Published on October 17th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Porsche Taycan Austria to Munich test drive impression
Day One: This drive review will be split into two parts and we start with the arrival and first day drive.
It is not often that we get excited about an International test drive event. Perhaps we have had a little too many in the years we have been doing this, but when the invite arrived for the Porsche Taycan all electric vehicle (EV), there was no way we were going to pass this on to our deputy editor. We wanted to learn, feel, drive and experience Porsche’s first ever mass produced EV.
The team at Porsche had designed this route for us media to get a real world feel of this new sedan. We were going to be driving through farms, small towns with traffic and also be hitting the highway with and without speed restrictions. In Austria the highways have speed restrictions, but when you cross over to Germany, its ‘Christmas’ time as there is no limit on some sections of their highways.
We started our Taycan experience in Innsbruck Austria. The last time we were in Innsbruck, we were test driving a fast sleek sports car from a rival brand. Big cubic capacity with a turbocharger and unrestricted speeds. It was a blast!
We start our Taycan experience at the Interalpen Hotel Tyrol up at the hills of Innsbruck. The Porsche Taycan drive team decided that all attending media from around the world will get a different leg of the drive route which starts in Oslo and ends in Stuttgart after 18 days. The route goes through 9 European countries and covers an estimated 6,440 kilometers. Along the route there are 150 charging stations and by end of the year some 60 charging stations will be added.
Porsche informs us that by Christmas 2020, there will be 400 charging stations ready to be used by EV drivers. So, folks, the EV and hybrid car is coming, like it or not!
Test Drive Day 1
So, we start day 1 with a detailed briefing of the Taycan, its technology and our drive route. The Porsche team have given us a 370 kilometer drive route within the borders of Austria for the first day but it is an estimated 6-and-a-half-hour drive time. There is one charging station along the route and we were all given cars with just 80% of battery charge. Why? Well, they wanted us to experience charging the Taycan at the IONITY High Power Charging station at the town of Angath.
If they gave us a full 100%, there is good chance we can reach our final destination without having to recharge the Taycan.
We get our luggage, collect our designated Taycan Turbo S (Day 2 we will get the Turbo) and head to the car park.
You can see from the pictures, our hotel has a great view, but when we laid our eyes on the Taycan for the first time, the view was better. It is a sleek and beautiful machine. It is clear why Porsche has been a little late to the EV segment. Tesla has the technology, but they have not delivered a beautiful looking machine in my opinion.
Porsche wanted to make sure that their existing customer would ‘want’ to move into EV ownership without losing any of the Porsche design magic that has given them model after model sales and high profit success.
The Taycan in short is a lowered Panamera (as low as a 911) with the nose of a Cayman and the rear of the new 911. It is a true Porsche at every angle and beautifully sculptured lines that will have any Tesla owner craving to own it.
Rear seats are for 2 adults in comfort and there is adequate luggage room for a long weekend away.
This, is still a Porsche, so you will find all the usual Porsche refinement inside the cabin and the new stand out feature is the drivers instrument cluster. It still follows the Porsche traditional layout of meters but it now sits in a slightly curved tablet. We are sure all future Porsches will carry this new cluster.
The juicy bits. The flagship Turbo S version of the Taycan can generate up to 761 PS over- boost power in combination with Launch Control, and the Taycan Turbo up to 680 PS. The Taycan Turbo S accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, while the Taycan Turbo completes this sprint in 3.2 seconds. The Turbo S has a range of up to 412 kilometres, and the Turbo a range of up to 450 kilometres (according to WLTP in each case). The top speed of both all-wheel-drive models is 260 km/h.
The Taycan is the first production vehicle with a system voltage of 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts for electric cars. This is a particular advantage for Taycan drivers on the road: in just over five minutes, the battery can be recharged using direct cur- rent (DC) from the high-power charging network for a range of up to 100 kilometres (according to WLTP). The charging time for five to 80 percent SoC (state of charge) is 22.5 minutes for charging under ideal conditions, and the maximum charging power (peak) is 270 kW. The overall capacity of the Performance Battery Plus is 93.4 kWh. Taycan drivers can comfortably charge their cars with up to eleven kW of alternating current (AC) at home.
The Day 1 Drive Impression
Getting into the Taycan is the same as getting into a 911. It sits low, the torso hugging seat is low and the roof height is low. Any 911 drivers will feel right at home. The view out is good and the dashboard is similar to the new Panamera and new 911.
From ignition, the Taycan is quiet, whisper quiet. Its just like an other premium EV. Then you can choose your drive mode. Now Sport+ mode adds a growl and an aggressive engine note while driving, but we decided to start our drive in Comfort to get past all the small villages and inner city traffic.
Within an hour we were driving along open country roads and pushing the Taycan in Comfort mode was impressive. Handling was pin point accurate where we pointed the nose and the rear tucked in nicely at every sharp corner we negotiated.
It is just like driving a quiet 911 and the performance was impressive enough in Comfort mode. When the road opened up we also opened up this Taycan. It just glides along and the cabin is whisper quiet as the Noise Harshness and Vibration (NVH) has been well looked after.
We were just driving and driving and driving until we reached our charging station and only then did we realize (all of us in the Taycan) that we never looked at our range or battery life during the past 3 hours on the road. On arrival at the charging station. We had more than 35% of ‘juice’ and got hooked up to the IONITY High Power Charging point and went to the nearby Airstream burger joint for a quick lunch.
Into our 3rd bite of our well done Beef burger we were informed by the attending Porsche team that our Taycan was recharged and ready to go. We finished our burger and headed out.
The Drive Continues
The next leg of our journey had longer stretches of highway and the chance to feel that 2.8 seconds of acceleration time with our Taycan Turbo S. Having driven many supercars in our time, we were waiting to feel the acceleration of this Turbo S. We found a clear road, hit the pedal in Sport + mode and held on tight. Yes, there is no doubt of the neck-snapping acceleration that this Taycan Turbo S delivers. It is immediate, no lag, no hesitation (only hesitation comes from the driver). It delivers its torque in a seamless stream of power and you need to check your attention to realize how fast you have traveled to a speed of 170km/h as we did.
Catching our breath, we slowed down, and the brakes were happy to provide immediate stopping power and the rest of our passengers just smiled. It was a ride that was addictive. It showers your senses and you feel the need to depress that pedal once again with even more aggression.
Luckily common sense and the earlier warning by the Porsche team of speed limits in Austria kept us from being silly and childish.
To be continued.