The all-electric Porsche Taycan debuts as the world’s most powerful sedan

The all-electric Porsche Taycan debuts as the world’s most powerful sedanhttps://d2d49q62n92ko8.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/08222451/Porsche-Taycan.jpg

The all-electric Porsche Taycan debuts as the world’s most powerful sedan. The Porsche Taycan is nearly ready to take on Tesla.

The production version of the automaker’s first all-electric car made it’s debut on Wednesday morning at Niagara Falls near a hydroelectric power plant. Dual events took place at a wind farm in China and a solar farm in Germany in order to drive home its green energy cred.

Porsche Taycan

The four-door is basically the same size as a Tesla Model S, which it is very squarely-aimed. The styling makes it recognizable as a Porsche, but with a modern edge that doesn’t become too far into the realm of science fiction. Deliveries plan to begin late this year with the top of the line Turbo and Turbo S versions that were unveiled in New York.

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Electric cars don’t have turbochargers, but Porsche North America President Klaus Zellmer told The Motor Masters that the automaker decided to keep the nomenclature because it’s moved past its traditional definition at the brand (and others, like Gillette.)

“Our customers identify it with the highest model in each of our lineups,” Zellmer said.

Porsche Taycan

Both feature all-wheel-drive with two electric motors powered by a 93.4 KW-hour battery pack. The front motor drives the wheels directly, as it usually is in electric cars, but the rear features a 2-speed transmission. Zellmer said Porsche took the odd step because it was the best way to fully utilize the Taycan’s power.

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There’s lots of it. The Turbo has 616 hp and can crank out up to 670 hp and 626 lb-ft of torque in spurts when launch control is engaged. The Turbo S base horsepower is the same, but has a max power output of 750 hp and 774 lb-ft, which in reality makes it the most powerful sedan in the world. Less HP versions will be added later, but Porsche is looking to reach the public with the Turbos, and they can definitely do that.

Porsche Taycan

The Turbo and Turbo S can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.0 s and 2.6 s, respectively, and cover a quarter-mile in 11.1 s and 10.6 s. The Tesla Model S can officially hit 60 mph in 2.4 s, but Porsche is known for sandbagging its performance specifications. Importantly, Porsche says it can provide this kind of performance time and time again without any loss of power, which is a common issue with electric performance cars.

Top speed for both is capped at 161 mph, but exactly how far you can drive them at that or any speed remains to be seen. At least here in the U.S. In Europe, they can go 450 km per charge for the Turbo and 412 km for the Turbo S. That converts to 280 miles and 256 miles, but the European testing procedure is not the same as the EPA’s. For comparison, The Tesla Model S Long Range, which features a 100-KW-hour battery, is rated at 610 km in Europe and 370 miles in the U.S.

Porsche Taycan

Whatever the range is, drivers will be able to charge up quickly thanks to the Taycan’s 800-volt battery pack, an industry first. Plugged into a high-speed charger, it can charge from 5 percent to 80 percent in 22.5 minutes.

Porsche is putting in high-speed chargers at each of its dealerships and several public charging networks are also adding them to their stations. One of them is Electrify America, which is owned by Porsche parent Volkswagen Group and will provide Taycan owners with three years of free charging, similar to how Tesla has given free access to its Superchargers as an incentive to some customers.

One thing Porsche will not compete with Tesla on is the promise of autonomy. Zellmer said the Taycans can only deal with Level 2 driver assist features like those that are offered on its other models, because Porsche doesn’t think more advanced systems are ready for the public and is “convinced our customers like the feel of a steering wheel and full control.”

Porsche Taycan interior

That wheel is in front of one of the five digital displays in the Taycan’s cabin, with another sitting above the glove compartment for the front passenger to use. Full details on the features have not been released, but the Taycan will be the first car that can run Apple Music without a connected smartphone and will have over-the-air updates. Leather-free interiors will also be available.

Porsche Taycan interior

The Turbo is equipped with an adaptive air suspension and can come with optional roll control and rear-wheel-steering that is standard on the Turbo S. Four drive modes have a range of comfort and performance settings, while drivers can set their own combination of suspension stiffness and power delivery. A Turbo S recently set a track record for electric sedans at the 13 mile Nurburgring Nordschleife race track in Germany with a time of 7:42, just 10 seconds off the four-door record.

Porsche Taycan frame and wheels

Prices begin at $154,660 for the Turbo and $188,960 for the Turbo S, which is about the same as the Porsche Panameras. Zellmer said both have a place in Porsche’s lineup.

“The Taycan is for customers looking to be first movers on the battery electric trend, while the Panamera suits those who prefer the feel and sound of an internal combustion engine and aren’t quite ready to take the step into electrification.”

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More Porsche Taycan models will be available soon, but pricing isn’t known. However, the entry-level Panamera is under $90,000 and the rumor is the Porsche Taycan will eventually follow suit.

The automaker says it has more than 20,000 refundable deposits for the Porsche Taycan, which represents nearly the first full year of production, but now that the order books are open they will find out how many of those actually turn into sales.

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