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Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

The ‘J1’ model platform that Porsche developed for both the Taycan and its group relation, the Audi E-tron GT, uses a mix of aluminium and steel in its construction.

It shares axles and other mechanical systems with the Volkswagen Group’s MSB platform (which underpins the Porsche Panamera and Bentley Continental GT), but it can still be considered a purpose-built EV model architecture; and, not least thanks to the clever design of its battery pack (with its enigmatically titled, body-profile-lowering ‘foot garages’), it lends the Taycan some key dynamic advantages, as well as plenty of versatility in its configuration.

Porsche’s standard charging cable comes inline with a chunky touchscreen console that’s intended to fit into a neat wall-mounted dock, but be warned: it quickly gets very scruffy if you have to leave it on your driveway. The car only gets a seven-pin ‘Mode 3’ charging cable as an option; it ought to be standard, but it’s still £370 well spent.

Pick a saloon bodystyle and you can have this car as a Taycan 4S (523bhp), GTS (590bhp), Turbo (671bhp) or Turbo S (751bhp) if this regular Taycan isn’t powerful enough for you. Pick a Cross Turismo wagon body instead and there’s also a 469bhp, twin-motor Taycan 4 version, just to confuse things. The entry-level, single-motor version of the car gets 402bhp as standard, or 469bhp (still with just the one motor) if you option up the Performance Plus battery, which our test car had.

The Taycan Turbo S we tested in 2020 weighed 2355kg on the scales; our latest Taycan test car came in considerably lighter, at 2185kg as tested. And part of the difference can be accounted for by the latter’s simpler electric powertrain.

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Where other Taycans are driven by a pair of permanent magnet synchronous electric motors, the entry-level model is driven by only one, mounted at the rear, which drives the rear axle through a two-speed automatic gearbox. It’s a rear-drive motor of a slightly different design than that of the range-topping Turbo S. Although its diameter is the same (245mm), its ‘active length’ is reduced (130mm versus 210mm) – dimensions that influence peak power output in a way comparable to the cylinder bore and stroke of a combustion engine.

Porsche claims that torque peaks at a suspiciously modest-sounding 263lb ft for the Performance Plus version of the car (254lb ft as standard), but also says that specifically applies when the car is using its lower gear during launch control starts. The ratios of the car’s transmission are 15.5:1 in first and 8:1 in second. There’s no way to select or change gear manually and, as we’ll go on to explain, usually little evidence of even an automatically cued shift under normal driving conditions.

The Taycan comes with a lithium ion drive battery carried under the cabin floor, of 79.2kWh of usable capacity. With the Performance Plus battery option (as fitted), that figure rises to 93.4kWh, just under 84kWh of which is usable storage. The smaller battery pack is only available on the Taycan, Taycan 4 and Taycan 4S, with pricier derivatives getting the bigger pack as standard.

Having the lesser battery pack also cuts the car’s peak DC rapid charging rate from 270kW to 225kW, although both rates are favourable for a current EV, and are delivered by the Taycan’s 800V electrical architecture. Charging at the former rate (where facilities allow), the bigger battery can be restored from 5% to 80% in less than 23 minutes; it confers a combined WLTP electric range of 301 miles on the car.

Despite its simpler powertrain, the entry-level Taycan can be ordered with many of the suspension and steering technologies (fitted as options) that we tested on the Turbo S, among them ride-height-adjustable adaptive air suspension, four-wheel steering and a ‘PTV-Plus’ torque-vectoring active rear differential. Our test car did without them, getting instead standard front-axle steering, steel coil suspension with PASM adaptive dampers, and optional 20in alloy wheels.

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