Sports car driving characteristics are typically a low priority for electric cars, but the Porsche Taycan makes driving fun paramount. Porsche used battery power as an opportunity rather than an excuse, building a four-door vessel designed for human engagement instead of autonomous, soulless transport. While its maximum EPA estimated range of 227 miles is easily bested by competitors such as the Tesla Model S and Lucid Air, the Taycan drives as a Porsche should: with imperious confidence and control. From the 402-hp single-rear-motor base model to the absurdly quick 750-hp Turbo S, every Taycan uses a two-speed transmission that balances epic acceleration with highway cruising range that exceeds expectations. There’s also a wagon version of this sedan, dubbed the Taycan Cross and Sport Turismo, reviewed separately. Thanks to an 800-volt architecture, the Taycan can charge at a rate of up to 270 kWh on a powerful-enough DC fast charger. A low-slung driving position and 16.8-inch curved display help complete the typical Stuttgart driving experience.
What’s New for 2023?
Porsche turns up the heat on not just 2023 Taycans, but also for all previous models, with an update to the vehicle’s battery and charging algorithm that helps increase range and charging speeds. Porsche says the Taycan will now precondition its battery to a higher temperature and, as a result, the car will reach its max 270 kWh charge at a higher state of charge. This also comes with a slight bump in the overall range, but we’re awaiting an official rating from the EPA. The infotainment display has also been redesigned with a more colorful and quicker user interface as well as wireless Android Auto—and the ability to search for charging stations using charging-station output as a filter. Previously only an option for the Taycan GTS, Porsche’s Variable Light Control is now available with any Taycan equipped with a panoramic glass roof. This allows the driver to toggle the roof from clear to opaque electronically, the better to control scalp overheating. The painted 19-inch Aero wheels have been discontinued.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Taycan Turbo S
While the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S offer performance that’s on par with supercars, we’d recommend the more affordable all-wheel drive Taycan 4S. The 4S comes with a 522-hp powertrain, 19-inch wheels, an adaptive air suspension, a partial leather interior, and keyless entry. To keep the cost in check, we’d skip all of Porsche’s many personalization options, but we would upgrade to the Performance Battery Plus, which increases the size of the pack and ups the combined horsepower rating to 562. The Performance package is also a must as it makes the Taycan more entertaining to drive: The rear-axle steering and torque vectoring improve agility, the Sport Plus drive mode optimizes performance, and the active anti-roll bars aid stability. We’d also recommend taking advantage of the Porsche Experience Center.
EV Motor, Power, and Performance
Most Taycan models feature dual electric motors, with one powering the front wheels and the other powering the rears. They produce separate outputs that vary by trim level. The 4S generates 522 horsepower with the smaller battery and 562 horses with the bigger one. The big juicer comes standard on the top models, the 670-hp Turbo and the 750-hp Turbo S. The base model makes between 402 and 469 hp, depending on the battery size, but it’s rear-wheel-drive only. The sweet spot is the 590-hp Taycan GTS with 626 pound-feet of torque. All Taycan models also have an innovative two-speed transmission that provides a thrilling shift during hard acceleration. We’ve driven the Taycan 4S and were impressed by its prompt acceleration (hitting 60 mph in 3.4 seconds) as well as its point-and-shoot handling. However, we wish it had a more responsive brake pedal, especially since Porsche chose to forgo one-pedal driving. Those with a serious need for speed will be blown away by the Turbo S’s rocket-ship takeoffs. The version we tested hit 60 mph in just 2.4 ticks and cleared the quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds at 130 mph. A Model S Performance with Cheetah mode matched that blast to 60 mph; a Model S Plaid destroyed the Porsche in acceleration. The Taycan’s ferocious acceleration, along with the car’s low-slung driving position and precise steering, is what makes it special among electric vehicles. And it’s comfortable too. Even rolling on 21-inch wheels with low-profile tires, another Taycan Turbo S we drove never felt stiff or harsh.
More on the Taycan Sedan
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The Taycan’s driving range is unremarkable compared with that of the Tesla Model S, which can crest 400 miles on a charge. The Porsche’s ratings range between 199 and 227 miles, depending on the battery size and electric motors. Every model features an 800-volt architecture that allows a peak charging rate of 270 kilowatts. Models with the larger battery—Porsche labels this pack 93.4 kWh, but only 83.7 kWh are useable—can be charged from 5 to 80 percent in a claimed 23 minutes. However, 800-volt DC fast chargers are rare, and peak charging rates aren’t very informative, as we examined in a comparison test. Charging at a 50-kW DC fast charger takes 93 minutes, according to Porsche. While 270-kW and 50-kW fast-charging capability is standard, 150-kW charging is an option. We experienced the real-world variables in charging during our 11-car, thousand-mile EV1000 rally.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
The most efficient Taycan is rated at up to 79 MPGe combined. By comparison, the Tesla Model S Long Range is rated at 120 MPGe. When driven on the highway, the Porsche is rated at up to 84 MPGe and the Tesla is rated at up to 115 MPGe. We tested the Taycan 4S with the large battery on our 75-mph highway route and observed 65 MPGe. We conducted the same test with a 2018 Model S 100D and observed 91 MPGe. We also saw a 2020 Taycan 4S achieve 180 miles of real-world range on our aforementioned highway test. For more information about the Taycan’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside the sleek-looking Taycan is a tech-laden environment. The design is ostensibly simple and recalls what we’ve seen in other Porsche models. As expected, the interior can be covered in a range of rich materials and different color schemes. There’s a long list of luxury options, including four-zone climate control, massaging front seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats. The Taycan comes standard with 2+2 seating, but there’s an option to add a third spot in the back if desired. We found the electrified Porsche’s rear accommodations and storage space to be a bit lacking, and we didn’t enjoy having to maneuver into the low front seat. From behind the wheel, though, the view out is excellent.
The Car and Driver Difference
Infotainment and Connectivity
There’s no shortage of screens inside the Taycan, but there is a shortage of physical buttons and knobs. Along with a curved 16.8-inch display for the gauges, there are two centrally located touchscreens that control the infotainment system. The top one is integrated into the dash and measures 10.9 inches. It provides access to important functions. The 8.4-inch touchscreen below it enables users to adjust the climate settings, check the battery status, input navigation details, interact with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features, and open and close the trunks and charge ports. Another 10.9-inch touchscreen is available for the front-seat passenger, and there’s an optional 5.9-inch touchscreen in the back seat that controls the rear HVAC and seat heating.
How to Buy and Maintain a Car
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Every Taycan is equipped with standard driver-assistance technology that includes forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking as well as lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist. Of course, Porsche also offers more advanced tech for a price. For information about the Taycan’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Key safety features include:
- Available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
- Available remote-controlled parking
- Available night vision
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Porsche provides a competitive warranty plan that’s comparable with what other luxury-EV marques offer. However, coverage of the Taycan’s electrical components is capped at eight years or 100,000 miles, whereas Tesla offers unlimited mileage for the same amount of time.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers eight years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S
front- and rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 4- or 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED
$204,330 (base price: $186,350)
2 permanent-magnet synchronous AC
255 and 449 hp, 325 and 450 lb-ft; combined output, 750 hp, 774 lb-ft
93.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
1-speed direct drive (front), 2-speed automatic (rear)
Wheelbase: 114.2 in
Length: 195.4 in
Width: 77.4 in
Height: 54.3 in
Cargo volume: 16 ft3
Curb weight: 5246 lb
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.2 sec
60 mph: 2.4 sec
100 mph: 6.0 sec
150 mph: 15.2 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 2.9 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 1.1 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 1.6 sec
¼-mile: 10.5 sec @ 130 mph
Top speed (mfr’s claim): 162 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 155 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.99 g
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 68/67/68 MPGe
Range: 192 miles
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
2021 Porsche Taycan PBP
Vehicle Type: rear-motor, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
Base/As Tested: $87,030/$96,830
Motor: permanent-magnet synchronous AC; Power: 469 hp; Torque: 263 lb-ft; Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 83.7 kWh; Onboard Charger: 11.0 kW; Transmission: 2-speed automatic
Suspension, F/R: control arms/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 14.2-in vented disc/14.1-in vented disc
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4; F: 225/55R-19 103Y NF0; R: 275/45R-19 108Y NF0
Wheelbase: 114.2 in
Length: 195.4 in
Width: 77.4 in
Height: 54.9 in
Cargo Volume: 17 ft3
Curb Weight: 4820 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 4.7 sec
100 mph: 10.3 sec
1/4-Mile: 12.9 sec @ 115 mph
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 5.1 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 1.9 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 2.6 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 147 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 159 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.89 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 85 MPGe
75-mph Highway Driving: 97 MPGe
Highway Range: 280 mi
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 75/71/80 MPGe
Highway Range: 225 mi
More Features and Specs