There are two approaches within the automotive trade. An automaker will both fill each conceivable area of interest with a mannequin line (we’re taking a look at you, BMW and Mercedes) or they will promote a dozen completely different variations of some autos. Porsche follows the latter philosophy. The corporate solely sells six automobile households (911, 718, Cayenne, Macan, Panamera, and Taycan), however as of this writing there are almost 70 variants primarily based on these fashions within the US market.
It was little shock then when Stuttgart introduced a brand new model of the all-electric Taycan in January. However what we weren’t anticipating was the single-motor, rear-drive Taycan Porsche introduced for China in the summertime of 2020. This automobile now enters the US market as probably the most reasonably priced member of Porsche’s electrical lineup, and it represents an intriguing argument for patrons contemplating their first EV.
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Much less Is Mainly The Similar
The difference between the Taycan and the Taycan 4S is straightforward – the bottom mannequin has a single electrical motor on the rear axle, whereas the 4S carries one other one up entrance. Yeah, the choices sheet is a bit completely different too, however functionally, all you are dropping is an electrical motor. You will discover the identical 800-volt electrical structure, the identical two-speed computerized transmission, and the identical lithium-ion battery pack choices: a base 79.2-kilowatt-hour unit or a bigger 93.4-kWh pack, with the complicated names of Efficiency Battery and Efficiency Battery Plus, respectively.
Unsurprisingly, the rear-mounted electrical motor is identical too, even when its output is down a smidge. The everlasting magnet synchronous motor is nice for 402 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. Just like the dual-motor 4S, although, the bigger pack will increase output to 469 hp and 263 lb-ft.
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Both variant will scoot you to 60 in 5.1 seconds, with the 93.4-kWh Taycan feeling barely faster at larger speeds. On this planet of EVs, although, the bottom Porsche is positively leisurely, coming in 1.3 seconds behind the Taycan 4S and full 2.0 seconds behind the Tesla Model S Long Range. There are speedier Taycans, however there’s little arguing that the rear-drive mannequin is slower than the Porsche badge on the nostril says it ought to be.
Now, would you want a rationalization? Whenever you peg the accelerator on this rear-drive Taycan, you continue to expertise the immediacy of an EV. However whereas it should set you again in your chair, the efficiency is neither breathtaking nor the kind of factor that may catch somebody off guard – 5.1 seconds to 60 is the kind of pace that each driver can course of. It will not invigorate the motive force stepping out of a 911 Carrera S or Audi RS7, however for the individual recent off lease from an $80,000 Audi A6 or Macan S and contemplating their first electrical, the Taycan’s efficiency will likely be thrilling whereas nonetheless being approachable.
And in the true world, the usual Taycan can nonetheless dispatch most different autos on the highway. Driving round metro Detroit, our German-spec check automotive was all too pleased to ship assured blasts of acceleration when passing slower site visitors. Even at freeway speeds, dropping a motor has little impact on the immediacy of the Taycan’s energy supply.
On the similar time, we observed a peculiarity. The place different Taycan variants exhibit laborious shifts because the two-speed gearbox modifications from its on a regular basis first gear to its high-performance second gear, we struggled to really feel the upshift within the base automotive. Even when attempting to impress some dangerous conduct, the two-speed got here throughout as extra refined.
Choosing the rear-drive Porsche sacrifices some efficiency, however the tradeoff ought to be barely extra thrilling dealing with. There’s 200 kilos lacking from the entrance axle and the bottom Taycan feels extra keen to alter instructions due to it. Porsche Energetic Suspension Administration for the air suspension and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus made for tight physique motions on the turns we encountered, however by way of final agility, it was laborious to identify large enhancements over the Taycan 4S we would pushed weeks prior.
As for what impact dropping a motor can have on vary, it is laborious to say. EVs aren’t like internal-combustion automobiles – much less energy does not routinely translate to improved gasoline economic system. As we predicted in our protection of the Taycan’s debut, the rear-drive mannequin ought to broadly match the 4S, with the bottom battery protecting about 200 miles to a cost and the Efficiency Battery Plus returning about 230 miles. That stated, EPA vary estimates aren’t out there and are not essentially dependable, as real-world assessments of different Taycan variants have confirmed.
The Taycan has a robust monitor report of beating its estimated fuel economy figures in real-world driving, and our day with the rear-driver exhibits that pattern is prone to proceed. Regardless of temperatures nicely under freezing and driving that leaned towards the enthusiastic finish of the spectrum, we coated about 90 miles whereas sucking down 40 p.c of the Taycan’s cost. We’ll look forward to our electron-sipping colleagues at InsideEVs to do a correct vary check (they already did a frosty drive in the 4S), however there’s cause to be optimistic in regards to the rear-drive Taycan.
Even when it fails to carry out, although, the single-motor mannequin can nonetheless recharge at a charge of 270 kilowatts through a DC quick charger (if situations are proper), with a promised filling time of 5 to 80 p.c in 22.5 minutes. Sadly, our German-spec tester’s software program prevented us from attempting out this stage of charging and we needed to accept a splash-and-dash at 50 kilowatts.
For the reason that automotive was constructed for European mobile networks, we had been additionally unable to check the EV-specific Porsche Join options. Porsche’s US outfit has promised that this stuff, already discovered on the Taycan’s different US-market variants, will likely be prepared for rear-drive fashions when gross sales start within the spring.
Dip A Toe In The EV Pool
Essentially the most attention-grabbing factor in regards to the rear-drive Taycan, in fact, is not the one motor, however the worth. In comparison with a Taycan 4S, this $79,900 EV prices $24,000 much less. However extra intriguing is the $7,300 in financial savings (earlier than incentives) relative to a base Panamera, a automotive that is two-tenths of a second slower to 60. Porsche’s choices catalog is intensive, however there’s numerous flexibility on tools whenever you’re saving wherever from $7,300 to $24,000.
We doubt most Mannequin S customers or skilled EV house owners will think about shopping for this model of Porsche’s first EV. However as a gateway automobile for folks shopping for an EV for the primary time, the Taycan’s efficiency is ample with out being alarming, the real-world vary is satisfactory (and for the remainder, the cost pace is exemplary), and the value tag is almost approachable for the upper-middle class. Pair these info with the identical fashion, consolation, high quality, and expertise as its extra highly effective siblings and you will begin to perceive why Porsche introduced over this much less highly effective, extra reasonably priced EV.