It wasn’t for honeymooners that Niagara Falls was chosen as a backdrop for September’s Porsche Taycan debut. The natural wonder, which generates nearly five megawatts of electric power a second, drove home a point to those who still think of battery cars as slow and quirky oddities. This was a performance vehicle capable of producing 750 horsepower from the renewable energy the falls were producing.
While the very name, Porsche, might bring to mind high-performance gasoline power, the company’s founder, Ferdinand Porsche, designed one of the world’s first plug-in hybrids, the Loehner-Porsche Mixte, as a young engineer more than a century ago. In fact, more recently, the company has used various forms of hybrid power in both its race and street cars, due to the discovery that electric motors deliver maximum tire-spinning torque the moment they switch on.
Two versions of the all-electric Porsche Taycan will be offered initially, both relying on twin motors, one on each axle. The base Turbo model will produce 670 hp, enough to hit 60 mph in 3.0 seconds. The 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S punches that up to 750 hp, and will hit 60 in just 2.6 seconds.
Better yet, Porsche claims it has designed the new model to go flat out as long as it has a charge, unlike some competitors that provide a few quick bursts before overheating their motors and battery pack. Lest you think you’ll be hitchhiking home after a few laps of the local track, Taycan is expected to deliver somewhere in the range of 250 miles a charge. The Taycan will also plug into the new, 350-kilowatt Level 3 quick-chargers that offer an 80 percent charge in barely 20 minutes.
The Taycan resembles the four-door Porsche Panamera, though the goal was to give it the performance and handling of the 911 sports car. Inside, Taycan’s cabin gives classic Porsche design a high-tech touch, starting with the 16.8-inch digital instrument cluster. The dashboard features several additional touchscreens, as does the center console. Taycan, meanwhile, is the first automobile that will directly stream Apple Music through its infotainment system.
When it reaches U.S. showrooms early next year, the Taycan will be the German sports car company’s first all-electric model, though by no means its last. Porsche has confirmed plans for at least two other BEVs, part of a $12 billion broadside by its parent, Volkswagen AG, which anticipates 50 green machines by mid-decade. The 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo will start at $150,900, the Turbo S at $185,000. Fully loaded, expect to spend as much as $241,500.