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Long-term review

Porsche Taycan 4S – long-term review

£83,580 / £100,722 / £1,073 pcm
Published: 01 Nov 2021
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    Taycan 4S 93kWh Performance Battery Plus

  • Range

    285 miles

  • ENGINE

    1cc

  • BHP

    571bhp

  • 0-62

    4s

Goodbye Porsche Taycan: the most satisfying EV to live with?

When you’re ‘tasked’ with running a former Top Gear Car of the Year winner for six months, you can be confident it’s not going to be a stinker. Surprise surprise, the 4S isn’t, but it hasn’t just been a victory lap either, there have been speed bumps along the way.

Mostly in the shape of its sister car from Audi, the e-tron GT. Is the Audi better-looking? The majority would say it is, but frankly who cares - the Taycan doesn’t have the same chiselled chops, but it’s a handsome beast nonetheless. More concerning is the handling showdown adjudicated by Ollie and Greg last month at the UK’s first EV-only track day. Long story short, the Audi took it… wasn’t expecting that.

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A-ha, “but your Taycan isn’t fitted with four-wheel steering and torque vectoring as standard, unlike the e-tron GT” I hear you cry, nasally, as you push your spectacles up your nose. Well no, actually, the e-tron GT on the fleet is an early UK car in a slightly curious spec so doesn’t have 4WS either.

We’re talking wafer thin differences in attitude at turn-in and corner exit, but still, these things matter when you’ve paid for the Porsche badge. The truth is, never take your Taycan on track (as per 99.9 per cent of owners) and never drive a similarly-specced e-tron GT, and you won’t ever be disappointed.

That’s because all the Porsche-y things are present and correct. Neck-cracking acceleration of course, but more importantly steering and brake feel (despite the latter having to delicately blend regen with pad-on-disc friction) are both superb, while the low driving position, placement of the pedals, angle of the steering wheel, even the click of the stubby gear selector are all spot on. Everything has been thought through to make the process of sitting in and operating the Taycan as pleasurable as possible.

When it comes to practicality, the size of the Taycan is a bit odd, as if it’s been designed to slot neatly underneath the Panamera rather than letting it expand fractionally to make the back seats more comfortable for adults. Porsche will argue that there will be a pure-electric Panamera before long if more space is required, but we’re impatient, so it remains a slight issue.

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No problem for my two small kids who were happily ensconced back there in their child seats. Luggage space is pretty decent (I managed several, heroic Jenga-style packing efforts) especially if you cram the nose with your soft bags, but beware the sloping bootlid, your things must be packed to accommodate the angle. Or now the the Cross Turismo exists and looks even better, you’d just have that wouldn’t you?

Other niggles include the two-speed gearbox, fitted by Porsche to improve pace off the line and efficiency at high speeds. To be fair the shift is seamless once you’re up and running, but when you want a kick of acceleration at slower speeds in one of the more docile driving modes, you have to wait for a kickdown. With electric we’re sacrificing sounds and manual gear shifting (stick or paddles) so you at least want instant torque. If Tesla can be both the range and speed kings with a single-speed, it seems like an odd choice.

Range? Not a problem – a real-world 240-miles is unexceptional these days, but already beyond the bounds of my bladder and snack requirements, and with the superb Porsche-recommended Andersen home charger now fitted I started each day with a full tank. Conclusion: about to go electric? You probably don’t need as much battery as you think.

A final big-up to the Mamba Green paint, which offset the black-hole of an interior - be brave, you won’t regret it – and the overall ownership experience, which apart from an unfortunate interface with a moped went off without a hitch. No electronic meltdowns, no build quality issues, unlike the e-tron GT.

But in the end it boils down to gut feeling. After eight months does the Taycan still feel special? Do I still think about it in the wee small hours? Does it still move the electric car game on? Yes, yes and emphatically yes.

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