BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Advertisement feature
View the latest news
Long-term review

Porsche Taycan 4S – long-term review

£83,580 / £100,722 / £1,073 pcm
Published: 08 Jul 2021


  • SPEC

    Taycan 4S 93kWh Performance Battery Plus

  • Range

    285 miles



  • BHP


  • 0-62


Crash! Do electric cars need to be noisier to avoid accidents?

A month to forget for me and ‘my’ Porsche Taycan. Cruising down the road, barely fifty metres from my house, car loaded with children and chocolate eggs, a moped/Porsche interface occurred.

The rider was joining the road from between two parked cars, I was gliding along – no more than 20mph – and crash, bang, wallop. Neither of us had a hope of avoiding the other.
Thankfully, everyone was fine, including the moped rider. Shame we couldn’t say the same about our respective vehicles – his Vespa in bits, our Taycan forlorn with a squashed passenger side front bumper leaking fluid, a dented wheel arch, a wide-selection of scrapes and scratches and a popped bonnet thanks to the pedestrian protection system doing its job. Several deep breaths and the conclusion at the scene from us, and a witness, was that it was just terrible luck, awful timing, no one was to blame. 

Advertisement - Page continues below

I agreed, at the time. To be honest, my rattled brain had already moved on to grovelling phone call I had to make Porsche, who were predictably efficient and understanding. The car was picked up by the AA just a few hours later and taken back to Porsche GB HQ to assess the damage. I was loeaned a red Taycan 4S to drive in the meantime… then told to contact the insurer to tell my side of the story.
But the more I ruminated on the crash, the more I felt hard done by – how could I be held accountable for something that I didn’t have any hope of avoiding?

And then it struck me. Nope, not the moped again, but the realisation that despite the Taycan emitting (by law since July 2019) a spacey hum up to around 30mph ,the moped rider, pulling out of his front garden, across the pavement and out onto the road – just like he’d done hundreds of times before – didn’t hear us over his Vespa's parpy engine.

Well, maybe he did hear something, but he didn’t hear what his brain was programmed to register as danger – the chug of a petrol or diesel engine.
Personally, I can’t think of anything naffer than electric cars pumping out fake combustion engine noises to the surrounding area. A Zoe that sounds like a Renault 5 Turbo? A Honda e with NSX vocals? Just doesn’t sit right does it, but if that’s what it takes for poor unsuspecting Taycan drivers to avoid being peppered by scooters, perhaps it’s worth considering.

Until our ears are all fully adjusted to the electric era at least.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine