What the heck is the Porsche Taycan?
For the past couple of days, the Internet has been swamped with something called the Taycan. Not a common word and certainly a unique name, would not you say?
Only a week ago, as part of the “70 years of Porsche Sports Cars” ceremony, Porsche revealed that their new car, thus far referred to using the Mission E corporate designation, will be called the Taycan. This will be the first all-electric Porsche and an evolved version of the Mission E Concept we learned about on the first public unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show three years ago.
If you are wondering why Porsche would want an electric five door superhatch that is a tad smaller than the Panamera, look no further than the Tesla Model S. This project is a Porsche stab at the favourite electric car and now it officially has a new name.
Any numbers in the name? No! Hidden messages? Yes!
What made them go for the Taycan name is the sheer desire to add emotional value to the first Porsche electric car.
A love it or hate it moment for some!
Porsche did not only reveal the name, but they actually published a video (you can watch it here - you ought to) which will teach you how to pronounce the word Taycan.
If you did watch the video (again, you should), you may have guessed why the Mission E received a real name and not just a cool number. Mission E had to have a soul, something meaningful and something which electric cars are lacking, or at least that is what Porsche PR team obviously think. What made them go for the Taycan name is the sheer desire to add emotional value to the first Porsche electric car. Taycan is a Eurasian name and loosely translated it means “lively young horse,” which is a reference to “the imagery at the heart of the Porsche crest, which has featured a leaping steed since 1952.”
In fact, all Porsche names do evoke a spiritual and emotional aura (sometimes associated with wilderness). Let Porsche tell you more about the meaning of the names of their cars (I hope real Porsche enthusiasts already know this stuff):
- the name Boxster describes the combination of the boxer engine and the roadster design,
- The Cayenne denotes fieriness,
- the Cayman is sharp and agile,
- the name Panamera is inspired by the Carrera Panamericana long-distance race,
- the name Macan is derived from the Indonesian word for tiger, with connotations of suppleness, power, fascination, and dynamics.
And now, we have the Taycan - a lively young horse. Cool, I guess.
If you are still unsure how to pronounce it (and you better learn to do so as the Taycan is going to replace a lot of cars in your dreams), I found a neat explanation to help.
You can pronounce Taycan as “Tie-Kahn” - tie as in a neck tie and Kahn as in Khan Noonien Singh from Star Trek. Better?
What is the first electric Porsche Taycan all about?
Although we have to wait till the end of this year to see it in its production form and perhaps a year and a half to see it on the streets of Europe and the U.S., we already do know a thing or two about the Taycan.
“Our new electric sports car is strong and dependable; it’s a vehicle that can consistently cover long distances and that epitomizes freedom,” Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, said.
Mr. Blume gave us a soulless explanation, something nobody expected considering that Porsche PR team are doing everything they can think off in order to instill emotions and life in the Taycan electrons. Nonetheless, this explanation does convey seriousness and touches upon all of the most important character traits of the new Taycan. Although we have to wait till the end of this year to see it in its production form and perhaps a year and a half to see it on the streets of Europe and the U.S., we already do know a thing or two about the Taycan.
Let’s elaborate on Blume’s points and you’ll get it, too.
Porsche crafted an all-new architecture for the Taycan. It all started before 2015 and the official unveiling of the gorgeous Mission E Concept. Then, in Frankfurt, we learned the car will be made of aluminum, steel, and magnesium. It will feature a revolutionary charging system and two permanent magnet synchronous electric motors with a combined output of 600hp. The one at the back will be more powerful giving the Taycan a rear-biased AWD system and evoking dynamism usually associated with RWD cars. This is crucial as Porsche engineers need to give the Taycan all that alluring driving scent Porsche cars always have. It is easier to achieve that with ICE. They faced a whole lot of different challenges to achieve that driving allure with an all-electric car.
A couple of years ago, I was working on an article on Dodge history, and at the time I found out that the noun dependability did not exist before one guy invented it in 1914. That guy was Theodore McManus, Dodge PR - impressive, right? It means reliability, trustworthiness, even faithfulness. Obviously, the Porsche Taycan will be dependable, more so than Dodge cars if you ask me.
What could Blume have meant by dependable?
First the regular stuff - it will work as long as it is charged and it will get you where you need to go. However, Blume might have used this word to provocatively refer to the Tesla Model S performance. See, ever since they started working on the Mission E (now the Taycan), Porsche officials have been saying that the Tesla Model S simply cannot give the same promised performance results at all times.
Stefan Weckbach, Head of Battery-Electric Vehicles at Porsche stated the following when asked about the Tesla Model S sub 3 sec 0-60 mph time:
“But only twice – the third attempt will fail. The system is throttled. Porsche drivers won’t need to worry about anything like that happening. The Mission E will offer reproducible performance and a top speed which can be maintained for long periods. And that’s not all. The longitudinal and lateral dynamics of the Mission E will be typical of a Porsche and represent a real treat for any driver.”
Yes, the Porsche will do 0-62 mph in 3.5 seconds regardless of battery levels (of course not at zero) or battery temperature. It will also do 155+ mph. And not only for a few minutes, but it will be able to sustain that speed for a long time - a trait made possible with the help of smart transmission with two gears where the “second speed” is actually best suited for driving on the highway. No, electric cars usually do not have two gear transmission.
Consistently covers long distances?
Even back in 2015 with the first Mission E Concept, Porsche promised a range of 311 miles. Now, they are at 300 mile which is still good. Real world will probably slash that number to sub 250 miles, I am sure. Although this is not as good as with some Tesla Model S cars, which promise and deliver 279 miles, the distance is not the main point here. The point is that the Taycan “epitomizes freedom” on a different level.
Back in 2015, Porsche launched the Mission E Concept with this motto:
“Potential Porsche full-electric car customers don’t only want to drive fast. They want to charge fast too.”
In order to achieve just that Porsche promised that 80 percent of battery capacity will be rechargeable in 15 minutes. At the time, this was only a promise. Heck, even Dr. Stefan Weckbach, Production Manager for the Taycan did not know how to achieve this at the time.
“There’s a big discussion at the moment between car makers and governments to get the infrastructure. If the government invest it must be in the right technology, which is not 480 volt,” Weckbach said.
And remember that Germany and the EU planned to have only 480V charging systems at the time. To achieve what was promised, the Taycan needed to have 800V charging systems. So, not to disappoint, Porsche started collaborating with Mercedes, BMW, Ford, and Audi in the hopes of developing a more suitable charging network. The main goal is to have an electric charger every 75 miles in Continental Europe. And there, the Taycan will be able to use all of its charging potential. We might not be as lucky at first but bear in mind that the Taycan will be rechargeable at almost every imaginable charging point nevertheless.
To answer the question posed in the title, I can only say that the Porsche Taycan is the first all-electric Porsche car - a step forward in terms of design, sophistication, usefulness, dependability, and speed of electric cars. It can drive longer, charge faster, corner more eagerly and provide a soulful experience for anyone behind the wheel. Official photos are not available yet, but you should check out our coverage of the Mission E Concept and the Mission E Cross Turismo (a crossover CUV knock-off Porsche made to feel the market pulse for something more adventurous). The Taycan will undoubtedly resemble the Mission E Concept. Last piece on Porsche electric dedication: Porsche will not make the Taycan with an ICE. Ever.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Porsche Mission E.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Porsche Mission E GTS.
Read our full review on the 2015 Porsche Mission E Concept.
Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo Concept.
Read more Porsche Taycan news.
Read more Porsche news.