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This is one of the more thorough and in-depth first drives you'll read on the Taycan. Whoever wrote this did an incredible job!


Ultimately, the sensation of expensive and sophisticated things happening in your favour is a familiar one. Twenty years ago, with an SUV essential to market success, it was unwanted height that Porsche could not remove from the Cayenne equation; this decade, it is the inconvenient weight of those cumbersome lithium-ion batteries. Characteristically, the manufacturer has contained the problem with another parapet wall made of technology and engineering finesse. At no point does the Taycan feel genuinely light on its feet - much as the original Cayenne never, ever seemed entirely car-like - and yet you drive it in a similar fashion. Baffled. And bemused. And very rarely bored.

The recognisable formula also spits out a familiar result - not everyone is going to like the Taycan. It is both ahead of its time, and behind it. For PH's money (leaving aside fantastically rare outliers) it is the best real-world electric model currently available by virtue of the fact that no-one else has spliced the gubbins of an EV so persuasively into the business end of a practical, well-finished and dynamically impressive car. If its considerable cost or Porsche's failure to deliver class-leading range or the current shortcomings of the nation's charging infrastructure put you off, well, those are legitimate misgivings. But it does not disqualify the Taycan as either a fine saloon or a legitimate new standard in the segment.

Is that sufficient to make it a bonafide Porsche? Well, there's the rub. A more bullish and less historically aware manufacturer might point to 20,000 paid declarations of interest - many of them from new customers - and suggest that the market has already drawn its own conclusion. But the firm would likely have achieved that aim with a lesser machine. The Taycan deserves much more credit, and if your definition of Porsche is already broad enough to encompass the Cayenne and Macan and Panamera and the compromises required to make them good, then, emphatically, the answer is yes. The manufacturer's technical expertise, and extravagant gifts in chassis and powertrain development, not to mention its outright perfectionism, has delivered an EV very much in its own image.

If your definition starts and stops at rear-engined sports cars, then possibly not. Although if that's the case it's probably worth remembering that the 911's distinctive configuration is also a packaging issue that Porsche had to tenaciously engineer its way around. The firm's EV experiment is obviously in the lowly foothills of that mighty, multi-decade ascent to greatness. But Porsche has made precisely the right kind of start. And just in time.
 
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