Porsche has announced a new entry-level version of its electric car, the Taycan. Now starting at $79,900 before incentives, the Taycan is closer than ever to the Tesla Model S.
The new model sits almost $25,000 below the next most affordable electric Porsche, the Taycan 4S, while the range-topping Turbo and Turbo S are priced from $151,000 and $185,000 respectively.
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When state and federal EV incentives are taken into account, the new entry-level Taycan could even fall below the $70,000 barrier, bringing it closer than ever to the Tesla Model S, which currently starts at $69,420.
Here is how the new Taycan compares to the 4S, Turbo and Turbo S variants:
Porsche Taycan vs Taycan 4S, Turbo and Turbo S: Performance
The biggest difference between the new Taycan and all other models in the range is how it has a single motor powering the rear wheels. This compares to the 4S, Turbo and Turbo S, which all have two motors powering all four wheels.
The lack of a front motor should reduce front-end weight, helping the basic Taycan feel lighter and more nimble on corner-entry, although we will reserve further judgement until we try the car for ourselves.
The new entry-level Taycan starts at $79,900 before incentivesPorsche
The new car's power output is 321 horsepower (240kW) when driven normally, but this is increased to 402 horsepower (300kW) when launch control is enabled. This will be plenty for most drivers and gives the regular Taycan, with launch control enabled, a respectable 0-60mph time of 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 143mph.
As with the 4S, the regular Taycan can be bought with the larger Performance Battery Plus. This increases the battery size from 79.2kWh to 93.4kWh, upping power output from 402 horsepower with launch control to 469hp, and from 321hp to 375hp during regular driving. Interestingly, despite the extra power the heavier battery means the 0-60mph time and top speed of the Performance Battery Plus option remain unchanged, at 5.1 seconds and 143mph.
Meanwhile, both versions of the Taycan 4S have a 0-60mph time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 155mph.
Both the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S come with dual motors, all-wheel-drive and the larger 93.4kWh battery pack. They have a 0-60mph time of 3.0 and 2.6 seconds respectively, and both have a top speed of 161 mph. Their maximum power outputs are 670 horsepower for the Turbo and a huge 750hp for the Turbo S, both with launch control enabled. In regular driving they both output 616hp.
The battery can be charged from five to 80 percent is as little as 22.5 minutesPorsche
Porsche Taycan vs Taycan 4S, Turbo and Turbo S: Range
Porsche hasn't yet released EPA range figures for the new model, but we can take an educated guess as the Taycan 4S is offered with the same battery size options. In that car, the smaller battery manages 199 miles of range, and the larger can cover 227 miles before running dry. These range stats compare to 212 miles for the Turbo and 201 for the Turbo S, according to EPA testing.
None of these figures are particularly impressive when compared to other electric cars, and especially to the Tesla Model S with the EPA-estimated range of 402 miles for the Long Range Plus version. However Porsche historically under-reports the performance of its cars, and the same has been found with the range of the Taycan. In one instance, a Taycan Turbo was driven 295 miles, some 94 more than its stated range.
As such, we hope to see the entry-level Taycan achieve a little more than 200 miles, and closer to 250 miles with the larger battery of the Performance Battery Plus option.
Porsche Taycan interiorPorsche
Performance and range aside, all models of Taycan benefit from Porsche's sporting dynamics and a cabin that is of superior design and quality to that of Tesla.
The German cars also get an impressive infotainment system with Apple CarPlay baked in, front and rear trunks, and access to the fastest charging of any electric car on sale today, at a rate of up to 270kW. This means charging from five to 80 percent can take as little as 22.5 minutes. They also all come with three years of free access to the Electrify America charging network.
All models of Taycan can be bought with a pair of touchscreens for driver and passenger, plus a central touch screen for climate control, and an optional rear touch screen for passengers to control their own climate. Other options include 14-way electrically adjusted seats with massage system, head up display, and a wide range of exterior color and interior trim options.