With just over a month left until its global debut, pre-orders for the Porsche Taycan electric sportscar – which it is understood will be released in three variants – have surged to 30,000.
This is 50% more than Porsche’s original first year target run of 20,000 Taycans, and more than the entire number of reservations for fellow automaker Volkswagen’s electric ID3 hatchback (the latest count from VW sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackmann in mid-July being 22,000).
The numbers, which no doubt justify the German premium carmaker’s decision to double its first year production run to 40,000 in January, were confirmed by Porsche’s HR director Andreas Haffner at an event in Zuffenhausen, as reported by German news site Handelsblatt on Sunday (Euro time).
“There are 30,000 orders for the Taycan,” said Haffner with a nod of agreement from production boss Albrecht Reimold (translated from German).
With a 2,500 euro ($A4,050 converted) deposit made for each pre-order, these are serious buyers too.
If all pre-orders for the Taycan, which has been impressing crowds on a tour across China, New York and the UK ahead of its official debut in September, successfully convert to sales, it could beat sales of Porsche’s more iconic models such as the 718 Boxster and the 911, which sold 24,750 and 35,573 units respectively in 2018.
It could also mean it becomes a serious contender against EV pioneer Tesla’s flagship premium electric vehicle, the Model S.
With just under 100,000 units sold of the Model S and Model X combined in 2018, the Model S is now a veteran on the electric vehicle market having been first made available by Tesla in 2012.
Specifications for the Taycan are yet to be officially confirmed for the Taycan, but according to a report from UK’s Car Magazine, it will be released in three variants – much like the Model S used to have (the Standard Range is no longer available, with only a Long Range and Performance now on sale).
At the lower end of the spectrum, there will be a base rear-wheel drive Taycan, which will have an 80kWh battery with two choices of motors (240kW or 280kW).
In the mid-range will be the “Carrera 4S” with a 96kWh battery, all-wheel drive and a choice of either 320kW or 360kW motors.
The top-of-the-range Taycan, dubbed the “Turbo” according to the British mag, will have the same size battery as the mid-range mode, but offer 440kW of power and 880Nm of torque, and able to deliver 1000Nm bursts for 10-second periods.
It is also understood that the range of the Turbo model will be up to 515km, although on what cycle was not made clear.
The Model S on the other hand, which started at 520km range (NEDC) for its Standard Range, can now reach distances of 660km (NEDC) – although this is more like 595km based on the more accurate EPA rating.
What may pip the Model S at the post though is charging speed, as owners of longer range electric vehicles are more likely to use fast chargers according to a report out of Norway on Tuesday.
While the top charging speed for the most recent incarnations of the Model S, which has a 400V architecture, is 150kW, the Taycan’s 800V architecture means it can charge at speeds of up to 350kW according to Porsche – although this will be limited to 250kW until 2021, says Car Magazine.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.