Another passenger screen can be added with an opaque filter in order to watch videos while driving without disturbing the driver’s attention. The ergonomics deserve nothing but praise, everything is obvious and invites you to concentrate first on your driving. An electric Porsche remains a Porsche.
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The navigation system incorporates a new route planner with charging station information and battery pre-conditioning. The head-up display includes an augmented reality projection to indicate destinations more precisely. Apple CarPlay has also been optimized to access the climate control without erasing the application in use. The driving aids are also evolving with active cruise control better calibrated to navigate traffic jams.
Not far from 1000 hp
The new Porsche Taycan gains power to reach 700 kW (952 hp) and 1,100 Nm of torque in its top-of-the-range Turbo S version. The Turbo develops 650 kW (884 hp) and the 4 S version can reach 440 kW ( 598 hp). The basic rear-wheel drive model with a single rear motor now develops 300 kW (408 hp) of power (without overboost), or 60 kW (95 hp) more than the old model. This new permanent magnet synchronous block is also more compact and weighs 10 kg less on the scale. It also benefits from a new DC/AC current inverter to be even better powered by the battery (which stores DC direct current when it turns into AC alternating current).
The NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) type cell compound battery pack benefits from a new chemistry allowing it to reduce its weight by 9 kg while increasing its capacity which goes from 93.4 kWh to 105 kWh gross (i.e. 97 kWh net useful capacity). Battery thermal management has also been improved with this new version. Note that the base Taycan will receive a smaller standard battery close to 90 kWh.
During this presentation of the first pre-production models in Stuttgart, we were lucky enough to be able to do a bit of driving alongside an in-house engineer in a Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo Turbo. And we were not spared by our friendly driver who offered us a few “standing starts” and lightning restarts on the unlimited autobahn. The maximum speed is 260 km/h, but we were fitted with winter tires limited to 240 km/h. The manufacturer announces 4.8 s on the 0-100 km/h with the rear-wheel drive Taycan and 2.4 s on the Taycan Turbo S, a gain of 0.6 and 0.4 s respectively compared to the first versions. Note that on certain models, a boost button located to the right of the steering wheel provides a power boost of 70 kW (95 hp) for 10 seconds.
The restyled Porsche Taycan remains slower than the Tesla Model S which claims 3.2 s on its Long Autonomy version and 2.1 s on the Plaid capable of reaching 322 km/h. The American is also lighter (-128 kg) than its German rival, which nevertheless lost 15 kg to display 2,290 kg (on the 4-door Turbo coupe). This did not prevent Porsche from setting a new lap record on the legendary Nürburgring circuit. However, the manufacturer has not given the slightest information on the model which braved the test. Was it a stock or modified Porsche Taycan Turbo S? Unless an RS version is in the pipeline?
More brakes than a Plaid
To assert its sportiness compared to the Tesla, the Stuttgart manufacturer relies above all on the driving precision of its Taycan which now receives air suspensions as standard on the basic version and offers the famous “Porsche Active Ride” system (which the we find on the news Porsche Panamera) on two-motor models. These new independent air suspensions guarantee precise control of damping and ground clearance. The pitching or diving effect as well as the roll in corners are therefore perfectly controlled without requiring anti-roll bars and while preserving comfort.
The Taycan can also count on its rear-wheel steering to facilitate maneuvering while increasing its stability at high speed. The ultra-precise and very informative steering is one of the Taycan’s weapons, as is its biting and enduring braking which can be composed of a choice of steel, tungsten or ceramic discs. On this restyled version, regenerative braking can now reach up to 400 kW (compared to 290 kW previously) and thus facilitate slowing down while preserving autonomy.
Porsche announces a 35% greater range and now claims up to 678 km of WLTP autonomy on the basic rear-wheel drive version (compared to 503 km previously) and 630 km on the four-wheel drive Turbo version (compared to 467 km). A very strong progression which is accompanied by a faster charging speed, reaching up to 320 kW (compared to 270 kW on the old model) of maximum direct current power. Enough to fill up from 10 to 80% in just 18 minutes. A record that we were able to verify on a terminal located at the parent company.
Prices will increase, starting from €105,000 (excluding options) on the base Taycan which now includes standard air suspensions in addition to numerous upgrades. Orders open on February 7, 2024 for arrival in dealerships in April. Looking forward to testing.
Tesla Model S Plaid test: everyone go to bed!
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