The terms ‘Luxury’ and ‘Electric’ have been non-corresponding in the automotive industry until very recently. Porsche has brought a luxury, high-performance electric vehicle (EV) to the global market with the release of the 2020 Taycan. We got a sneak peak of the new Taycan at the Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum on Wednesday.
Tesla fans may argue that a luxury EV has indeed been available for quite some time with the Model S sedan and Model X SUV, but those who have experienced a Tesla product first-hand may say otherwise. The fit, finish, and overall refinement is where Tesla is lacking, and this is what separates the American brand from European luxury rivals such as BMW, Mercedes, and in this case, Porsche.
It would be unfair to pin Porsche directly against Tesla, though. Tesla is still a very young company with a lot of pressure to succeed. Meanwhile, Porsche has produced over 1,000,000 911 models, has a complete vehicle lineup, and has succeeded in motorsports on a global level. As Tom Cruise famously proclaimed in the film Risky Business, “Porsche. There is no substitute.”
While that statement may remain true several decades later, we’re not sure if Porsche is at all concerned by Tesla. Rather, the brand is looking to add an EV to their vehicle lineup. Brand loyalty and retention is commonplace with brands like Porsche, and so the German Automaker wants to provide an all-electric alternative for their customers with the addition of the Taycan.
“This car is every bit a Porsche,” said Brian Runions, General Sales Manager, Porsche Buffalo.
It may lack an internal combustion engine, but Car and Driver says the new Taycan provides, “… incredible acceleration, sports-car-like handling, and speedy recharging capability.”
The drawbacks? Well, it’s a Porsche, so it comes with a Porsche price tag. The 2020 Taycan 4S starts at $105,150 and the Turbo model starts at $152,250 —but the model on display for our viewing pleasure showed a $165,670 sticker. Although we haven’t driven any iteration of the Taycan yet, we suspect that the base model will provide more than enough performance, while also having superior range to the Turbo and Turbo S models. No matter how you spec your Taycan, it won’t be cheap.
If a high-performance EV is what interests you, the Porsche Taycan is the car to have. Multiple magazine tests have reported zero to 60 acceleration times of 2.4 seconds for the top-tier $186,350 Turbo S model. That’s made possible thanks to 750 horsepower, and a unique two-speed transmission. The consequence of these incredible performance numbers is seen when looking at battery range.
Porsche says that the Turbo model will deliver 201 miles of range, which is down from the Tesla Model S which has a range rated between 326 and 373 miles. Interestingly, in a 75-mph highway test, Car and Driver says that the Taycan Turbo S nearly matched the range of a Tesla Model S Performance. Real-world range could prove to be much closer than the projected numbers indicate.
The question then, is how will the rest of the industry respond? Is a performance EV actually something that buyers are looking for? How will this impact the Porsche brand moving forward?
Clearly we have a lot of questions, but mostly we are looking forward to an opportunity to get behind the wheel of the all-new Taycan. We’re predicting it’ll be shockingly good.