OF THE many car makers that have taken the dive into the pure-electric motoring pool of late, perhaps the most surprising is Porsche. After building predominantly petrol-powered performance models for more than seven decades, ditching internal combustion is quite a change of course.
Porsche’s first foray into pure-electric motoring is the Taycan, a lightning-quick four-door sports car, reviewed in this week’s Sunday Times Magazine. The stars just happen to have aligned in Porsche’s favour this week, as regular reviewer Jeremy Clarkson, who is notoriously anti-electric car and has been highly critical of Porsches in the past, was away. The Sunday Times Driving’s editor Nick Rufford has delivered the verdict instead, and the Taycan has received a very positive write-up.
Of the many takeaways from the review, arguably the most reassuring is that Porsche hasn’t cut corners when it comes to maximising the Taycan’s performance. Even the entry-level 4S version has a healthy 429bhp to call upon, with the range-topping Turbo S model producing a Porsche 911 Turbo-trumping 616bhp. With the launch control engaged, all Taycans are able to accelerate to 60mph from a standstill in under 4 seconds, and the Turbo S can manage the sprint in a mind-boggling 2.6 seconds.
Despite being a bit of a porker by Porsche standards (even the lightest Taycan variant tips the scales at a hefty 2,140kg), the Taycan also feels as you’d expect from a high performance model from Stuttgart. Rufford wrote: “The temptation is to treat it gingerly because of the complicated stuff inside, but it can handle anything you throw at it. Whether you’re hard on the throttle or hard on the brakes, the Taycan eats it up and spits it out.”
He added: “On even the twistiest road, it slingshots effortlessly between apexes. This is not just a good electric sports car — it’s a good sports car.”
So impressive is the Taycan overall, the Rufford struggled to find much to dislike about the car. He admitted to not being a big fan of the fact all the systems are operated electronically, rather than through mechanical linkages, saying, “it’s nice to feel as if you’re in control, rather than just pushing buttons.” But even then, the writer suggests this may be due to him being “just a gnarly old Porsche 911 fan looking for something to complain about”.
Overall, Rufford was thoroughly impressed with Porsche’s first proper attempt at zero emission motoring, and concluded his review with especially high praise: “The [Porsche Taycan] 4S, then, is the strongest evidence yet that the European car industry has closed the gap, in both price and performance, with California’s hitherto all-conquering Tesla.”
To read his review in full, visit thetimes.co.uk/magazine/the-sunday-times-magazine.