2020 Porsche Taycan

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2020
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor
September 26, 2019

Buying tip

With just a couple options, a 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo costs as much as the Turbo S, which is more powerful. YOLO, friends. Go all-in.

features & specs

4S Sedan
Turbo S Sedan
Turbo Sedan
MPG
NA
MPG
NA
MPG
NA
MSRP
$103,800
MSRP
$185,000
MSRP
$150,900

The 2020 Porsche Taycan is the benchmark for electric-car performance.

It takes longer to correctly pronounce “Porsche Taycan” than it takes to accelerate up to 60 mph—less than three seconds.

If you need to learn the correct pronunciation, which is “TIE-cahn” as in "Ticonderoga," the Taycan can hit 100 mph—less than seven seconds. If you’re interested in knowing where the word “Taycan” came from, the first all-electric Porsche sports car may very well be in another time zone.

The 2020 Porsche Taycan is pure performance and one of the quickest cars we’ve ever driven. It’s an 8.8 on our overall scale, propelled by its perfect efficiency, performance, and beautiful exterior. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

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The Taycan’s exterior suggests the kind of performance found behind the wheel. All the greatest Porsche hits are there: the 911’s hood, the Cayman’s hips, the Panamera’s window and roof line, but with a twist up front in the Taycan’s “fangs.”

Inside, the Taycan is equally beautiful but overshadowed by up to four touchscreens, a wide and curved digital instrument cluster, and shocking performance.

The Taycan uses two electric motors and a 93.4-kwh lithium-ion battery for propulsion in a breathtaking way. We’ve only driven the Turbo and Turbo S models, which take the top spots in Porsche’s lineup in luxury and performance (outside of GT editions that may come later). The Turbo and Turbo S make 616 horsepower in nearly every circumstance, but diverge at launch. The Turbo S can deliver 750 hp and more than 774 pound-feet of torque in 2.5-second bursts to propel the car up to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds (perhaps less). The Turbo does the deed in 3.0 seconds with 670 hp with alacrity—perhaps not the same savagery, though.

Both the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S use a two-speed transmission at the rear to toggle between brutal launch forces and brutal efficiency. The EPA hasn’t yet weighed in but based on our tests we imagine the Taycan’s final rated range will land around 240 miles.

The Taycan uses Range, Normal, Sport, and Sport+ modes to configure performance including steering weight, air suspension stiffness, acceleration, and even artificial sounds. It all works in concert to deliver a thrilling ride—regardless of setting.

The Taycan tips the scales at more than 5,100 pounds without passengers aboard and relies on massive stoppers to recoup energy and arrest the prodigious performance. The Taycan doesn’t hide its weight—it flaunts its ability to do everything with that much mass in an even more stupefying performance metric.

Inside, four adults will fit if they’re average builds or smaller. Bigger passengers—weight and height—will want to ride up front; entry and exit into the rear seats may compromise some integrity and back muscles.

Once aboard, the Taycan is luxurious and comfortable. Up to five screens are available in the Taycan: a 16.8-inch curved instrument cluster, a 10.9-inch touchscreen for infotainment in the middle, an 8.4-inch touchscreen for climate controls and some vehicle functions, a 10.9-inch passenger-side touchscreen for infotainment, and a 5.4-inch rear touchscreen for climate control in the rear. Only the last two are optional extras.

The Taycan Turbo’s standard equipment includes 20-inch wheels, an adaptive air suspension, rear-axle steering, LED headlights, LED interior lights, dual-zone climate control, 14-way adjustable front seats, and leather upholstery.

Hold your breath for performance—and price. The Taycan Turbo costs at least $150,000 and easily runs past $200,000 in Turbo S configurations with just a handful of options.

9

2020 Porsche Taycan

Styling

Beautiful and fast, it’s hardly fair that the 2020 Porsche Taycan exists at all.

With the Taycan, Porsche’s silky sport sedan woos us with familiar shapes but a new spin that will surely be an instant classic.

It’s a 9 on our styling scale. It’s nearly perfect to our eyes. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Much of the Taycan reads like a greatest hits from Porsche’s small car selection, with a couple of new live tracks thrown in at the end. It’s all the hits we want to hear from Porsche, in one collection, but also very familiar for a name that’s new to the brand. 

The hood profile and stance are all 911. The rear haunches? Great old 718 Cayman. In three-quarter views, a small Panamera. In profile, it’s all gorgeous.

The Taycan starts with the typical modern Porsche lighting signature in the LED headlights, but wraps a new curve around the headlights down toward the lower front bumper. The “fangs” bookend an elegant and nearly aerodynamically perfect front face that punches a very small hole in the air—Porsche engineers say they’ve calculated a very low coefficient of drag for the Taycan, which is a boon to efficiency as well as style.

From there, the front wheels are capped with negative space behind the wheel arch that’s not aerodynamically functional but creates a body-side scallop through the doors that carries through to the rear wheels. From the belt line up, the window line cribs heavily from the bigger Panamera—not a bad thing. Unlike the hatchback Panamera, the Taycan is a four-door sedan with a trunk, although its decklid is very short.

The rear is clean and horizontal, uncluttered with exhaust ports. The rear window is very small and is nearly invisible on the road, which doesn’t bode well for outward vision in the Taycan.

Under the trunk lid, the Taycan paints its rear diffusers black, which doesn’t stand out in darker colors.

Lighter colors are more expressive and the Taycan wears them well, although some wheel combinations can look a little too futuristic for our tastes.

Inside, the Taycan is just as fashionable but much more subdued. The seats can wear lashes of accent colors such as red, and a beige “leather-free leather” is available, but it’s better dark. With up to four touchscreens visible to the driver, it’s sensory overload without wild colors. Everything is beautiful and high-quality, but also a magnet for smudges. Bring plenty of window-cleaning wipes on board.

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10

2020 Porsche Taycan

Performance

Electric? Sure. Sport sedan? You bet. The 2020 Porsche Taycan is a perfect performer in top configurations.

The 2020 Porsche Taycan is the measuring stick for electric performance vehicles—for now.

We expect the competition will catch up, other automakers will join the fold.

For now, the Taycan is a perfect 10. We drove the Turbo and Turbo S models for more than 400 miles, and we’d ask to drive 4,000 more. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The 2020 Taycan is available in Turbo and Turbo S configurations—that don’t relate at all to forced-induction for the electric motors—but we expect more variants to arrive soon. For Porsche, that typically means base Taycan, Taycan S, Taycan GTS, and perhaps GT variants later.

Through Denmark and Germany, we blasted sideroads and unrestricted autobahn silently for miles, relishing the blistering acceleration and supreme cornering in the Taycan.

The Turbo and Turbo S share similar basic hardware: two electric motors, one on each axle that together make 616 hp in most circumstances. The rear electric motor uses a two-speed transmission—rare among electric cars—for breathtaking launches and longer range. The motors are powered by a 93.4-kwh lithium-ion battery stored underneath the floor, with an anticipated range around 240 miles when it’s rated in the U.S. Porsche’s 800-volt system is a first for electric cars; it can shuttle prodigious power to the motors and help charge the battery on high-speed, 350-kw chargers from zero to 80% in about 20 minutes.

Turbo and Turbo S models diverge slightly in overboost performance; the former can shove 670 hp down the driveline at launch for 2.5 seconds, the latter pushes 720 hp.

The acceleration in Turbo models from a standstill is breathtaking, just 3.0 seconds from 0-60 mph. The Turbo S model? Violent. It takes just 2.6 seconds, and is alarming for first-time passengers.

The key to that kind of blistering performance is due in part to the ultra-wide tires fitted to both models. The Turbo S uses wide, 305-mm rear tires and 265-mm fronts to plant all that power to the pavement. The Turbo wears 285-mm rears and 245-mm fronts, ideally shod with seasonal-appropriate rubber. (Our test cars wore Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 performance tires.)

The Taycan’s four-wheel independent suspension with an adaptive air suspension in Turbo models is the other magician in the room, keeping the wide tires planted on the ground and holding the super sedan together around corners. The Taycan tips the scale at more than 2.5 tons—and feels it—but the double wishbones up front and multi-link rear axle never flinch. Coupled with the optional Porsche chassis control systems, the Taycan is virtually flat in cornering with mechanical grip beyond belief from the tires and control programs to devour corners, one after the other.

Tasked with hauling all that speed to a halt are the largest brakes we’ve seen on any mainstream vehicle. Up to 16.5-inch front rotors with 10-piston calipers are tasked to stop the Taycan Turbo. For reference, the 2020 Range Rover uses 13.7-inch brakes to arrest 5,600 pounds of mass.

That stopping power is summoned from standard carbon ceramic brakes in Turbo S models or tungsten-carbide stoppers in Turbo models—presuming it gets there first. Porsche says it can recoup energy in the Taycan in 9 out of 10 braking situations, which improves overall efficiency and dramatically lengthens the life of its brakes. When friction braking is necessary, the pads stop the car confidently, although we noticed a little longer pedal travel and less immediate bite in the carbon-ceramic models than in other Porsches equipped with the spendy brakes.

The short of the long? The Taycan Turbo’s acceleration, stopping, and cornering ability have no rival in any car from a mainstream automaker. It’s perfect.   

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7

2020 Porsche Taycan

Comfort & Quality

Opulent and finely crafted, the 2020 Porsche Taycan is suitable for four but best for two.

The 2020 Porsche Taycan may be the automaker’s first four-door sedan (the Panamera is a hatchback) but it’s still ideally a two-seater. 

Adults will be more than comfortable up front, but the rear seats are cramped and small for any adult taller than 5-foot-10. Leg room isn’t only cramped, but head room is a challenge in the rear seats too. A fifth seat belt is available, but it’s only for half a human who is sliced at the poles like a pickle spear, by the way. 

Starting from an average score of five, we give the Taycan points above average for excellent front seats and exceptional fit and finish befitting a sports car that costs more than $150,000. It’s a 7. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The base seats in the Taycan Turbo are 14-way, power-adjustable buckets that are comfortable and snug. Upgrade to the 18-way adjustable front sport seats and they’re even firmer, but offer adjustable thigh, hip and back bolsters that can accommodate big bodies. Typically shod in leather, the Taycan can be fitted with synthetic leather (Porsche won’t call it “vegan,” but opts instead to call it “leather-free leather”) that’s nearly as soft as the real thing.

The front seats are low, but wide, with plenty of shoulder room for broad adults. The seating position is cribbed from the 911, which means sore knees or bad backs could have issues getting out of the Taycan. Bigger or older adults will need to prop elbows on the doors on the way out.

The rear seats are reasonable, once aboard, but getting into and out of the Taycan will be a challenge for inflexible adults. The rear seats have scant leg room, less than many small sedans such as a Volkswagen Golf, and head room is lacking for anyone 6-feet-tall or taller. The good news? Porsche’s so-called “foot garage” for rear seat riders (a portion of the underfloor batteries cut out for more foot room) works well. Once we checked our dignity at the door and clambered inside, our size 13s actually fit…but not much else.

The Taycan’s cargo space isn’t why anyone would consider the car, but it’s average for the class. In the front, a 2.8-cubic foot cargo area carries the Taycan’s plug adapter to charge in a soft-sided bag and perhaps another backpack. In the rear trunk the Taycan swallows more than 12 cubic feet of cargo, which is enough for a couple roll-aboard suitcases or big duffels.

Back inside the cabin, the Porsche Taycan is wound tighter than a drum with high-quality materials, leather, open-pore wood, and synthetic suede. It’s easy to overlook the small details in the Taycan’s interior due to the overall shape and performance of the car, but they’re all there. Peek at the door panels and count the multiple surfaces that blend seamlessly together.

Looking for a better interior that isn’t wrapped around a Bentley or Rolls-Royce badge? Good luck.

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2020 Porsche Taycan

Safety

The 2020 Porsche Taycan lacks official crash-test data.

The Porsche Taycan likely never will be tested by federal or independent crash-test officials due to its low volume and high price. We don’t anticipate that’ll ever change, so we can’t score it here. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Aside from official safety scores, the Porsche Taycan is equipped with standard active safety features including automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and parking sensors. Extra cost safety features include adaptive cruise control, driver-assist sensors that Porsche calls InnoDrive, night-vision cameras, and a surround-view camera system. 

Outward vision in the Taycan is acceptable, however the rearview is exceptionally poor due to the small rear window.

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8

2020 Porsche Taycan

Features

The 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo tests the limits of acceleration; it speeds past $150,000 just as quickly, too.

The 2020 Porsche Taycan is well-equipped and it should be for its high price. The starting price for the Taycan Turbo is north of $150,000 and the Turbo S demands more than $180,000 before options are added. Less-expensive versions are on the way, although Porsche hasn’t yet confirmed those. 

The base features in the Taycan Turbo are all good, and the list is exhaustive. The Taycan gets a standard array of a 16.8-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.9-inch touchscreen for infotainment, and below it, an 8.4-inch touchscreen to control climate functions and other vehicle behaviors. A passenger-side 10.9-inch touchscreen is on the options list and so is a rear-seat climate control touchscreen for passengers No. 3 and 4. Like every Porsche, the options list can include everything from paint-to-match colors, countless interior and exterior customization possibilities, and more. It’s an 8 for features, but none of it is cheap. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

So far, Porsche has only detailed the Turbo and Turbo S versions of the Taycan, which given the automaker’s naming convention place both models at the top of the price and luxury spectrum. 

The Porsche Taycan Turbo is equipped with standard 20-inch wheels, an adaptive air suspension, rear-axle steering, LED headlights, LED interior lights, dual-zone climate control, 14-way adjustable front seats, active safety features (that we cover above), leather upholstery, a digital instrument cluster, central touchscreen for infotainment that’s 10.9 inches, an 8.4-inch touchscreen for climate functions, and an 11-kw home charger. 

Options include everything from a passenger-side touchscreen to auburn-colored badges on the rear. What we wouldn’t skip? Porsche’s intelligent range manager that can calculate routes with available charging stations, Sport Chrono performance hardware that is required for many other options, Burmester sound, adaptive cruise control, Porsche’s active chassis system, and more that ring up more than $30,000 in optional extras. 

Long story short? It’s easy to tune up a Turbo well past $180,000, which means the standard equipment on the Turbo S (including carbon-ceramic brakes, 21-inch wheels, and more power) becomes our recommended model. And yes, it’s easy to spec up a Turbo S past $200,000—our tester Turbo S clocked in at more than $202,000, including destination, with more than $20,000 in options.

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10

2020 Porsche Taycan

Fuel Economy

The first all-electric Porsche nets a perfect score on our scale.

The 2020 Porsche Taycan is an all-electric sedan with a range of more than 200 miles. That’s a 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The EPA hasn’t yet weighed in on the Taycan’s range, but we’re confident they’ll land at more than 200 miles, which is required for a perfect score on our scale. How do we know? We nearly drained the Taycan’s range in our own testing and found that the 93.4-kwh lithium-ion battery withstood plenty of range-sinking launches and high-speed autobahn runs and still delivered 200 miles of range with less than 100-percent charge. 

Compared to other all-electric sedans such as the Tesla Model S, the Taycan’s range falls short of 300 miles or more. To that end, Porsche offers high-speed charging, up to 270 kw on compatible chargers that can charge the Taycan’s battery from zero to 80 percent in roughly 20 minutes. On Level 2 home chargers, which will be more common, the Taycan replenishes a fully depleted battery completely in 9 hours. 

Electrify America, which is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America, says they’ll have about 300 high-speed charging locations in America by the end of 2019. That number will complement the high-speed chargers at Porsche dealers nationwide, and high-speed chargers available through companies such as EVGo.  

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$103,800
MSRP based on 4S Sedan
 
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8.8
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 9
Performance 10
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety N/A
Features 8
Fuel Economy 10
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