2020 Porsche Taycan Review: ICE-breaker

Lionel Kong

So this is really the future?

Who knows, really? It’s better to savour the Taycan as a break from the past instead. The car feels like a breath of fresh air, from the moment you walk up to it and it greets you by extending its retractable door handles.

Climb in, touch the brake pedal and it boots up automatically, waiting for you to put it into “D” and drive off.

The controls and instruments feel pretty next-generation, too, with a clean haptic surface (clean until your oily fingerprints arrive, anyway) working in tandem with the main touchscreen to control everything.

The broad 16.8-inch screen that displays the main instruments is pretty much the stuff of Star Trek, and somehow you get the feeling that traditional analogue dials would have simply looked weird in the Taycan.

That visual cleanliness has a price though, because everything is buried under a menu. If you want to change where the front air-con vents are blowing, it’s tap, tap, drag, drag.

I thought it was pointless overengineering, but again, the wife thought it was magical. Clearly, the Taycan isn’t just a car, but a way of measuring how old-school a person is.

But how does it do as, you know, a car?

It’ll seat four in comfort, that’s for sure. If you have a fifth person, the drive either has to be short, or the person has to.

The roofline sweeps low so you’ll have to duck your head when climbing into the back, but once you’re there it actually feels like you have enough room to settle in for a long journey.

Porsche put little cut-outs in the battery bank for your feet, so you don’t get the slightly strange knee-up seating position in the back that you sometimes do with EVs.

Up front, the broad but slender, clean sweep of the dashboard makes the cabin feel expansive, and the car is built to terrifically high standards. If the car’s price tag made you wince, at least the plush seats and well-built interior do what they can to soothe you.

The Taycan is no SUV, of course, but the boot holds 406-litres before you drop the rear seats down…

… and a small frunk lets you stash another 84 litres of stuff (assuming you measure volume by thirst).

You don’t have to work about sportscar stuff like whether you’ll scrape the chin on a carpark ramp, because there’s a button to jack the suspension up by 20mm.

As a high performance car, it’s as practical as they come. Whether or not you feel comfortable having an electric vehicle as your only car is another matter, but one does suspect that Taycans will end up as part of their owners’ fleets.

If this isn’t your only car, then shouldn’t you be wanting a 911 instead?

Tricky question, and yes, the 911 still tugs at the heartstrings of any driving fan. This isn’t a cop-out, but the Taycan is so sorted and Porsche-like that it’s tough not to want one after driving it, and yet only the 911 is a 911, so it’s easy to end up desiring both.

Anyway, comparing the two falls into the trap of thinking that EVs are direct substitutes for ICE cars somehow. Approach the Taycan with the thought that what you want is a new approach to sportscars, and you’ll want one because it fulfills that brief so well. 

If anything, the Taycan 4S only makes you wonder what the mighty Turbo S is like, with its ability to bullet past 100km/h in 2.8 seconds and 200km/h in another 7 seconds. If that doesn’t reset your thinking about what a sportcar should be, nothing will. 

Porsche Taycan 4S (Performance Battery Plus)

Electric Motor490hp (571hp overboost), 650Nm
Battery Lithium ion, 83.7kWh (net)
Charge Time / Type9 hrs / 11kW wallbox
Electric Range “Up to” 414km
0-100km/h4.0 seconds
Top Speed250km/h
VES Band / CO2A2 / 102.4g/km
AgentStuttgart Auto
PriceS$485,888 without COE plus S$26,536 for Performance Battery Plus

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4 seat 4-door 4S (Performance Battery Plus) electric Porsche sedan taycan

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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