it is aiming for with its first production electric vehicle - the Taycan - which will launch towards the end of 2019.
Revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2015, the Taycan, wihch builds on the Mission E Concept, will be revealed in full early next year.
Prototypes of the Taycan electric saloon have been undergoing development testing for several months and Porsche has revealed it has built over 100 test mules, which are undergoing assesment across the globe. Although the Taycan shares a similar silhouette to the Panamera saloon, the Tesla Model S rival will be more compact; entry-level versions priced between £60,000 and £70,000 mean it will carry only a small premium over its main rival.
Previewed in our exclusive images, the Taycan will bear a close resemblance to the concept in shape and style, but the rear-hinged back doors and matrix LED headlamps will be adapted for production. Features such as the flared haunches, LED tail-light strip and coupe-like rear end will remain to echo the looks of the 911 sports car.
The Taycan will develop over 600bhp via a lithium-ion battery pack denser than anything Tesla currently offers, rated at 270 watt-hours per kilogram. Two permanently excited synchronous electric motors (PSM), one on each axle, will provide drive. The PSM motors are derived from Porsche's Le Mans winning 919 LMP1 car, the marque claiming that the key advantage offered by PSM is compact packaging and weight saving.
Porsche claims this powertrain will allow the Taycan production car to cover 0-62mph in under 3.5 seconds and 0-124mph in under 12s before hitting a top speed of 155mph. Crucially, we’re told the performance will be repeatable with the electric car able to accelerate hard ‘over and over again without losing performance’.
In terms of range, the target is for the Porsche Taycan cover upwards of 300 miles on a single charge and Porsche says the 800-volt system can take on 62 miles of charge in just 4 minutes, or almost 250 miles in 15 minutes. Of course, these figures are entirely dependent on the availability of 350kW CCS chargers compatible with Porsche's 800v system. At present, the IONTY network is expanding across Europe and building chargers capable of delivering such voltages, and Porsche has plans to deploy 500 of its own chargers across the United States in the coming years.
This version of the Taycan is expected to be the flagship model but Porsche has invested a further 500million Euros (£437million) to develop additional versions of the car. The variants, of which there is likely to be three, will vary from around 400bhp up to 600bhp. Porsche CEO Oliver Blume told us: “We will think of different options and there will be more than one, with different levels of power.”
All-wheel drive is expected to be standard on all versions initially, but there is the possibility of Porsche launching a more affordable rear-wheel-drive edition in the future. It also plans a crossover version of the car, as previewed by the Cross Turismo concept that made its debut at March’s Geneva Motor Show.
Over-the-air updates will be possible on the Porsche Taycan, upgrading on-board infotainment systems and safety tech, but also offering to boost power if the customer wishes. The new architecture the car introduces will be used as a base for a fully electric model from Bentley.
Porsche’s commitment to Taycan variants comes as part of a wider investment in the brand’s electrification strategy. The firm will double total investment up to 6bn Euros by 2022, spending on everything from a rapid charging infrastructure to hybrid and electric versions of its existing range.
Porsche has officially announced the name of its new electric GT car and it's Porsche Taycan. The Taycan is arguably the marque’s most radical model in its 87-year history – being its first ever all-electric production vehicle. The electric 4-door is to spearhead Porsche’s long-term electrification plans, with a range of plug-in hybrids and full EVs set to join it in the future.
According to Porsche, Taycan is a word taken from an eastern dialect and is pronounced ‘tie-can’. It translates as ‘lively young horse’ and is a reference to the horse that’s been rearing up on its hind legs on the Porsche badge since 1952.