There's been no shortage of pure electric vehicles on the car market this year, but few will have anywhere near the impact of the game-changing Porsche Taycan. A rival to Tesla's evergreen Model S, Porsche's first all-electric car is blend of head-turning looks, driver engagement, cutting-edge tech and sublime build quality, a trip in a Taycan is a thrilling experience.With a 0-62mph time of just 2.8 seconds, it's gut-wrenchingly fast, but it's not just about acceleration and top speed (161mph) - it's how it gets there.
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For a vehicle that weighs 2.3 tonnes (about the same as a Land Rover Discovery, thanks to its battery pack), it's remarkably agile, while the all-wheel drive system means traction is phenomenal and it steers like a sports car. Bigger than a 911 and a tad smaller than a Panamera, the Taycan is a proper four-door saloon with a comfortable space for two full-sized adults in the rear, decent luggage space (at 366 litres, about the same as a family hatchback), plus an extra 81 litres under the bonnet.
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You sit low in the cabin. Ahead, there's a long bonnet with raised wings that are typically Porsche. A glance into the door mirrors reveals muscular haunches enveloping massive tyres. Inside it's minimalist with no less than three large digital displays - one in front of the driver and two in the centre console. As with all EVs, there's just a distant whine from its two electric motors, accompanied by well muffled road and wind noise. The optional "Electric Sport Sound" is a party trick, but unless you're a sci-fi spaceship fan, the novelty wears thin after a while.
The five drive modes include energy-saving Range, Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual and there are three specs - the 4S, Turbo and Turbos S. Depending on which model you choose, Porsche claims a range of between 206-280 miles, with the mid-range Turbo providing the best balance between performance and economy. From our experience, the Taycan’s range is certainly realistic, even after some spirited driving.
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However, this is one area where Tesla has the edge - its top-of-the-range Model S has a 379-mile range. Thanks to some clever tech, the Taycan can be charged up to 80% in as little as 23 minutes, which is similar to a Tesla Supercharger. However, rapid chargers are few and far between, so it's more likely to take around 1.5 hours using a 50kW public charger, or around nine hours via an 11kW wallbox which can be fitted at home or an office. Just like other electric cars, it's worth remembering that the Taycan charges the battery as it drives via regenerative brakes (the smoothest and most responsive ever in an EV), so driving style can also play a part when it comes to range.
HELLO!'s verdict: The all-new Porsche Taycan sets a new benchmark for luxury electric cars, blending savage performance with sports car dynamics and zero emissions. Yes, the Taycan is expensive, but it’s no toy. A chameleon of a car, it’s as happy ferrying a family around town as commuting to work or simply being driven for sheer enjoyment on challenging country roads. Price: from £83,367 to £138,826.
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