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Opinion: is a faster Porsche Taycan Turbo what anyone needed?

Ollie’s almost seen his lunch in reverse thanks to a 1,100bhp family saloon

Published: 11 Mar 2024

I’ve been lucky to drive a lot of fast cars in this line of work. But only one ever made me lift off the accelerator not because I was running out on runway (or talent) but because I simply felt sick. Properly, stomach-churningly nauseous. It was summer 2020, at the fabulous Angelsey track on the western coast of Wales. The car was a Porsche Taycan Turbo S.

I’d driven fast EVs before. Tesla Model S P100Ds, toying with Nissan GT-Rs in drag races. But something about the Porsche’s ruthless, un-sweaty composure as it shot forward triggered my gag reflex.

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Since then I’ve felt launch control in a Bugatti Chiron Super Sport. I’ve pelted Lucid’s Air Sapphire (1,234bhp) from rest to 130mph in a nanosecond. I’ve even had to look at a BMW XM In Real Life. Bleurgh. But nothing has ever pressed rewind on my digestive system as strongly as the Taycan.

And now there’s a faster one. Why?

I guess it’s like that old Henry Ford quote: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they’d have said ‘a faster horse’.” The Turbo GT is a faster horse. It’s a Taycan with better brakes, cleverer suspension, more power (and less weight if you select the Weissach Package.) It’s a family saloon car that will get from 0-62mph in 2.3 seconds or less. Repeatedly. A human will give up before the batteries or motors do.

And that should impress me. I should be effusive in my praise for the Porsche engineers. After all, I like fast cars. I like outrageous pieces of engineering like an SR-71 Blackbird, a Union Pacific Big Boy locomotive, or a Space Shuttle. There’s nothing like building a heroically OTT machine to bring out the best in mankind.

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So why did even witnessing the Taycan Turbo GT destroying the all-electric lap record at Laguna Seca leave me a little listless? I guess it’s because there’s so little that’s tangibly ‘new’ on the surface of the car that explains to my caveman brain why it’s so fast.

When I walk up to a GT3 RS my schoolboy eyes read the semi-slick tyres, the gouged doors, that vast aero package and compute how those elements help the car achieve bonkers track performance. But the Turbo GT is – like all super-EVs – a Q car. Spec it without the wing and badges and literally no-one would guess it’s got twice the poke of a Jaguar XJ220.

Plus all the usual caveats apply. Where do you use all that extra pace? How often would you appreciate getting from 0-125mph in 1.1 seconds less than a Turbo S version?

I know there’s always a market for an ‘ultimate. It’s why Mercedes went on producing V12 S-Class AMGs even once the V8s were faster, because there’s a certain buyer out there who won’t settle for anything else. More is more. And because Tesla, Lucid and even Hummer have proved there’s a demand for a 1,000bhp+ electric car, Porsche has to be seen to get on terms. After all, if you’re standing still, you’re being left behind.

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Maybe that’ll do for a Taycan. It is after all Porsche’s first foray into electric cars. A successful one too, and it competes in a market where out-and-out speed is a rich currency.

But next year, there’s going to be an all-electric Boxster and Cayman: class-leading sports cars both. And for me, just adding speed until the unwitting pilot revisits breakfast isn’t going to be anywhere near enough.

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