The automotive journalists agree that the Porsche Taycan is the “best” electric vehicle on the market, if money were no object. Developed by the wizards at Weissach, the engineers responsible for 70 years of purist sports cars for road and track, the big Porsche is a welcome addition to the family tree.
The Taycan’s scale allows it to offer both respectable range and roaring performance, but not necessarily at the same time.
Porsche’s dynamic team has managed to squeeze wonders out of this massive machine, giving it a smooth yet precise ride that’s closer to a traditional sports car than a large four-door electric sedan (hence its golden status with gasoline nostalgics).
Porsche’s second purely electric model is the Taycan Cross Turismo, which gives the Taycan an expanded cargo area and a slightly raised suspension. It looks more purposeful and rugged, and is certainly more practical, with much more room for luggage. The Cross Turismo is available in 4, 4S, Turbo and Turbo S configurations. The latter is the performance champion, capable of above-average performance.
The latter is the performance champion, capable of the all-important 0-62 mph sprint in under three seconds. If you can find a place to do it safely, you’ll probably only do it once (depending on your propensity to show off).
In truth, Cross Turismo poses an excellent question: what is the point of a sports car in 2022? Formula 1 has been reduced to a complex and arbitrary set of rules, and electric motorsport still has to deal with the conflicting demands of autonomy and power. There is very little room left for the supposed romance between man and machine, the synergy that seemed so exciting at the dawn of the automotive age.
Added to this is the slow realization that fast driving on public roads is reserved for the rich and reckless, for those who have no experience and don’t expect the consequences.
In this context, the Cross Turismo is a sensible Porsche, with an emphasis on function and form, rather than the brand’s sporting heritage. As such, it is the best version of the best electric vehicle, although the Turbo S model I tested is a bit of a stretch in terms of price and power.
All models feature Porsche’s interior design and control apparatus, a three-screen system that isn’t as intrusive as the computing in some other luxury cars. The boomerang-shaped screen carrying the dials behind the steering wheel is a particular achievement, echoing the edge-less design of the modern smartphone while respecting the form language that originated in the first Porsche 911 in 1963.
A great strength of Porsche is that it can bring delightful driving dynamics to virtually any kind of car, and the Taycan is no exception. The colossal 2,245 kg weight is effortlessly balanced by the adaptive air suspension, giving the steering a fluidity and responsiveness that would be unmatched by a much lighter machine.
The controls are second to none, and the switch from ICE to EV has reduced the powertrain controls to a single lever on the dashboard.
it’s no surprise to learn that the Taycan outperforms its (conventional) rivals in the luxury sedan market. In 2020, Porsche sold more than 20,000 Taycans worldwide. And the brand keeps coming up with new variants, such as the recent Taycan GTS or even more electric Porsches, starting with the Macan SUV later this year. Before long, Porsche will also offer its first “pure” electric sports car, a two-seater that will somehow have to carry the heavy historical burden of the 911 with this new (or almost new) technology.
While we wait for the next breakthrough in battery technology, and as the era of sporty driving begins to fade, versatile cars like the Taycan Cross Turismo seem like a much better bet.