World-firsts are always an exciting proposition. They bring a sense of possibility with them, showcasing the world that it can be done. While the automotive industry seems to be treading in one of the most dynamic phases since its inception, courtesy of electric powertrains, Porsche appears to lead the charge in its customary segment – sportscars.
September 2019 saw the German sportscar manufacturer unveil the world’s first mass-market electric sports car, the Porsche Taycan. Catering to a high volume of pre-confirmed orders in the European and North American areas forced the brand to delay its plans of bringing the Taycan to the Middle East. And now, after a four-month holdup, Porsche has finally decided to unveil its all-electric sports car in Dubai.
Prices for the same have not been announced as the company is yet to launch the car in the Middle East officially. The same can be said for trim levels along with the probable delivery timeline. Even though the vehicle is globally sold in three trim-levels – the 4S, Turbo and the Turbo S, the Middle East will most probably be getting only the Turbo-ed variants at launch.
The launch of the four-door electric sports car sees Porsche stepping into an entirely new era. The design is heavily based on the Mission E Concept, Porsche displayed years ago, with minimal changes to suit production feasibility. In essence, the design is distinctively Porsche with the low stance, sloping roofline, quad-headlight setup and wide haunches over the rear wheels.
One can see the efforts made by designers to make the company’s first all-electric offering look distinct while retaining the brand’s DNA. While the exterior maintains the traditional Porsche shape and contours, along with certain unique touches, the interior is where the design department went vice versa. Step inside, and an all-digital interior greets you.
Conventional switches have now become a thing of yesteryear as screens take its place. A 10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment unit constitutes the centre console while another passenger display screen is optional. Even the instrument cluster, although retaining the classic Porsche multi-dial layout, now gets the digital treatment.
Under the hood or floor here (this being an EV) is a high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity of 93.4kWh. The Taycan is said to offer a maximum range of 450km in the Turbo and 412km with the top-spec Turbo S variant under the WLTP cycle. Furthermore, the Porsche Taycan’s system voltage of 800 volts reigns supreme, when put against Tesla’s 450 and 375 volts. This higher system voltage reduces charging time significantly, allowing a 5 to 80 per cent charge in around 22 minutes.
Powering the Taycan is a pair of electric motors, one placed on each axle. Combining both motors provides the sports car with a power output of 625 horses. However, an Overboost function further bumps the output to 680 hp in the Turbo and a whopping 761hp in the Turbo S. All this software-accompanied electric wizardry enables the over-2-tonne car to reach the 100kmph mark from standstill in just 3.2 seconds if you’re sitting in the Turbo and 2.8 if its the Turbo S. Max out, the Porsche Taycan can reach speeds of up to 260kmph.
Expect Porsche to launch the Taycan in the Middle Eastern market by the first half of 2020.