With the Taycan, Porsche levels its electric range down and abandons all-wheel drive to tighten costs. But entry-level does not mean “on the cheap”, especially when driving pleasure is still at the center of the priorities.
Until recently, the Taycan range started a little below € 110,000 with the 4S version. A big ticket which placed the electric family of Porsche almost at the price of a 911 and well above a Panamera (95,600 €). To expand its audience a little, the brand decided to introduce at the beginning of the year a two-wheel drive version soberly called Taycan, with the main interest of reducing the entry ticket by more than € 23,000: the new come (Porsche insists on the use of the masculine for its sedan, go figure) is indeed displayed from € 86,250, or nearly € 10,000 cheaper than a Panamera. The democratization of electricity happens even with luxury brands!
Technically speaking, the Taycan dispenses with the front engine found on all other trims and just keeps the 4S’s rear unit. The power is 326 hp (408 hp with overboost) or 380 hp (476 hp overboost) when the optional Performance Plus battery of 93.4 kWh is chosen. Question performance? We can count on a 0 to 100 km / h in 5.4 s and a maximum speed of 230 km / h, enough to see coming on the road, where the overruns are already flashy. Simply, we do not find the catapult effect of the overpowered Turbo and Turbo S versions, where the acceleration becomes physically hard to take. And if the Taycan loses the advantage of all-wheel drive on slippery roads, it is far from demerit in sending power only to the rear wheels.
Behavior à la carte
To convince us that an electric wagon weighing more than 2 tons (2130 kg empty with the big battery, officially) can also be fun and in its place on the circuit, Porsche had prepared some drifting exercises for us on the tracks of the center. Bosch test. First observation: although being the least powerful of its range, there is plenty to smile like a kid as soon as you let go of the Taycan’s horses and disconnect your electronic aids. On a wet track, once you have understood the limits of the car and understand its mode of operation (the pachydermal weight induced by understeer before the rear stalls thanks to the torque when you crush the accelerator), it is even It is possible to easily slide beautifully and regain that gratifying feeling of absolute control characteristic of circuit driving.
As for maintaining said slips, it is however only your talent that will dictate the outcome of the drift! Once the aids are reconnected, the Taycan amazes with its stability. Even by forcing his hand, he does not budge from his path and is always safe and reassuring. And if he very cleverly hides his pounds, he can not fight against the laws of physics which irreparably pull the car out of the curve when the aids are connected and we are too optimistic. .
For the rest, the Taycan propulsion is essentially identical to the 4S version tested recently. Its balance and driving precision are there, the very low center of gravity and the rear steering wheels work wonders on the road, the feeling behind the wheel is always closer to a sports car than to a four-seater and four-door wagon. … In short, the Taycan is a real Porsche. We can only note a steering a little less faithful than in the four-wheel drive version, perhaps because of the 19-inch rims here, which go hand in hand with a tire with a slightly larger sidewall than on the 20 or 21. Our test model was also fitted with the air suspension, which is an option on this entry-level variant, but which we cannot recommend highly enough as it gets along with it to offer very good comfort in mode. normal while knowing how to be rigorous in Sport and Sport Plus modes.
Cozy and technological cocoon
The quality of the interior? At the level of the other productions of the mark, that is to say very good, especially with extras such as the extended leather, the glass roof and the Burmester sound system, which will advantageously replace the one delivered as standard, a little shy. The space for rear passengers is decent, but the largest will still have to deal with limited headroom. The only real regret ultimately comes from the ergonomics, a little complicated with so many screens (the passenger can even have his touch screen, optional) especially if they decide to break down for an unexplained reason, then we cut ourselves off from vital functions such as the air conditioning or even the car settings. We lived it for 20 minutes where the multimedia system decided to bug without providing any error message, before returning to normal. Nothing too bad and this is mostly a problem which does not concern Porsche in particular but which can affect any car with a lot of technology on board. Apart from this small setback, the Taycan was more than pleasant to live with and it was difficult to return the key at the end of the test.
Porsche made a very good marketing choice with this entry-level model, especially since the Taycan is already selling well in France since the manufacturer has sold twice as much as Panamera in 2020, despite a difficult year. Above all, it will perhaps interest more buyers than the more powerful versions: the 4S which was until then the cheapest version was preferred by 60% of buyers, knowing that the average price of the Taycan range is 158,000 €, options included. It’s a safe bet that this number is set to decline in the years to come and that the two-wheel drive Taycan will carve out a good slice of the pie. The proof with our test model, already well equipped, posted 112,858 €. In any case, that’s all we want to Porsche, which is today one of the few manufacturers to offer an electric (almost) as captivating to drive as its thermal models, whose qualities are no longer to be demonstrated.
A big thank you to friends Thomas (Worldsupercars on YouTube) and Kwamé (Planete GT on YouTube) for their good humor and their help with the images.