Mike Espindle Mike Espindle | July 9, 2020 | Lifestyle National
The new all-electric Taycan Turbo S from Porsche presents a game changer for performance-oriented drivers who might be reluctant to hop on the alternative-power bandwagon.
My time behind the wheel of the new Porsche Taycan Turbo S was something of a revelation. Even if taken purely as proof of concept—and the vehicle is certainly more than only that—the creation of a battery-powered four-door sports sedan that drives and performs, well, like a Porsche is eminently notable in its own right.
Ultimately, electrification of automobiles is inevitable and, admittedly, a good thing. While many electric vehicles are notably fast out of the gate (the Taycan Turbo S is no exception), many lack the old-school gear-range torque availability and lightning-fast input response of traditional combustion engines. When I first began my drive, my fingers were searching for paddle shifters behind the wheel. But I quickly acclimated to the new points of driver input—wherein the accelerator and drive mode selector (located at 5 o’clock on the steering wheel) come more into play—and the Taycan Turbo S delivered the performance and thrills expected from the illustrious carmaker. Porsche has always excelled at engineering cars that perform with a degree of apparent prediction. When you drive, you get the distinct impression the car already knows what you’re after. This magic trick worked exceptionally well in the Taycan Turbo S as well—another feat of technical ingenuity.
All-electric vehicles have to emit some kind of exterior sound (usually an audible hum) for pedestrian safety. When Sports Plus mode is selected on the Taycan Turbo S, the sonic needs of the driver are satisfied beautifully. But Porsche didn’t create a “fake” engine noise. Instead, it carefully recorded the actual mechanical sounds of the power plant, amplified them and digitally processed them to provide positive driver sounds that are perfectly calibrated and accurate to the current driving situation.
As with the current top-of-line Taycan, if you play nice with the Turbo S, you can expect a respectable range of just under 200 miles between charges. But, if you “drive it like a Porsche”—humping around corners and in the less-efficient drive mode settings—your range will decrease. A big part of the navigation artificial intelligence, though, is to line up likely charge stops for you. If you change your driving settings and habits, the nav will automatically calibrate your next charge stop. Braking recharge volumes are also delivered effectively and clearly, and, charmingly, your battery range is delivered in a old-school fuel gauge format. The analog tachometer might be gone, but almost everything else you want remains. Why not drive it hard and have some eco-friendly thrills?
723 volts/129 aH/93 kWh lithium-ion pouch
Dual-motor all-wheel drive
192 miles (EPA estimate)
Typical charge time
22 ½ minutes from 5% to 80%
0 to 60 mph
Top track speed
Calibrated mechanical audio feedback
Next-gen touch-screen controls
Navigation AI presets charging stops
Photography by: Courtesy of brand