After several years of concept art, name changes, conservative trickles of information, and the occasional photograph, Porsche has finally unveiled the production version of its first all-electric car. Porsche revealed the Taycan electric sports car to the world on Wednesday, during a special event that took place on three different continents simultaneously. The 2020 Porsche Taycan is expected to be the first in a long line of electric vehicles for the German automaker.
2020 Porsche Taycan
Originally named the ‘Mission E’ back when the concept was first revealed, the four-seater Taycan is aimed at buyers who have never owned an electric vehicle before. Porsche plans on starting out with two variants, with more to come at a later date. The Taycan Turbo will start out at $150,900, and the Taycan Turbo S will start at $185,000, putting them far past the reach of most buyers and capitalizing on the luxury and exclusivity that makes Porsche so high-end.
Able to rocket from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds or less, these all-wheel-drive machines are built to dominate on the road or racetrack. Its top speed has been clocked at 162 mph. The Taycan comes with a unique two-speed transmission that provides a higher gear to use when cruising the highway, allowing for better efficiency and range. It also boasts an unusual regenerative braking system where the system only activates when the brake pedal is pressed, rather than whenever the driver lifts their foot from the accelerator, like in most other electric cars.
Designers managed to maintain the Porsche’s classic look thanks in part to the flat battery seated along the car’s bottom. In fact, the aerodynamics on the Taycan are even better than those of the classic Porsche 911, partially because of the teardrop-shaped headlights that channel air around the sides of the car to the back.
According to Porsche, more than 20,000 have already been ordered, and the company plans on manufacturing 40,000 cars a year.
A Few Surprises
So what were we surprised about when the unveil finally occurred?
First would be the actual design. The final look is a lot closer to the Mission E concept than most people expected, especially considering the many changes we have seen the car go through over the years. That is not necessarily a bad thing; the Taycan is certainly a beautiful car.
Second would be the price. When most people think of Porsche, they also think of words like ‘luxury’ and ‘expensive’, but $150,900 is way, way out of the ballpark. This is not the sort of price that a company puts on a car that they want to sell in any great quantity. Cheaper versions of the Porsche Taycan will eventually come, sure, but we have no idea when that might be, or even how reasonable those prices will be when they arrive.
Third and finally, there is the range. The estimated max WLTP range of 256 miles on the Taycan Turbo S is really not that impressive, considering that the Tesla Model X, Model 3, and Model S all beat it for a lot less money. Come on, Porsche. I expected a little more from you here.
(The use of ‘Turbo’ in the name of these cars is bound to start arguments as well, but that is another issue entirely.)