Customers are joining the waiting list for Porsche’s first all-electric car even though it hasn't yet been revealed; Porsche is slowly releasing performance figures, though

Porsche has confirmed that its first full-electric car, the Taycan, will top 310 miles of range, sprint to 62mph in less than 3.5 seconds and produce more than 592bhp (600ps) from twin electric motors powering all four wheels.

The 0-62mph figure puts the Taycan — called the Mission E when it was under development — one full second behind the full-fat Tesla Model S P100D, but more than half a second faster than the non-performance 100D. Porsche claims that acceleration is "well under" 3.5 seconds, stopping short of providing an actual figure, while it claims 124mph is achieved in less than 12 seconds.

The electric range of 310 mile places it above the Model S 75D, but is up to 83 miles short of the 100D's claimed 393-mile range, as tested on the NEDC cycle. 

Customers are already vying for top position on the waiting list for the Taycan, despite the production version not even being revealed yet, UK managing director Alexander Pollich has said.

Porsche bagan taking expressions of interest from would-be buyers earlier this month, with Pollich confirming that customers were keen to reserve early cars even though the car has only been revealed as a concept, the Mission E, so far. He did not confirm customer numbers, however. The production car is expected to be revealed for the first time in 2019, ahead of hitting roads in 2020.

“The reaction from customers has been fantastic — from the moment we announced the car to now, when we have asked customers to register their interest for the first cars,” said Pollich of Porsche's rival to the Model S. “The history of Porsche began with an electric car in 1898 and that provides some inspiration and motivation for us. Of course, there was a big gap, but we have led with the introduction of hybrids and now we will use our heritage and learnings to offer a class-leading electric car.

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“The next 18 months will be fascinating, as we develop and reveal the car, but what is already clear is that customers are keen. They are talking to our dealers asking how to get to the top of the priority lists and asking to access more information.”

Pollich acknowledged Tesla’s importance in moving the market, saying: “They have been the pioneers and they have set a big challenge. What’s clear is that at Porsche we are planning to rise to that challenge, not just with our car, but in providing owners with the full 360-degree view to allow seamless ownership, including creating a supercharger network.”

Porsche is a partner along with BMW, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen Group in a scheme to develop a high-powered charging network in Europe, called Ionity, that will be usable by all of their electric vehicles. The car makers have pledged to install 400 chargers across Europe by 2020 and the scheme is expected to work in a way that Tesla’s Supercharger network does now. Each charger will initially have a capacity of up to 350kW.

Porsche Taycan’s radical new architecture

Development for the Taycan is headed by Stefan Weckbach, who previously led product strategy and more recently was responsible for the development of the Boxster.

The Taycan's four-seat interior suggests it will be more closely aligned, in terms of character, with the Panamera than pure sports cars such as the 911. But its floor-mounted batteries should give it an extremely low centre of gravity to allow for hunkered-down handling that's comparable to more focused performance machines.

The Taycan sits on a new architecture, named J1 by Porsche. The brand's first EV will feature 800V charging technology that is intended to future-proof the car for several years after it hits the market, and company officials have already confirmed that it is designed to enable fast-charging to 80% of the car’s range in just 15 minutes.

The J1 structure is one of three new electric car platforms being developed within Porsche's parent, the VW Group. It is described as being different in construction to the C-BEV platform planned to underpin sister brand Audi’s forthcoming E-tron SUV, which is due for reveal later this year.

Porsche chairman Oliver Blume told Autocar: “​The J1 has a low floor, while the C-BEV is constructed differently with a higher floor that suits an SUV.” Despite differences in construction, Blume also confirmed that production versions of the Taycan and E-tron will feature similar lithium ion battery technology.

The central location of the batteries and twin-motor set-up will also give the Taycan's technical architecture a better front-rear weight balance than combustion-engined cars, potentially allowing Porsche's engineers to soften the car's anti-roll bars to aid ride without hindering handling.

Porsche Taycan testing, autonomy and over-the-air updates

​Blume also confirmed that Porsche plans for the Taycan to have Level 4 autonomous driving technology (self-driving in nearly all situations, with driver attention not required), but denied that it would allow fully autonomous driving over longer distances. “There are situations in traffic jams where you will be able to read a newspaper, but our customers take pleasure from driving and this will remain,” he said.

Additionally, Porsche is working on providing the Taycan with software that will allow over-the-air updates such as those pioneered by Tesla with the Model S. “It will be possible to work with over-the-air options,” added Blume. “It isn’t decided yet, but it could be possible to charge up with more power. For example, when you have 400bhp, it could be possible to upgrade to 450bhp."

Blume’s comments suggest that Porsche is planning the Taycan as a line-up of models with differing performance levels, similar to the strategy undertaken with its current 718 Boxster/Cayman, 911, Panamera, Macan and Cayenne ranges. The brand is using the Taycan to spearhead its growing investment, which has totalled £5.3 billion for EV technology. Part of this money has helped to develop a plug-in hybrid version of the next-generation 911.

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The most recently photographed test car was being towed by a Cayenne; breakdowns are common during early phases of testing. Some of the spotted cars have been wearing exhaust exit surrounds that were fake and fitted to conceal the car's identity. A panel of autonomous sensors has also been seen in the car's nose, nestled between what appear to be two sets of louvres in the lower grille. These can likely be opened to allow battery and brake cooling. Porsche revealed that the number of prototypes built is in three figures, but said that the exact number is classified. A team of 40 specialists build the prototypes in Stuttgart.

The name Taycan translates loosely as "lively, young horse" from a Eurasian dialect — a nod to Porsche’s insignia, which has featured a leaping horse since 1952.

First Porsche Taycan performance details revealed by Mark Webber

Further confirmed details for the car are scarce. Former Formula 1 driver and 2015 World Endurance Champion Mark Webber has been seen driving the Taycan around the brand's Weissach test track for an official video, in which he stated that the car is a "game-changer".

Webber also revealed the Taycan has "600hp", which equates to 592bhp, confirming speculation that its lithium ion battery pack-powered dual electric motor architecture will rank the car second only to the 911 GT2 RS for power output in the current Porsche range.

Porsche revealed a more rugged version of the Taycan at the Geneva motor show. The Mission E Cross Turismo concept is based on the same platform but raises the ride height and adds an estate body. This version is expected to arrive on roads in 2021.

Additonal reporting by Greg Kable

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Comments
50

9 February 2016
An electric Porsche will always be nothing more than a sop to the over-bearing regulators, crossed with a PR stunt. It exists only because the main range of ICE Porsches is profitable enough to subsidise it. However it is mildly interesting because it suggests VW think battery power might just be a medium-term possibility in the luxury sector. Unfortunately this would appear to have little significance for the mass-market, where it is unlikely to ever be a serious player. It's not just that it's too expensive, inflexible and non-scalable, it's that the "trickle down" effect tends to work in reverse for prime movers. Premium ones like the V8 generally cannot "trickle down" to the mass-market but common-or-garden diesel, for instance, has certainly risen up and conquered the premium sector.

9 June 2018

Electric cars offer so many compelling advantages apart from zero emission propulsion - engineering simplicity, packaging, refinement, regen braking (thus cutting particle pollution from brake pads) and more. Even without the prospect of running a car on sustainable energy they offer real promise - with that, they seem inevitable.

This doesn’t mean that full electric cars will be the sole option anytime soon... but they are surely here to stay.

31 July 2018

  Will EV Cars need less maintenance?, how often will they need serviced?, this kind of points to less Jobs because there er em less bits to service....?

Peter Cavellini.

31 July 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

  Will EV Cars need less maintenance?, how often will they need serviced?, this kind of points to less Jobs because there er em less bits to service....?

 

Think, then post. You'll post less crap that way.

Thanks.

17 July 2018

If you look at the historical challenges faced by Porsche - both in terms of brand identity and ofcourse perserving with a rear-wheel-drive rear-engineed sports car and philosphy -- you could argue that it is just a brand such AS Porsche who have the ability to take electrification and redefine it's necessity in a world thats abondoning fuel.

It may take a decade but the your next base-spec Golf or Focus will definitely be in showrooms with small, advanced, battery tech. These cars - the Taycan, the Audi E, and ofcourse BMW's early 'i' brand; are all early introductions - i suspect that they will eventually blend into and become these brands, and others, core range.

Sadly, a world with hydrogen, flying, hovering and magical cars isn't quite at our door Norma, so what is ahead is this - electrification. Your statement of battery tech not being scalable is a theory that is proven completely false by Apple's iphone, and your statement about it not making a significance to the mass market is also incorrect - proven so by car's such as Nissan's Leaf and the Toyota Prius.

It's early days Norma darling, but soon enough you'll be haggling with a salty salesman in the forecout of the VW Used Dealership trying to get a good price on a Trendline Golf powered by a small VAG electric engine. 

9 February 2016
Norma, how quaint!

9 February 2016
It might be their best car ever but you'll put it down before even seeing one just because it's a plug-In. "It exists only because the main range of ICE Porsches is profitable enough to subsidise it" No, it exists because the Telsa, which has come from nowhere, is out-selling the Panamera in America.

As for ".... little significance for the mass-market, where it is unlikely to ever be a serious player. It's not just that it's too expensive" Nissan Leaf, 2p a mile expensive??

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

MrJ

9 February 2016
Norma, it takes one hard ride in a Tesla to prove that a future for electric cars exists - and for me at least, the prospect of an electric Porsche makes my mouth water.

17 July 2018

Few people will doubt my petrolhead credentials - with three Italian bikes and two German cars, our household is entirely over-supplied with internal combustion. However, one car - a 911 - is there as the last hangout of the glorious anachronism that is the petrol engine and, as such, is a keeper. By 2030, I imagine I'll be using it for high days and holidays, using specially bought supplies of petrol. And that's OK by me. Our other car is only still there until we finally decide between a Tesla and an i-Pace - we have no intention of buying another ICE car. The bikes are a slightly different matter - it's going to take longer for bikes to reach the range/weight trade-off where electric propulsion becomes compelling, but it will happen. Again, our utility bikes will be electric and my race-rep homologation specials will become track or living room ornaments. And I'm sure that the Taycan will be a game changer in its class - I won't buy one, simply because I have developed such a massive distrust of the competence and integrity of Porsche dealers over the last few years.

9 February 2016
Porsche certainly have got their work cut out. As well as delivering a great car they also will have to deliver the corresponding infrastructure.

It's quite possible they'll use the 150kW charging infrastructure that BMW / VAG have been talking about. However the car manufacturers seem to be waiting for others to build this after they've agreed the standard. I suspect it might need them to take the lead (unless they can convince someone like Eon or ABB to take the lead).

Of course in 2020 Tesla will be far more advanced than they are now. Anyone who has driven an early model S and a current one will realise how far they've come in a few years.

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