Thursday, June 13, 2024

New Porsche Taycan first drive: real-world range test

All Taycans now get air suspension as standard for improved ride quality, and there’s an optional Active Ride system that is promised to all but eliminate roll, dive and squat under the obscene loads that will be put on each axle and corner.

Our economy-focused test route didn’t let us ascertain whether the new Taycan makes good on its promises of superior dynamic verve and stability, but given that the previous iteration still holds strong as Autocar’s best-handling EV today, it is highly unlikely to disappoint.

The sticking point, though, is that any dynamic gains have been made in the context of the Taycan’s inherent and inevitable heft, which Giek says highlights a paradox of EV development.

“Everybody puts in big batteries, and they’re going to weigh more and more and more,” he says. “And I think especially for Porsche, that’s not the way it should be. We like to have agile cars, sports cars, so it’s very important to have a critical view of the weight of a car.”

The latest Taycan – around 2300kg at the kerb in chunky Cross Turismo form – weighs 15kg less than before, despite offering more range, power and equipment. This is testament to a stringent focus on lightweighting throughout the development process that will carry forward into all future Porsches – because, says Giek, you “have to fight for every gram” when designing an EV.

“We have competitor cars on the market with 120kWh, 125kWh, 130kWh and up to 150kWh batteries,” he adds. “You can do this, for sure, but in the end that means you’re driving around with weight – and if you have a higher weight, you need stronger brakes, which weigh more, plus more crash structure… It’s a vicious cycle.”


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