It’s official. The all-electric Porsche Taycan sedan is more popular than the iconic 911 sports car.
Last year Porsche sold 41,296 Taycans, topping sales of the 911, but it should be noted the 911 also hit a new sales record of 38,464 cars sold.
The popularity and response the Taycan received has pushed Porsche further with EVs, now into the realm of sports cars.
“By the middle of the decade, we want to offer our mid-engine 718 sports car exclusively in an all-electric form," Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said when the company revealed its EV roadmap earlier in March.
When the Taycan went on sale at the end of 2019 as a 2020 model, it was unique among EV offerings with its innovative 800-volt system and 2-speed gearbox. With its Porsche underpinnings and chassis, early models of the Taycan (the Turbo S and Turbo) showcased huge power numbers (600hp+), and well as huge MSRPs ($150K+).
When the base Taycan RWD (rear wheel drive) was released in 2021, it seemed the sweet spot for EV fans who wanted a Porsche, at a somewhat reasonable starting price of $81,400 before delivery (Note: for 2022 the base Taycan starts at $86,700). And it is the base Taycan that Porsche dropped off to Yahoo Finance for a review.
The Taycan EV model that arrived came in a stunning Cherry Red metallic, and a host of other options that boosted the price of the car to $114,200 with delivery. Options like rear-axle steering ($1,620), adaptive suspension ($2,200), Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus ($1,500), Performance battery plus 93.4 kWh ($5,780), and adaptive cruise control ($2,050) are options that though pricey, are worth it. Race-tex seating materials ($4,700), Aero wheels ($2,380) and PCSB brakes ($3,490) are options that could be omitted.
The base Taycan specs & tech
That base Taycan will get you a standard performance battery (79.2 kWh) that has a 225 mile EPA range, 321 hp (overboost 402hp) , and a 5.1 second 0-60 mph time. With the addition of the performance battery plus, Porsche says range climbs 281 miles using AMCI testing, horsepower jumps to 375, with overboost power of 469 hp. The base Taycan is a single motor setup that uses a two-speed transmission, which is rather unique in the EV world.
Being inside the cabin is unlike being in any other Porsche. Engineers and designers created an interior space that takes you into the future, though still one Porsche fans would find familiar. The sweeping, curved digital display sitting behind the steering wheel looks futuristic and minimalist, with only the necessary pieces of information on display, but also looks similar to the “5 dial” layout that the 911 employs.
Keeping with the futuristic theme, there are two other screens in the center stack area for infotainment and climate controls. An optional fourth screen is available for the front-passenger to get in on the digital display fun.
The rest of the dash is clean, with soft touch materials on the upper and lower part of the extended dash, and also flowing along the full center stack leading to the center console. Porsche engineers did a nice job with the steering wheel location, pedals, and seating position, using the same angles and distances that are used for the 911 sports car. It is a sporty, low, yet comfortable seating position.
The 'electric' drive
Driving around town in the Taycan is a pretty breezy experience. The base Taycan doesn’t have the oodles of power that you assume would burn the tires off the car, in fact in the ‘normal’ setting acceleration is smooth and power delivery isn’t too torque-heavy.
Most EVs default to an aggressive re-gen braking setup in the car’s normal mode, meaning the minute you lift off the accelerator, the regenerative braking kicks in to harvest energy and pulls the car to stop. Not the Taycan. Porsche’s default is to let the car coast like a gas-powered car, but you can turn on regenerative braking if you desire. While turning re-gen braking off hurts efficiency and range, it’s better for performance and familiarity for a traditional driving experience.
The Taycan chassis and suspension set up is pure Porsche, a rock solid structure that doesn’t squeak or strain when driving aggressively, and the adaptive suspension can be as compliant or as stiff as you want it to be. I find the normal suspension setting to be comfortable and totally fine for spirited driving.
In the Sport+ setting, the power comes on quick, and the Taycan gets going, but it did not blow me away. It’s plenty fast, but the Taycan in base trim is a pretty heavy car, especially with the larger performance battery pack (around 4,750 lbs.). I actually wanted more acceleration and power from this car, especially given the world-class chassis that can handle the extra oomph.
Most electric cars these days are pretty quick given the instant torque afforded by electric drivetrains, and in this respect the base Taycan did not give me that level of performance Porsche is known for. Perhaps that is the trade off with the base, sub $100K trim — you get the famous Porsche handling and chassis, but if you want to get into the nuclear range of power and performance, prepare to set up to the Taycan 4S and Turbo variants. Also be prepared to spend a lot of money.
That being said the base Taycan is a great package all around, and if you can price one out to below $100K with the options I highlighted, and if you include that $7,500 federal tax credit along with any state subsidies you might receive, then that’s a fair, though not cheap, price to pay for that performance.