Porsche has confirmed that the formal debut of its first modern all-electric car, the Taycan, is set for September 4, 2019 at 9 a.m. EST. The vehicle will be launched at three locations: one in Canada, one in Germany, and another in China. With the Taycan’s launch, Porsche would be breaching a premium EV market that is so far dominated by Tesla and increasingly populated by veteran automakers such as Jaguar, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.
The Taycan’s unveiling is only a few weeks away, and Porsche has been notably more open about giving access to its highly-secretive vehicle to the media. So far, the vehicle has been received extremely well. Fifth Gear presenter and Fully Charged host Jonny Smith, for one, was allowed to test the repeatability of the Taycan Turbo’s maximum performance during launches. The vehicle proved impressive for the host, as he was able to launch at max power 26 times with nary a drop in the car’s 0-60 mph performance.
Motoring publication Car and Driver was also able to experience the Porsche Taycan Turbo. Together with Porsche product line director for EVs Robert Meier, the publication was able to get some unique insights on the upcoming vehicle. The Taycan pre-production prototype, behind all its camouflage, was equipped with active anti-roll bars, carbon-ceramic brake rotors, rear-wheel steering, air springs, and a 21″ wheel and tire setup.
During Car and Driver‘s ride-along, Meier noted that the Taycan, thanks to its floor-mounted battery pack, actually has the lowest center of gravity in the company’s entire lineup. Comfort was a key portion of the Taycan’s development process as well, considering that the vehicle will be marketed as a four-door sedan that’s a step beneath the Panamera (and in turn, the Tesla Model S) in size. Highlighting the Taycan’s quickness, the Porsche executive noted that the vehicle will not see a drop in performance even when the battery is discharged past 50%.
Also notable is that the Taycan, unlike Tesla’s offerings like the Model 3 Performance, features a two-speed gearbox on its rear axle. This marks one of the first times that a production EV will be equipped with a two-speed gearbox, and it should provide a sizable benefit in both performance and efficiency. It would be interesting to see how Porsche manages the Taycan’s gearbox, considering Tesla’s experience with the original Roadster. During Tesla’s early days, the company equipped the original Roadster with a two-speed gearbox, but the components just kept breaking since the gearboxes could not handle the punishment from the vehicle’s electric motor.
Porsche states that the Taycan will have a range of 500 km (311 miles), though Car and Driver notes that this figure is based on the European NEDC cycle, which is far more generous than the more stringent and real-world accurate EPA cycle. During its ride-along with the vehicle, the publication noted that the Taycan showed a predicted 234 miles of range on a full charge, which reportedly seemed accurate considering that the trip’s route consisted of twisty mountain roads and 70-mph highway cruising. Meier’s comments to the publication’s team about being “conservative” with the Taycan’s range figure further adds to the idea of the vehicle having a US range rating that’s likely closer to 200 than 300 miles.
The Taycan has other notable quirks, including, but not limited to, two charging ports, its lack of one-pedal driving, and its sound, which could be heard especially at low speeds. This was particularly audible during Fully Charged host Jonny Smith’s first drive of the vehicle. With its low, bass-filled whine, the Taycan sounds not unlike those futuristic vehicles in sci-fi films.
Watch Fully Charged‘s experience with the Porsche Taycan Turbo in the video below.