2020 Porsche Taycan by Hennessey
This proves that there’s no car tuning project that’s too ambitious for Hennesseyby Kirby Garlitos, on
Hennessey is famous far and wide for its fully loaded tuning programs for some of the finest performance cars in the world. That’s a reputation the tuning company has earned after 30 years of delivering goods packed with jacked and juiced V-8 engines that oftentimes defy our imaginations. But just as Hennessey’s reputation for these programs is iron-clad, the tuner isn’t afraid to test the waters in other areas of the aftermarket world. Well, it’s doing just that after announcing plans to create an aftermarket program for an electric car. Mind you, this isn’t your typical electric car project, either. Hennessey isn’t creating a program for the Nissan Leaf. Instead, the tuner is setting its sights on the Porsche Taycan. As far as ambitious projects go, this one’s right up there for Hennessey, though if there’s one tuner that can pull it off, my money’s on John Hennessey and his boys. Prepare to enter a new world of EV tuning, folks. This is going to be good.
2020 Porsche Taycan by Hennessey
- Extensive aerodynamic body kit
- A more aggressive looking Porsche Taycan could be a visual treat
- Lots of aesthetic potential
Before you all get excited about the possibilities that lie in a Hennessy-tuned Porsche Taycan, a little shot of reality juice is in order. Hennessey hasn’t built its program for the Taycan yet. It doesn’t even have a Taycan on-hand to get the project the started.
Porsche’s first electric car isn’t scheduled to roll out to new owners until the early part of next year, so a lot of what makes up Hennessey’s program for the Taycan is still in the ideas phase.
There’s nothing concrete to go on at this point.
That said, John Hennessey said that his company has been planning on this type of project for a while now. All it needed was the ideal electric car to serve as its first tuning muse. That’s where the Porsche Taycan comes into the picture.
Looking at the Taycan in standard guise reveals plenty of aftermarket potential. Make no mistake, the Taycan looks like a quintessential Porsche. It doesn’t have the round eyes that’s typical of all Porsche models, and the teardrops at the end aren’t exactly design hallmarks, but the rest of the electric car’s profile is straight out of the Porsche design playbook. On its own, the Porsche Taycan stands out from the crowd.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t look better with a few aesthetic and aerodynamic additions.
Hennessey hasn’t laid out specific plans in this regard, but it did say that the Taycan’s bodywork will be tweaked to give it a sharper and edgier look.
On that end, we can at least expect aerodynamic bits like a front lip spoiler, a rear lip spoiler, side skirts, and perhaps even rocker panels. Hennessey could even throw in a small rear spoiler. That wouldn’t be out of the ordinary.
Remember, even if this is Hennessey’s first stab at tuning an electric car, other tuners have already taken that leap. Novitec, for example, already has a tuning kit available for the Tesla Model 3. That kit is mostly made up of upgrades to the exterior and interior, but it also included performance upgrades that were done through improvements to the car’s suspension.
Expect something similar with Hennessey’s program for the Porsche Taycan, though most of what we will get to see first will be the modifications made to the Taycan’s exterior. It’s an exciting thought to see what Hennessey’s capable of in this regard. This is, after all, a tuner that has never been the bashful type. It’s modified everything from the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Heck, it’s even created vehicles of its own, including the Venom F5 — one of the fastest production cars in the world, if not the fastest — and the Goliath six-by-six truck that’s based on the Chevrolet Silverado.
I don’t want my imagination to get too far ahead of my expectations, but since this is Hennessey we’re talking about, I might just let it run wild.
- Lots of premium materials
- Rich potential for personalization
- Don’t forget about the plaques and badges
As excited as I am to see what Hennessey can cook up in the exterior and performance departments of the Taycan, the possible interior upgrades are where my curiosities are really piqued.
My intrigue is centered on what kind of upgrades Hennessey can cook up for an interior that already looks stunning, to begin with. I understand that this is Porsche we’re talking about here, but the folks from Stuttgart outdid themselves with the interior of the Taycan. There are no shortages of displays in the Taycan — you can have as many as four if you wish — but the design was done in such a way that the setup doesn’t look cluttered. The cockpit, in particular, is heavy on the digital side, so if you’re a fan of pushing a lot of buttons, the Taycan’s interior is a dream come true.
Probably the best part of the Taycan’s interior is, even with all that tech, Porsche design tradition still stands out. The dashboard, in particular, retains the quintessential Porsche two-element layout made up of an upper wing and a lower wing. High-quality materials also come standard in the Taycan’s interior, including generous amounts of leather and Alcantara. You can even opt for the “Race-Tex” upholstery that’s made from recycled polyester fiber, producing far less carbon dioxide during production. The floor carpets, if you’re interested in those, are also made from recycled materials.
Knowing and seeing all this begs the question: what can Hennessey do to elevate the interior of the Taycan beyond what Porsche has already done?
The answer to that question can be a bit tricky, but we do know, based on past Hennessey programs, that the tuner isn’t afraid to build on what’s already there and make it better. So, expect more leather and Alcantara options, perhaps even those of the exotic variety. Carbon fiber surfaces should also be available, and if I’m being honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hennessey found a way to throw in its own technological spin on all the displays that are available in the Taycan. The possibilities here can run as far as your imaginations allow it, and there aren’t that many tuners that can boast an imagination as expansive as Hennessey.
Just be sure to expect some badge and plaques in the cabin, too. Hennessey loves those.
- Bigger batteries?
- Bigger motors?
- Output could reach four figures
- Performance times could go through the roof
This is where things get a bit tricky. Developing a tuning upgrade for an internal combustion engine is one thing. Hennessey can do that with its eyes closed and its hands tied behind its back. It has a 30-year track record of developing engine upgrade programs that border on insane levels. It’s old hat for the tuner.
Developing an aftermarket upgrade for electric motors, on the other hand, is a completely different story. It’s largely untapped territory and even a tuner with as much experience as Hennessey will probably have growing pains as it tries to navigate around this new frontier. That’s why, in John Hennessey’s own words, the tuning company will develop a program if there’s significant enough demand for it from customers.
It’s not an entirely accurate statement in so much as there’s already demand for it, as Hennessey himself claimed. Some of its customers have begun to add electric cars to their collections for daily driver duties, and there have been those who have asked about the possibilities of increasing the Taycan’s output beyond what Porsche was able to reach.
|2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo||2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S|
|Electric motors power||616 horsepower (670 horsepower with overboost)||616 horsepower (750 horsepower with overboost)|
|Weight||5,132 pounds||5,121 pounds|
|0-60 mph||3 seconds||2.6 seconds|
|Quarter of a mile time||11.1 seconds||10.8 seconds|
|Top Speed||161 mph||161 mph|
How Hennessey could do it is the big question. Is it simply a matter of installing bigger batteries and bigger electric motors than the ones Porsche is using on the Taycan? Mind you, the Taycan already comes with a pair of electric motors that combine to produce 616 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. Mind you more, that’s just the base output. Porsche also developed a max propulsion setting that combines with an overboost setup to increase the output to 671 horsepower. Throw in the Launch Control setup and you’re looking at an output of 751 horsepower and 774 pound-feet of torque. That’s supercar-level power, folks.
Performance times are just as extraordinary. In standard form, the Taycan Turbo can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds. With Launch Control engaged, that time drops to an incredible 2.6 seconds.
Now, imagine what kind of upgrade Hennessey can do with this setup. Bigger motors are probably part of that equation, though the extent of how bigger they could get will likely depend on what the Taycan’s platform can accommodate. Is it possible, too, that Hennessey can develop a software upgrade that can increase the output from these motors without touching them? Again, that’s a question that only Hennessey can answer, provided it already knows the answers.
Then there’s the battery. The Taycan carries a 93.4-kWh, high-voltage, lithium-ion battery that packs enough electrons to allow the electric car to cover anywhere from 237 to 280 miles on the WLTP scale. The more powerful Taycan Turbo S can go around 241 to 256 miles. Installing a bigger battery is also a possibility, but again, that would depend on what the Taycan’s platform can accommodate and how much the additional weight will affect performance.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions here. It would be presumptuous for us to even attempt to answer these questions without having an idea on how to answer it. But if there’s a tuner that can crack this code, Hennessey would be one of my first choices to do it. If it does do it, don’t be surprised if a 1,000-horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque Porsche Taycan hits our streets in the near future.
Rest assured, the tuner is already working on how it can solve this issue. Trust the process, so they say.
Can you tell how excited I am about this? I’m sure that I’m not the only one,either. It’s one thing for Hennessey to develop a tuning program for a muscle car, a sports car, an SUV, or even a supercar. It’s another thingfor Hennessey to develop its own exotic as it has in the past with the Venom. But to create a tuning program for an electric car with the possibility of performance improvements? We’re venturing into new territory here. We’re not talking about internal combustion engines here. We’re talking about a world where electric motors, battery packs, and sophisticated software that sits at the center of it all.
To its credit, Hennessey has said that it’s been planning for this venture for a while now, so it probably already knows something that a lot of us don’t. But these are just plans. Executing them is a different ballgame altogether. That’s what’s interesting about this project. It’s one of the first of its kind anywhere in the aftermarket tuning scene, and if Hennessey can pull it off, it could set a precedent for other tuners to follow.
At some point, it’s not unreasonable to imagine a world where tuning programs for electric cars exist. That’s the nature of the business. Technology evolves and everything evolves with it. Now, we wait for what Hennessey has in store for the Porsche Taycan. Whatever it comes up with, you can be sure that the rest of the aftermarket tuning scene will be watching. Check that. Everybody will be watching.
Read our full review on the 2020 Porsche Taycan.