Porsche's long-awaited 1000-horsepower performance EV is a serious GT department effort

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This was nothing if not predictable. Porsche’s cars tend to get faster and more powerful as they get older, one rarefied, GT-badged version at a time.

The very idea of a near-1100bhp Porsche Taycan, if it had been mooted back in September 2019 during the digestion of those preliminary first drive verdicts on the original Taycan Turbo S - which, to the very last one, reported how savagely, almost problematically rapid was Porsche’s bold new (751bhp) electric pseudo-saloon - would have caused bouts of hysteria in certain quarters of the specialist media. And yet here we are: the Porsche Taycan Turbo GT has landed.

Porsche will doubtless claim it’s only exploring the outer limits of what performance is already bound up in its facelifted electric poster child – in some cases quite accurately, as we’re about to explain. And yet it just so happens to have done enough exploring to put the forthcoming Lotus Emeya R firmly in its place on paper, and likewise the imminent Polestar 5 and latest Tesla Model S Plaid.

We performance tested the Tesla last year (no one-foot rollout, here) at 2.4sec from rest to 60mph and it has a claimed top speed of 160mph. This new Taycan will crack 60mph in just 2.1sec, says Porsche, and goes on to 190mph on the button. Better chuck an extra SpaceX rocket booster on that new Tesla Roadster, Mr Musk: quite plainly, Weissach is not in a mood to be trifled with.



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Is this, you may wonder, a proper GT department Porsche, then? It’s certainly badged like one and it was introduced to the press, at Seville’s Monteblanco circuit the other week, with both Nürburgring and Laguna Seca lap records to match. (No four-door has ever lapped the Nordschleife quicker, they say.) 

But there was no Andreas Preuninger on hand to enthuse effusively about its tirelessly honed circuit capability - and if there had been, I suspect the GT division boss would have bristled somewhat if you’d have put this car into the same bracket as his beloved 911 GT3 RS and 718 Cayman GT4 RS. It feels a little as if Porsche is drawing an invisible line between ‘proper’ GT cars and these new Turbo GTs, as if that subtle shift in nomenclature lets the GT department admit involvement with the latter, but not take full ownership, à la BMW's M Performance derivative. Somehow that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

Or perhaps I’m just being a bit cynical. The car is certainly not lacking anything on the spec sheet. Using the same battery and twin-motor hardware as a Taycan Turbo S, the Turbo GT adds a 900-amp current inverter with silicon-carbide semiconductors and a reinforced two-speed gearbox for the rear motor with a taller second gear. Rather amazingly, together with some power control software sourced from Porsche’s Formula E racing cars, this is all that’s required to get up to 1093bhp and 988lb ft out of the Taycan’s drive hardware, though admittedly only for short bursts (during launch controls starts, and driver-actuated push-to-pass-style bursts of acceleration). No special motors, no dedicated batteries – mostly, just what’s already there.

Elsewhere on the car, bigger changes have been affected. The Turbo GT is the only Taycan that gets carbon-ceramic brakes as standard and likewise the new interlinked Porsche Active Ride adaptive damping system - the latter getting special GT department tuning. It features 21in forged alloy wheels with a choice of specially developed Pirelli P Zero tyres (P Zero R as standard and more track-intended Trofeo RS tyres as an option). A unique body kit for the regular Turbo GT hones the aerodynamics, and between those brakes, a few other lightweight parts and a set of carbonfibre-polymer bucket seats up front, Porsche gets the kerb weight of the regular Turbo GT to 5kg lower than a regular Turbo S's.

Yup - that’s 5kg, on a 2.3-tonne car. But then there’s the Weissach Package. Effectively a no-cost option, this gets you a much bigger fixed rear wing and full-length underbody aero panelling, but it also delivers a further 70kg of weight savings via lightweight glazing; the dispensing with of carpets and other sound insulation; the removal of one of the car’s twin charging ports, and the electric actuator for the door of the other; and the jettisoning of the back seats and Bose premium audio system).


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Inside the cabin, Porsche’s now very familiar, CFRP-backed, GT department bucket seats don’t look out of place, and they sit you low and snug at a steering wheel that, unlike in any other Taycan, has sprouted ‘shift’ paddles. The left paddle lets you turn battery regen on and off and the right one triggers ‘attack mode’, which, while you’re moving, uncorks the last 161bhp of power from the car’s battery and motors. It’s only available in 10sec bursts but, even on a 1000-horsepower car, it’s an extra hit of performance that you can really feel, which we'll get to in a moment.

Otherwise, the Turbo GT's interior is mostly standard Taycan. There's no RS-style rollcage behind the front seats but neither are there back seats, assuming you go for the Weissach Package car. Instead, you get a carbonfibre storage tray with a poppered-on fabric cover, which is just about deep enough to carry softer bags but not weighty cases.

We didn't have chance to test the car's slightly downgraded audio system but we didn't find its lightweight seats uncomfortable, albeit over shorter testing.


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The Taycan Turbo GT's full quota of 1093bhp comes on stream automatically when using the car’s electronic launch control function – something that Porsche was keen to demonstrate and left this tester a little short of breath.

The car surges off the line with utterly seamless violence. It felt, to me, not far off Bugatti quick. By the time you’ve picked your head up off the headrest and acclimatised to the g-force, you’re the far side of 100mph – and even from there on out, the urgency doesn’t really abate much, as it can with other EVs.

Just as in other Taycan, you're made aware of the moment when the gearbox on the rear motor shifts up principally by the intonation of the car's synthesised motor noise, but it doesn't cause any drivability problems, nor really any interruption in a power delivery that always feels deliciously over-endowed.

On circuit, of course, you're either drinking in all of that power under a loaded throttle, or you're slowing the car down again on the brakes. There are no gears to shift, no revs to keep tabs on, and little to do beyond watch what's on the horizon getting yanked closer, corner by corner. On the road, I'd expect other performance EVs with more experimental routes to driver involvement to do a bit more to occupy you and make your life interesting at lower speeds.


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Though it’s perhaps not quite as impressive as how it accelerates, the Turbo GT does a remarkably good job of carrying and disguising its weight when cornering, which it does with amazingly level body control, intuitively weighted and communicative steering, and a sweetness of handling balance that endures right up to and beyond the limit of grip. 

It never seems to lean on or feel abruptly reined in by its stability controls, as you might expect such a powerful, heavy electric car to do. For this tester, that was a very pleasant surprise and means you can drive this car genuinely quickly, lap after lap, without ever feeling like it’s driving you. But, as you get used to its limits and more ambitious with your entry speeds, the car does begin to run just a little short of front-axle bite and lateral grip on those standard tyres – fine for the road, I’d bet, but not ideal for track regulars.

The Trofeo RS tyres, by contrast, have a clear and quite dramatic effect on the Taycan’s appetite for cornering speed. They improve its brake pedal progression as well (Porsche’s ‘blended’ pedal can feel a bit light under foot otherwise, triggering the stability and anti-lock systems early and without much pedal effort, and undermining your confidence in the car) and add even more heft and feedback to the steering.

Ultimately, though, there’s just a hint of scruffiness to the Turbo GT’s body control and all-round dynamic composure as it’s running out of grip that isn’t quite typical of the Porsche GT department. A sense that, in switching off the electronics and going beyond the comfort zone of that trick suspension and track-day tyre, you’re taking liberties with enough mass and speed and energy that could make you regret your life choices very quickly indeed.


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The Porsche Taycan Turbo GT can play the all-conquering GT department track car with enormous pace, and very well - to a point. But the beyond-limit handling precision and controllability of a 911 GT3 or a 718 Cayman GT4 seem a little way beyond it. That's to say nothing of the wonderful combustive drama and character of those GT department sports cars, which clearly you wouldn’t expect the Taycan Turbo GT to have in any case. And, when judging what this new super-Taycan really amounts to and positioning it relative to Weissach’s other greats of recent years, that’s quite a lot to look beyond.

Which is why, for now and at least until we’ve driven one on the road, we’ll withhold awarding it the usual star rating and give this car a second chance to make a proper fulsome first impression. In taking the Taycan to the extremes of its potential, it is without doubt a spectacular thing. But in transforming it as a driver’s car, taking it to the next level, and bringing that extra level of involvement and control to it, it may still have some ground to cover.

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.