With the launch of the Taycan looming closer (this September), Porsche’s first fully electric car and potentially its most significant fresh new model since the Cayenne, the German automaker is priming its PR machine for the battle ahead.
It has triangulated that China is to be the sites of one of its first preemptive strikes. Shanghai, specifically, as the metropolis - along with Beijing and other cities there - are seen as one the most growth markets for the brand with sales of most high-end vehicles there already being electrified models.
Soon, China’s emissions regulations and zero emissions incentives will spur the mass adoption of electric vehicles at both the high and low ends of the price spectrum. Obviously, Porsche is fully intending on gaining a foothold on the former. Porsche has already announced it would double the Taycan’s original production run of 20,000 units due to high interest. And that’s even before final pricing has been confirmed.
The prototype seen here cruising along Shanghai roads on a steamy summer day looks to be in its late stages of pre-production development as it casually poses alongside city landmarks such as the Xintiandi, Peace Hotel, and the Bund.
Barely camouflaged and nearly void of any attempts to cover up its most defining physical characteristics, we can assume this to be the Taycan’s final form, roughly. And we are so pleased that many of the elements so praised in the Mission E concept have been carried over.
The Taycan will no doubt be smaller than the Panamera - narrower, lower, shorter overall - while also likely being a four seater with slightly compromised headroom due sporty sloping roofline. Despite its coupe-like profile, the car isn’t a liftback like the Tesla Model S but features a traditionally hinged boot that opens from its belt-line.
Over in Zuffenhausen, the company has gone to great lengths to make sure the car, despite being fully electric and lacking many points of feedback to the driver, handles and feels like a Porsche should, making full use of its factory motorsport driver line-up, including Mark Webber, to fine tune the car’s dynamics.
Piloting the pre-production Taycan through Shanghai was Li Chao, a racing driver in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia series, who was impressed by the car overall, saying “From uncompromisingly sporty to surprisingly comfortable, the chassis of the new Taycan covers a wide range and successfully combines the precise handling of a sports car and the long-distance comfort of a saloon.”
Performance is expected to be pretty wild thanks to the dual electric motors layout. That, paired with the low centre of gravity and Porsche’s handling expertise, and the Taycan would very well be a contender for the world’s fastest production electric vehicle.
Powering those motors is an underfloor 85kWh lithium ion battery built into a bespoke EV-specific platform. At full whack, the car will deploy a shade under 447kW and some 900Nm to the road. Porsche is also expected to use lightweight Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymers (CFRP) liberally in its construction, improving its power to weight ratio and structural rigidity.
Under normal conditions, we’re made to expect around 400km of range from a fully charged Taycan, and Porsche is already deep into an 800V/320kW high speed fast charge solution that could reduce the wait time significantly, needing roughly four minutes plugged in to add 95km of range.
Importantly, the Taycan will support the open CCS charging standard, allowing it to make use of public EV charging stations and third-party locations and infrastructure instead of being tied of a proprietary system.