Australian racing car driver Mark Webber has delivered an emphatic verdict on Porsche’s first electric sportscar, tackling the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s legendary hillclimb in a prototype Taycan on Monday (UK time).
Porsche’s first electric car to take part in the racing event, the nine-time Formula One race winner took to the wheel of the Taycan – which means “lively horse” – and which visited the UK with a stylised Union Jack on the roof.
Webber, who also won the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2015 behind a Porsche Le Mans prototype alongside Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley, was suitably impressed by the Taycan’s electric-powered torque and traction.
“The Taycan’s power delivery is awesome,” said Webber.
With a 90kWh battery, 800 volt architecture for super-fast charging times and 600 horsepower, the Taycan is certainly nothing to sniff at.
“I took part in this event in a Porsche 911 GT2 RS two years ago, so I already knew that it all comes down to power and traction,” said Webber.
“But, even for a thoroughbred racing driver like me, it is amazing how the Taycan – even though it’s still a prototype – accelerates off the start and out of the corners.”
This year’s Goodwood racing event has generated considerable interest in electric vehicles, not least when the Volkswagen ID.R smashed a 20-year-old record for the hillclimb held by a McLaren F1 vehicle in its practice run, then broke it again.
The Porsche Taycan prototype did not take part in the competition, but was a part of the Porsche Triple Demo Run, with the run making up one stop in a global debut as Porsche gears up for the Taycan’s release in September 2019.
Last Tuesday, The Driven reported on the Taycan’s first official debut on the streets of Shanghai, at which time it sported the Chinese character 和 (hé) instead of the British Union Jack.
While in Shanghai, Chinese racing driver Li Chao demonstrated the vehicle in a series of demo laps at the German carmaker’s challenging handling track at its Porsche Experience Centre (PEC) in Shanghai.
This Saturday, Swiss-born works driver Neel Jani will take the driver’s seat in the Taycan at the final event for this season’s ABB FIA Formula E in New York, completing the electric sportscar’s journey across three key Porsche markets.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.