Originally shown in 2015 as a concept called “Mission E”, Porsche’s first electric vehicle (EV) now has a name and a production plan. Dubbed the Taycan (pronounced “tie-con”), Porsche is planning to start production of the electric sports sedan in 2020. While Porsche has had several successful implementations of its e-Hybrid technology in everyday cars like the Panamera, the Taycan marks something special for Porsche—it’s a glimpse into how the brand reads its own future.
Indeed, the most interesting element of a concept vehicle is usually less about the actual proposed vehicle (few end up looking the same once they hit the road) and more about how the design manages to suggest the next generation of a brand or model (the Genesis Essentia or the Lagonda Vision are great examples of this). With the Taycan, Porsche is showing a commitment to EVs by positioning one as part of its core lineup.
Though cars like the 911 aren’t going away anytime soon, the reason Porsche has been able to weather 70 years of producing enthusiast cars is because it has adapted to the changing environment. Tesla has proven that there is demand for EVs, and any brand will need to have them front and centre in any long-term product plan—and just as the Cayenne helped Porsche break into the SUV market, the Taycan opens up possibilities for the brand in this new phase of electrification.
With the Taycan, Porsche is showing a commitment to EVs.
Final specifications will be announced closer to the launch of the Taycan, but the anticipated numbers look very promising. The platform is brand new will be shared with other EVs within the Volkswagen Auto Group, including Audi and Bentley. While we can expect several models, Porsche has shared plans to create a version with more that 600 horsepower (440 kilowatts) via a pair of electric motors offering all-wheel drive. With a planned 0 to 60 km/h time of 3.5 seconds and a maximum range of over 500 km, the Taycan will charge via an 800-volt platform and Porsche plans for quick-charging that could provide 100 km of driving in just four minutes.
According to Porsche, the name Taycan is derived from the Turkish tay meaning “colt” and canlı meaning “lively,” and was selected in part for its connection to the horse on the Porsche crest. While pricing has not yet been announced, the Taycan will slot between the Cayenne and the Panamera in Porsche’s line up. Looking at current pricing, that places the Taycan somewhere between $75,000 and $100,000, which is directly in line with pricing for cars like the Tesla Model S, which starts at $88,950.
While brands like Nissan, Chevrolet, and BMW have been in the EV game for a while, not only is the Taycan a direct shot at the Model S, it’s also a full effort on Porsche’s part to place an EV squarely in their model range, right alongside some of their best-selling vehicles. With the EV market growing hotter by the day, it will be very interesting to watch the scenario continue to develop and change as Porsche gets closer to the launch of their first EV.
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