Written by Andre James
"Hey Porsche" is a song released by the rapper Nelly in 2013. It is also the casual command used to control many aspects of the 2020 Porsche Taycan. It is one of the numerous ways the brand's first all-electric sports car differentiates itself in the burgeoning e-mobility field. Porsche invested some six billion euros for the launch of the Taycan, demonstrating the company's commitment to electric mobility.
Even before its simultaneous three-continent debut on September 4th, more than 20,000 Porsche enthusiasts around the globe made a down payment to join the ranks of prospective buyers. Moments after the reveal, a production Taycan set off from Niagara Falls on a 408-mile "real world" road trip to New York City. After traveling 250 miles, and with 39 miles of range remaining, the Taycan stopped for a top-up charge at an Electrify America charging station in Bloomsburg, PA. A two-minute charge, which brought the battery up from 14 percent to 85 percent, was enough to power the sedan for the remaining 158-miles into New York City. Taycan buyers get three years of free charging at the 300 Electrify America stations currently operating in the United States.
Recognizable as part of the Porsche family in general and the Panamera in particular, Michael Mauer, Head of Style for Porsche, said that the Taycan is unique in terms of its proportions. "With a brand that is as strong as Porsche, it would not be a good idea to ignore all of the brand's characteristic design elements," he explained. The design team mated the brand's most familiar design cues with features unique to the Taycan to craft a unique brand expression.
Selecting a name for a vehicle without a predecessor presented an exciting challenge for the Taycan development team. "A name for a car is ultimately an emotional decision—but one that should be based on facts and arguments. That requires a systematic approach and a lot of attention to detail," said Michael Reichart, project manager for the Taycan naming project. The Taycan moniker made the cut following a year-and-a-half of small-to-large focus groups around the globe, along with linguist and legal reviews. Composed of two terms of Turkish origin, Taycan roughly translates to "soul of a spirited young horse."
The innovative chassis systems include adaptive air suspension with three-chamber technology including PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) 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).
Capable of generating more than 750 horsepower, and with a top speed of 155 mph, the Taycan Turbo S clocks the zero to 60 mph sprint in 2.8 seconds; the 670 horsepower Taycan Turbo comes in under 3.5 seconds. The Turbo S has a range around 260 miles, while the Turbo's range is up to 280 miles on a single charge.
For many, the familiar throaty rumble of a Porsche serves as its acoustic calling card and is an attribute noticeably absent in an electric vehicle. To compensate, the company offers "Porsche Electric Sport Sound" as a $500 standalone option on the Turbo model, and as standard on the top-of-the-line Turbo S. While the soundtrack is definitely dissimilar from its petrol-powered siblings, one could argue that it is better than silence for those who desire an auditory indicator for all of that horsepower.
Inside the cabin of the four-door sports car, there's a reduction in the number of classic hardware controls such as switches and buttons in favor of touch operation or the "Hey Porsche" voice control function. Standout material options include sustainably tanned Club Leather OLEA, which uses olive leaves in the tanning process; eco-friendly Race-Tex, a high-quality microfiber material partially made of recycled polyester fibers; and a floor covering made from Econyl, which uses recycled fishing nets in its manufacture.
"We promised a true Porsche for the age of electro-mobility – 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.
Pricing for the 2020 Porsche Taycan stars at $152,250. First deliveries are expected in December.