With the introduction of this new Taycan price leader, Porsche has lowered the cost of entry by almost $40K. But has Porsche diluted the car’s capabilities too far to hit this low price?
- Porsche’s interpretation of an EV sports sedan
- Electric acceleration
- Driving position, and the way it drives
- Small boot
- Porsche ‘hiding’ the base powertrain on our test car
- The cost of options
With the 2022 Porsche Taycan pure-electric sports sedan, Porsche is rewriting its own rulebook.
Not only has Porsche thrown the electric cat among the petrol-powered performance pigeons with the Taycan EV, the company has also thrown its decades-old new model rollout cadence out the window.
When a new 911 came along, Porsche would always launch the basic rear-drive variant first, then increase performance with the Carrera 4, the S, the GT3 and the Turbo in the years that followed.
With the Taycan range, however, Porsche is seemingly doing it backwards.
We first met the Taycan Turbo S, Taycan Turbo and Taycan 4S in 2021. Then came the Cross Turismo, which is basically a wagon-ish, offroad-ish version of the Taycan. Now, 12 months after the first Taycan hit town, they’re introducing a less powerful, more affordable, rear-drive version called, simply, Taycan.
Whereas the Taycan range previously spanned $194,700 (4S) to $345,800 (Turbo S), it now kicks off $38,400 lower with the rear-drive Taycan.
That begs the question: has Porsche delivered a more affordable EV that’s still worthy of the Porsche badge, or has that quintessential Porsche essence been diluted in the process?
Externally, the base Taycan is very similar to the faster and more expensive Taycan 4S. The major differences are 19-inch alloys compared to 20s, black brake calipers not red, steel springs instead of air suspension, black sills instead of body colour, and black window surrounds instead of chrome.
As for what’s underneath, this is where the differences are more significant. The rear-drive Taycan is equipped with the same 79.3kW/h battery pack as the 4S, but its single rear axle motor delivers 240kW compared to 320kW for the 4S’s motors across both axles.
That means the Taycan is 1.4 seconds slower to 100km/h but has a slightly longer driving range on a single charge of 369km (up 4km).
Get a great deal today
Interested in this car? Provide your details and we’ll connect you to a member of the Drive team.
The test car we are driving here has been heavily optioned by Porsche. In fact, it’s carrying $40K worth of options, raising its RRP to $194,800, which is pretty much bang on the 4S. So, if you’re going to buy one, yours won’t start out like the one in our pictures.
External options include ‘Taycan S Aero’ 19-inch alloy wheels, metallic paint, LED matrix headlights, and the Performance Plus battery pack (more on that in the Driving section below).
Also, when you’re choosing your Taycan, ask the dealer if you can get one with Continentals rather than Hankooks. The former felt like it had more grip when we tested both back to back during the launch drive.
Solid paint colours are free, metallics that are free on other Taycan variants cost extra here, including this Cherry Red Metallic ($2300).
|Key details||2022 Porsche Taycan RWD|
|Price (MSRP)||From $156,400 plus on-road costs|
|Colour of test car||Cherry Red metallic|
|Options||Performance Battery Plus – $12,020
LED matrix main headlights with Dynamic Light System Plus – $3620
22kW on-board AC charger – $3500
Fixed panoramic roof – $3370
Bose surround-sound system – $2840
19-inch Taycan S Aero wheels – $2400
Metallic paint – $2300
Active parking support – $1890
Electric charging cover – $1310
Porsche Electric Sport Sound – $1050
4+1 seats – $1000
Front seat heating – $910
Ambient lighting – $890
18-way Adaptive front sports seats with memory – $800
Porsche logo LED door courtesy lights – $600
|Price as tested||$194,800 plus on-road costs|
|Rivals||Audi E-Tron GT | Mercedes-Benz EQC | BMW i4|
It’s a similar story inside, with the new Taycan closely mirroring the Taycan 4S. That means partial leather interior trim with 14-way adjustable driver’s seat and electrically adjustable steering wheel and passenger’s seat.
Dual-zone climate control is also here, along with satellite navigation, smartphone mirroring, and two USB-A charge ports under the armrest – an armrest that doesn’t stay up when you open it, by the way, which means you’ve got to hold it open while you ferret around inside.
The only difference to the 4S is the sound system. Whereas the 4S gets a 14-speaker Bose system, that’s a $2840 upgrade here.
Dimensionally, the base Taycan is the same length and width as other Taycans, but sits 16mm higher on steel springs instead of air suspension like its more potent siblings.
It also gets a larger boot, 407L compared to 366L – which has to do with the sound system. While the Taycan 4S and above get a premium Bose unit with subwoofer in the boot, the base Taycan doesn’t. Despite no front motor, the base Taycan retains the same 84L under-bonnet storage.
The back seat is big enough for two adults, but three across would be a squeeze (assuming you tick the 4+1 jump seat option that costs $1000).
|2022 Porsche Taycan RWD|
|Boot volume||Front 84L
Rear 407L (366L with Bose sound system)
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Porsche Taycan comes with three individual screens – with the option to add a fourth in front of the passenger. This Taycan has one beautiful curved 16.8-inch screen in front of the driver that serves as the instrument cluster, and has five configurable views plus built-in touchpoints to change light and chassis functions (adjustable damping).
The second screen is a largish 10.9-inch touchscreen mounted in the centre stack that houses all the usual systems, including satellite navigation, smartphone mirroring, Porsche Connect and comfort settings.
Below that is a third smaller screen that basically works as a touchpad for interacting with the sound system and air-conditioning.
For somebody used to an all-in-one touchscreen on other cars, this distributed control system takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do, you’ll find it easy to navigate.
Passive and active safety features are 100 per cent standard on all Taycan variants, so that means airbags everywhere for both rows (except the front centre airbag to stop front occupants clashing heads), and all the latest active driver-assist systems to try and keep you from harm.
That includes lane-change assist and lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, cross-traffic assist, collision avoidance and brake assist, and front and rear park assist (sensors and cameras).
The Porsche Taycan received a five-star safety rating from European independent crash-testing body Euro NCAP, but that score has not been ratified by the Australian equivalent (ANCAP), so strictly speaking Porsche Australia can’t claim it is a five-star car.
The Taycan has two ISOFIX points in the back seats for the fitment of baby seats and capsules.
|2022 Porsche Taycan RWD|
|ANCAP rating||Not tested|
This is hard to gauge on the Taycan because it has no real rivals. About the closest pure EV to it is the Audi E-Tron GT ($197K), which – because Audi and Porsche are both members of the VW Group – shares the same platform and electrical architecture.
The more expensive E-Tron GT has more power and is all-wheel drive, which makes it more of a rival to the Taycan 4S. But if we persist with it as a base Taycan rival, then the Taycan’s heightened dynamics give it a distinctive difference that will appeal to different buyer types and means these two will seldom be cross-shopped.
As for how the base Taycan’s $156K stacks up compared to the Taycan 4S ($194,700), that’s easier to answer. I think the base Taycan is a touch underpriced – or the 4S is a touch overpriced. The performance gap feels more like $25–$30K when you look at what you do and don’t get on each, and what they can and can’t do.
I’d recommend optioning the Performance Battery Plus ($12K) that elevates real-world performance into a more Porsche-like league, plus the Bose sound system ($2840) and adaptive air suspension ($4540). That, plus metallic paint ($2300), adds $21K to the overall price and gives you a ‘base’ Taycan with near enough to 4S performance (if not ultimate traction) for $16K less than the actual 4S.
|At a glance||2022 Porsche Taycan RWD|
|Warranty||Three years / unlimited km|
|Service intervals||24 months or 30,000km|
|Energy cons. (claimed)||26.2kWh/100km|
|Energy con. (on test)||Not recorded|
|Battery size||93.4kWh (434km range)
Performance Battery Plus
As for the other facet of Value for Money, the Taycan comes with a three-year warranty (come on Porsche… Five is a minimum these days) and needs to be serviced every two years or 30,000km.
Porsche claims an energy consumption rate of 26.2kW/h per 100km.
Okay, before we dive in here, we need to talk about the actual test car Porsche provided to Drive.com.au at the launch.
Two base-model Taycans were available for testing, and both had the Performance Plus battery pack that has 93.4kWh of storage and boasts 280kW of power at the motor compared to the 240kW standard.
The Performance Plus battery pack also raises available overboost to 350kW (for quick getaways) compared to the standard battery pack’s 300kW overboost.
This means I can’t tell you what the base Taycan’s powertrain drives or accelerates like because I haven’t driven it.
But I can tell you how the base Taycan handles because both test cars had standard steel springs and adaptive dampers, not optional air suspension. This machine does a brilliant job straddling the divide of road-hugging handling and luxury-like comfort, depending on which damper mode you select.
It’s not as nimble as a 911, nor is the steering as sharp or feelsome, but while that seems to be the default benchmark for ‘does it feel like a Porsche?’, this Porsche is not trying to be a 911.
Instead, the Taycan makes great use of slinging the battery weight low in the body, which keeps body roll to a minimum and makes steering turn-in respectably quick.
This is a car that is fun to drive on a winding road, and gives the driver a much better time than we have any right to expect of a car weighing 2130kg, which is 90kg less than the 4S and around 250kg less than the Turbo and Turbo S when equipped with the Performance Battery Plus.
This Taycan has four driving modes that tailor various things to suit your preferences. Range mode maximises range, obviously, so it softens throttle response and limits top speed to a maximum 140km/h – although a concerted shove on the accelerator will override this.
Normal is, well, for everyday use. Sport and then Sport Plus sharpen powertrain response and – if the active suspension management option is fitted – also sharpens the air suspension, although all Taycan variants have adjustable dampers.
Now, if we’re talking 0–100km/h times, the base Taycan takes 5.4 seconds. Our test car’s Performance Plus battery pack lowers that to 4.0 seconds.
I would dearly love to experience 5.4 seconds to feel how fast it is – and whether it is worthy of a Porsche – but I suspect Porsche is unlikely to put a true base-model Taycan on press fleet.
Still, the most basic variant’s 5.4-second time is faster than other four-door Porsches like the base Porsche Macan and base Porsche Cayenne, both of which take 6.2 seconds.
So, as base model four-door Porsches go, the Taycan is suitably rapid.
Now, touring range. The rear-drive Taycan’a standard battery pack is good for 369km, and takes eight hours to recharge (from 0–100 per cent) if you have an 11kW outlet. The Performance Battery Plus allows a claimed 434km of touring range and nine hours for a full charge.
On a 150kW fast charger, Porsche says you can charge the standard battery from five to 80 per cent capacity in 22.5 minutes at up to 270kW.
|Key details||2022 Porsche Taycan RWD|
|Engine||Single AC synchronous electric motor|
|Power||240kW (300kW overboost)
280kW (350kW overboost) as tested
357Nm as tested
|Drive type||Rear-wheel drive|
|Power to weight ratio||117kW/t (146.3kW/t overboost)
131.5kW/t (164.3kW/t overboost) as tested
2130kg as tested
So, the question is: does this rear-drive Taycan feel like a proper Porsche, or has the Porsche essence been diluted for the sake of a lower price?
The answer is yes, it still looks and drives like a 21st century Porsche. Sure, it’s not as mind-blowingly fast as other Taycan variants, but it still has the looks, the dynamism, and the style you’d expect. And I reckon it’s better value than the 4S, once outfitted with a few well-chosen options.
Just be very careful of that options list or you will quickly eat away the $40K you saved buying the cheapest variant.