Porsche Taycan review: The first all-electric sports car marks a first, promising start for the green future
All systems go
One foot on the pedal, and a cinematic "stimulation" sound out from just about any sci-fi flick is ignited. Or to be really specific, the exact auditory experience when a plane is running full speed ahead right before the entire body is lifted from the ground. To be clear, we're not leaving the country, we're in the Porsche Taycan — the first all-electric sports car to mark the milestone of well, the imminent future for the roads. But this in particular would tickle the fancies of performance car enthusiasts and eco-warriors alike. A mash-up that we didn't think we would see getting on together.
Porsche has certainly achieved a stellar result in that department. The switch from fuel to volts had to be a tall order, and their first product did succeed in retaining the brand's reputable engineering into a machine without any fuel. Starting with a massive production feat: the Taycan comprises of a system voltage of 800 volts, as compared to the typical 400 volts for any other electric cars.
To get it out of the way: don't compare this invention to what you knew of the Porsche prototype. As an EV, it's only fair to start out on a clean slate. The 4S we were riding in, hikes up from 0-100km/hr in four seconds, with the top speed at 250km/h. The rest of the models, namely the Turbo delivers a faster take-off, as they encompass a more powerful rear electric motor. But figures aside, this electric beauty's most understated feature lies in its quiet performance, even gentle if we can call it, which brings forth a new concern: the physiological response to operating a vehicle. Some drivers might find the silence disconcerting, while others would probably start to detest the sound of an engine roaring away after a test drive in the Porsche Taycan. We belong to the latter camp.
Straying out of the electric car mould, there will be no one-pedal driving in the Taycan. Typical in most electric vehicles, there's a high rate of brake regeneration once your foot comes off the accelerator pedal, hence eschewing the need to even have your foot on the brake pedal. In Porsche's case, they abide by their own formula, which balances between driver involvement, driving, pleasure, and recuperation. That can be activated on your own terms but that still incorporates the brake pedal in between.
There's a noticeable revamp to the typical cockpit display — with switches and buttons reduced and shifted to the driver's wheel. Where we could easily navigate, lower the vehicle, or even engage sports mode (which was a blast on the highway), from our steering wheel. In line with the sustainable messaging, leather seats are swapped out for recycled materials instead. The sports car was sure to also encompass ample room for passengers in the rear, with a special recess at the bottom where the feet would rest. Boot space wasn't spared either — with a compartment that could easily carry a pram up to two full-size suitcases.
A feature with a familiar ring? The "Hey Porsche" voice assistant, which could actually be a leg up good ol' Siri. Tell her you're feeling cold and the temperature will be brought up right away. Definitely a fitting sign of what's to come for the future.