German luxury carmaker Porsche has finally, and officially, launched its very first electric car, the Taycan.
Rarely did a model of Porsche attract such attention as this. But, as the first pure electric car of the German marque, it is probably little wonder.
For the Stuttgart sportscar manufacturer, it is also the beginning of a new era, as Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said on Wednesday (European time) at the world premiere of the Taycan in Neuhardenberg on the outskirts of Berlin.
“The Taycan links our heritage to the future. It carries forward the success story of our brand – a brand that has fascinated and thrilled people the world over for more than 70 years,” said Blume.
“This day marks the start of a new era.”
The carmaker has put a lot of effort into the lead up of its flagship electric vehicle, including a transcontinental display of prowess that included a cruise through Shanghai and a go at tackling the UK’s Goodwood hillclimb with Australia’s own Mark Webber in the driver’s seat.
And let’s not forget the 26-time full throttle acceleration test by Fully Charged’s Jonny Smith.
Although Porsche has already has the Cayenne and the Panamera plug-in hybrid on offer, a true, purely electric vehicle has not been available until now.
And the customer interest for this vehicle is huge, as Porsche has let known over the past few months, with 30,000 pre-orders taken from interested customers before the Taycan’s market.
“With today’s presentation of the Taycan, we hope there will be more. Now customers have the opportunity to touch and test the vehicle,” said Blume.
While it was hinted in late July that there would be three variants unveiled at the Taycan premiere, the German sportscar maker revealed just two – the Taycan Turbo and its even sportier stablemate the Taycan Turbo S.
That this Taycan redefines the meaning of sportiness in the Porsche range can be seen in its performance data.
The Taycan Turbo S sits at the top of the range with maximum power output of 560kW, delivering acceleration from 0-100km/hr in just 2.8 seconds, or 500kW max output and 0-100km/hr acceleration in 3.2 seconds for the Taycan Turbo.
So that all this is not just a one-time experience, the first pure E-Porsche is the world’s first production car with a system voltage of 800 volts.
This not only allows a very compact space, but also a repeatability of the performance, says Porsche (and as demonstrated in those 26 full throttle launches.
The range of the Taycan with the 93.4 kWh battery is rated at 412km for the Turbo S and 450km for the Turbo according to the WLTP cycle, and with incredible charging power of up to 270 kW, the battery can be recharged to add another 100km driving range in just five minutes.
So much performance has its price: for the Turbo S, Porsche has set a starting price of 185,456 euros ($A299,900 converted), and for the Turbo, 152,136 euros ($A246,019 converted) – clearly only a particularly exclusive circle of customers can experience the dawn of the new era of e-mobility at Porsche.
This is just the start for Porsche, which is committing a total of 6 billion euros ($A9.7 billion) to drive a shift to electromobility by 2022.
Blume says that by 2025, every second Porsche sold will have an electric drive. In addition to a Cross Turismo version of the Taycan, it has also been decided that the next generation Macan will also be born as an electric version.
“If you bring a car like the Taycan on the market, it must be clearly designed to the point and carry the sportsmanship and genes of Porsche in itself,” said Blume.
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.