A typical Monday for me except for the fact that I pulled an all-nighter at work in order for me to take off for 4hrs and make my way to Bellevue Porsche to test drive the Taycan Turbo. I have been a Porsche owner since age 16. My 1st Porsche was a 52' 356, a project car and my inheritance, a car tooled around on with my Grandpa who brought the car over from Germany after a stint in the country working for Boeing. Since then I have had the luxury of calling the Porsche brand a staple in my garage, with the exception of the time and by choice when I traded my Porsches for Teslas.
My Tesla ownership gave me the taste of "EV blood".. I love driving EVs, enjoy the ownership of EVs. Owning an EV, for me personally, is not about saving the environment, but rather 1st and foremost about the cost of ownership/performance/no more gas stations which leads into being somewhat proactive in doing good by the environment. However lets not fool each other here, we all know that it takes raw materials and those start with a large holes in the ground & child labor when it comes to Congo and its Cobalt. So regardless how much one wants to claim on going or being "green".. that "green" will have a dirty side.
I showed up at Bellevue Porsche at 10am today, usual Seattle rainy, gray, wet start to the day, 27 degrees and your usual "WTF am I doing outside in this mess" type of attitude. Pulled up, parked my car and was greeted by the Taycan Turbo, just waiting for me. I swear that car gave me a wink with its "lizard-like" headlights.
Having sourced questions on Twitter as well from you guys here on this forum, I came prepared to make my rep's life hard this morning with pointed questions. I will address your questions and the answers in this review accordingly. I have been working with Rep for the past several years as he has been my go to about my Porsche purchases, we know each other well enough to forgo on the usual bullshit and cut to the chase. We have that kinda relationship & he has been nothing but forthcoming to furnish me little details since the Mission E & Cross Turismo unveil. He has been my sole insider source all this time. So, I know better not to abuse his generosity & he knows better not to bullshit me.
Here are your answers to your questions:
OTA updates: Porsche has been coy with its dealers about OTA for owners. Porsche will offer OTA which will include additional range increase/power/ect.. My Rep mentioned that OTA for owners just not might be free..hey, its Porsche.
Animated Tail lights? No, sorry.. they blink. Porsche will offer Taycan owners an option to illuminate the "PORSCHE" behind the glass in the rear. When? A fair guess of mine would be Jun 2020 build cycle or at the latest when the Cross Turismo hits. How much you ask? TBD
Front Flaps/Range Mode Operations? The Taycan's front flaps serve 2 functions: 1. cooling 2. reduce drag. In range mode the flaps close to reduce drag as Range Mode will allow the car to drive ONLY up to 70mph max. More on that later in my review. Normal Mode/Sport & Sport Plus, the flaps are programmed to louver to certain degrees to maximize needed cooling and as less drag as possible under those modes.
Quiet Drive? Yes for the most part. However if you purchase the "electric sound" option.. you will have that option selected day in and day out.. it is FREAKEN awesome! In my opinion the Audi e-tron 55 Quattro remains the most quiet EV in the US market today.
Forward facing cam? Simple button on your center console screen on your bottom left corner that can be accessed anytime without fuss.
Ride height, worries about scratching the bumper? Yea.. thats gonna be a tricky one. Been told that Porsche eventually will offer "geo learning" so that the car will automatically raise its height at "owner programmed" geo locations. ATM sorry folks, but you will need to be aware of your street conditions and take it easy on them speed bumps and driveway curbs.
Tesla vs Taycan drive comparison? I have owned a Tesla Model S 85d and 100d. Both felt great "off the line" but tend to get mushy in the corners. Taycan is, in my opinion, way ahead of Tesla when it comes to drive characteristics. Porsche pulled out all the stops. The car the planted, its not going anywhere sideways unless you want it to. The tires have some serious grip to them. Slap the Taycan into Sport Plus mode and it will take off like a bat out of hell and make you want to slap your Momma. Basically, the Taycan will give you same "fun" that a Tesla can give you "off the line" just better in my opinion.
Innodrive features? Porsche seems to have improved upon the Innodrive incorporation, but I have yet do a deep dive into the features as my exposure was been limited but positive sofar
So, lets get to the review:
Showed up at 10am, had a little chit-chat with my Rep to source answers to questions, signed some paperwork just in case I get pulled over by cops (wink), got the keys & hooped into the Taycan Turbo. The State of Charge (SoC) was at 99% with 255mi of range. Ok then, made me take a double take as there has been so much Taycan crap about EPA 201mi range. Asked my rep, why 255 & he said car was updated recently. Nice! Very Nice! Ok well, I asked if the test drive includes a Porsche Card, just in case I want to juice up the car at an Electrify America station and check out the charging situation. It doesn't, I would need to fork over the cost..fine with me, not complaining! So my EV thinking automatically went to Range Mode. Slapped the Taycan in Range Mode and took the I-5S down to I-90W into Seattle and into Madison Park/Seward Park where I rolled up into a deserted parking lot & shot my Twitter live stream of the Taycan and showcased the car. I started with 255mi on the clock and arrived at the destination with 244mi
Range Mode, when selected, allows the car to travel up to 70mph max.. you can stomp the accelerator.. the car wont give you an inch. Its almost comical as my mind went to a proverbial "dude.. chill, you wont get more so cut the crap".
Here is why I really love Range Mode: My daily/wkly driving is 405 S/N & I-90E/W and I-5 S/N .. all of them are 60mph for the most part around Bellevue and Seattle. Cops tend to not give a shit if you are ~ 10mph over. That's where Range Mode shines. It will be your built-in speeding savior. 99% of the time spent my local highways I will be stuck in traffic flow.. it doesn't make sense to be in Normal/Sport or Sport Plus Mode. So while I am stuck in traffic most of the time, might as well let the Taycan sip on its energy as efficient as possible. If I need that extra punch for overtake and I am already maxed at 70mph.. I can slap the Taycan into "Normal Mode" and punch it, overtake.. be my usual Porsche Prick self and slap the car back into Range Mode upon successful overtake. It's a learning curve with the Taycan, as I currently enjoy power on tap with my current Panamera e-Hybrid. Either way, I can see myself using Range Mode more often than originally anticipated, as the Mode originally sounded lame and not fun, but in reality, the Taycan will give you the same performance & up and go on Range Mode... just until the car hits 70mph.
After I wrapped up in Seward Park with my live twitter session I slapped the car into Sport Plus Mode .. in the city and on my way up to Electrified America's charging stations up in North Bend. With each mode selected the car recalculates the range accordingly due to power output. so I started with 236mi, because I had the car on during the demo on Twitter and was messing around. Sport Plus slapped my range down to 220mi. By the time i got to the charging stations on Fork Ave in North Bend i had a range of 153mi. But the drive there was something else..wet roads, at times heavy rain, but Sport Plus made me take the Taycan up to 85mph steady. It was pure bliss. That car was solid, planted, even under those weather conditions. Punched it a few times & yes kissed the head rest with my head while doing so.. too much fun.
My intention was to showcase charging .. that never happened as I looked at the clock and remembered my 2pm cut-off request by my Porsche rep to return the car. So I turned around. I was already blessed enough to be allowed 4hrs with the car. I slapped the Taycan in Range Mode at 1st. On a side note about Range Mode:if you select "Auto Regen" in the settings the car will take over your regen needs. It will base the regen off of topography in your Nav as well as traffic in front of you. Its like a "set and forget about" bonus. The Taycan will deactivate the "Auto Regen" option in Sport and Sport Plus and slap the car in "coast" mode.
On my way back to the Bellevue Porsche the road conditions were not conducive for Range Mode at times, so I opted "Normal Mode" to have power on tap yet be "frugal" enough with energy. Used the "coasting" setting and the gravity took control of the car while zipping down hills back in Bellevue. By the time i got back to Bellevue Porsche my stats were the following:
Total trip time: 3hrs 25min
Range: 135mi remaining
Total distance driven: 88.9mi
Avg Consumption: 41kWh/100mi
Before I wrap up with my Final Verdict here are few Pros & Cons of the Taycan based on my opinion and past Tesla ownership:
Con 1: Infotainment/MII.. Tesla still reigns in my opinion. Taycan has interesting tech and improved MMI but got some work to do. The Taycan's MMI is better than Jags IPACE, slightly less complicated with its menus compared to the Audi e-tron 55 Quattro.
Con 2: Aircon "bubbles" settings .. kitschy, complicated at best. Sometimes old school, knobs/manual vent settings work best. I will learn to hate it less.. let's just put it that way
Con 3: Interior space.. kinda snug like a bug. Comfortable for front passengers & depending on if you aren't a giant with long legs your rear passengers will be ok space wise with their "foot garages". Tesla offers more interior space. but crappy backseat config
Con 4: Front Driver Window/Mirror settings placement... takes some getting used to but the buttons to adjust your side mirrors are tiny and sometimes you can accidentally, with a fat finger, retract the side mirrors instead of adjusting them.
Con 5: Parking cams/360 degree view: Sorry but BMW seems to still nail it. Don't get me wrong, its works fine on the Taycan and I know I will be making use of those features plenty but resolution is not the best in the industry.
Pro 1: Styling - better looking than a Tesla.. period!
Pro 2: Handing - Porsche nailed the handling of the Taycan. The car is very planted which in turn will give you the confidence of control. The car is very docile in the city, easy to maneuver, suspension isn't too harsh where you will feel every bump. I would make the claim that the Taycan can absorb road conditions better than my current Panamera. This car will allow you to slap it around to its outer limitations and maintain control of it. It's true Porsche handling
Pro 3: Interior Cabin noise: The Taycan is the most quiet Porsche I have driven. But if you buy the "electric sound" option.. say goodbye to the quietness as you will be enjoying the "star wars" sound track day in and day out. I will on my Taycan. It's a freaking epic sound and I will not get bored of it.
Pro 4: Extended Map/Reduced display: 2 of my favorite settings. I love the extended map on the curved display.. its crisp/clear & all the info is in front of you. The reduced setting is what I call the "black out" setting.. you get speed and range.. that's it .. it's you, your foot, the car and the road .. reminds me of my 52' 356 as it was as simple as that car.
Pro 5. Porsche Nostalgia: I don't lightly endorse or let-alone agree with a car maker such as Porsche when it claims that it has accomplished "soul electrified"... but it has and I agree. The Taycan can be and is your daily driver, it can throw down when you want it to do so and be your sleeper if need be. Taycan has that Porsche DNA just mutated thru electricity.
Well it's official.. I took the last slot at Bellevue for a Taycan Turbo. I don't think there is need for me to jump on a Turbo S.. a Turbo will have plenty of power for me. I don't see me taking the car out on the track, just not my style nor do I feel the need to beat a Tesla P100D off the line at a red light .. I will be a Porsche Prick on my own terms. It's already enough to know that the Taycan is a solid Porsche 1st and EV 2nd. Everyone else who needs validation that their Teslas are better.. are immature and don't understand what a Porsche is: a driver-centric car. It begs to be driven vs a Tesla which begs to drive you.. autonomously whenever that may happen without LiDAR. Looking forward to my Taycan Turbo. Feel free to follow me on twitter @ClarkDennisM for recent test drive vids/pics