Keen readers should know that I’m a huge Porsche fan, and that I benchmark all performance and premium cars against a comparable Porsche model. All Porsches, from the 911, Panamera, Cayenne, Macan and Boxster / Cayman all share the same qualities that’s why.
Steering that is sensitive and responsive yet not nervous at all, braking that is staggering yet composed, progressive and easily modulated and cornering that is ridiculously sharp yet also benign and easily corrected should you go beyond your limits. Yes, they’ve got it all.
My favorite? I’ll take any (or all) of the following 911s: GT3RS, GT2RS or a Turbo S.
So what happens when I strap myself inside the Taycan Turbo S? Admittedly, I am nervous as massive expectations abound. Will it feel like a Porsche, the way I know them to be? The Turbo S moniker is a misnomer: there is no turbocharger, and definitely no internal combustion gasoline (gasoline or diesel) engine in it. It’s meant to signify that this Taycan is the top-model in the range. Instead of the gasoline engine, you get two synchronous electric motors, one for each axle, that can deliver a maximum of 625 horsepower on the move. Get into the launch control mode and the Taycan Turbo S unleashes its full 760 horsepower and 1,050 Newton-Meters of torque at practically zero RPM, sprinting to 100km/h in 2.8 seconds all the way to a limited top speed of 260kmh. Staggering performance in a car that weighs a shade under 2.3 tons and comfortably seats four adults, with an 84 liter front trunk or ‘frunk’ and a 366 liter conventional rear trunk. The 93.4kw/h battery capacity can deliver a range of 463 kilometers driven sedately on a single charge in Range driving mode, helped in no small part by the 0.25 drag co-efficient. DC charging mode at the full 270 kilowatts delivers a full charge in 93 minutes, and for home AC 230/240 volt single-phase charging, 10.5 hours at 9.6kw. If you live and work within the Metro, you’ll likely only need to charge your Taycan Turbo S 2-3 times a week.
As soon as we find an open road, from crawling speed, I floor the Taycan Turbo S’ throttle and my neck snaps backwards violently. The sensation beggars belief, and before I can recalibrate my senses, traffic looms into view and I stand on the massive 10-piston / 420mm front and 4-piston / 410mm carbon-ceramic brakes to slow us down, providing another neck-snapping sensation in the opposite direction. You are never fully ready for your first drive and ride in an electric vehicle made by Porsche. And to prove to myself that the massive acceleration and deceleration wasn’t a fluke, I proceed to do it, a few more times, until I have to stop due to serious risk of whiplash related neck injury and spoiling the lovely red leather interior with my vomit. If you think your car is fast, the Taycan Turbo S will laugh at you and your puny car as it leaves you in its proverbial dust. I didn’t have the guts to try Launch Control anymore, as I feared an even bigger risk of whiplash and my lunch spilling all out.
If you think accelerating and breathtaking is unbelievable, cornering is downright ludicrous. I find an open sweeper, floor it, expect the tail to potentially step-out but the Taycan Turbo S just grips, seemingly rewriting the laws of physics. The Michelin Pilot Sport tires elicit nary a squeal of protest, thanks to the amazing torque vectoring capabilities of the drivetrain’s two electric motors and the limited slip differential. I fear for my own safety and stop, knowing that if I don’t, I will keep trying and trying to go faster and find a semblance of the Taycan Turbo S’ limits, which seem frankly unreachable for a man of modest (driving) means like myself. This sense of invulnerability and omnipotence on the road is highly addictive and should be treated with much respect. Because should you lose it, that means you’d have been going at 2-3 times the limit on public roads. That’s how fast the Taycan Turbo S is, and crucially, how easy it is to access its performance.
In the hands of a moderately skillful driver, the Taycan Turbo S will confidently keep up with one of greater experience piloting a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle on a challenging winding road or track.
Inside, the Taycan Turbo S is the first Porsche not to have a traditional mechanical instrument cluster. You have the option of as much as four large LCD displays (one for the driver, two for the center console and one for the passenger) to display driving information, infotainment and climate control. The gear-lever is gone, replaced by a small toggle switch to shift from PARK to REVERSE to DRIVE on the right-hand side of the 918-inspired steering wheel. A knob on the steering wheel allows you to choose from SPORT, SPORT PLUS, NORMAL, RANGE (giving emphasis on regenerative braking and other energy-saving programs) and INDIVIDUAL, which mixes and matches your steering, braking and throttle strategies and preferences.
It feels intimate, like a 911 inside rather than a Panamera despite being a 4-door 4-seat coupe, with typical excellent Porsche seating / driving position and good visibility inside and out and switchgear familiar to all Porsche fans, similar to the latest Cayenne, Panamera and 911 models. Rear seat passengers have ample space to slide their seats in and underneath the front seats, thanks to specially made recesses in the battery pack located underneath. This also gives it a center of gravity that’s lower than almost all Porsche models, 911’s included.
The Taycan Turbo S looks like a Porsche, feels like a Porsche, drives like a Porsche and handles just like one. Zuffenhausen has succeeded in their ‘Mission E’ concept, bringing the idea into life. The future of Porsche EVs looks very bright, promising and exciting, indeed.
A car enthusiast through and through, Botchi Santos believes that different people have different needs. He tries to find the best car for a specific audience, and spruces things up by delving into car culture, helping make the local car community vibrant and enjoyable for all. His passion for motoring is built around a belief that cars are among the top three life purchases.