I find it utterly surprising and profoundly reassuring, not least because now we’re out of Weissach and time is short. I have to drive fast right away, despite every other seat being occupied by Porsche engineers. I don’t much like driving rapidly with anyone in the car, let alone overseen by the best in the business, but there is no choice.
The Turbo S (if that is its name) is fast enough to make you feel giddy on overboost. The torque delivery is so instant, the acceleration so violent and explosive, that it’s briefly not that pleasant an experience. And that’s with 700bhp. I don’t find it hard to imagine what any one of the growing mob of 2000bhp electric hypercars will be like: I find it impossible.
The rate doesn’t really abate until you’re well into licence-losing territory, and you’ll be fearing for your liberty before it becomes in any way normal.
The sound? Unmistakably electric, for sure, but not unpleasant when extended, unlike many petrol engines, at least one of which is made by Porsche. There’s a sound enhancer that might on paper appear completely pointless because all it does is play an acoustically optimised version of what’s already there, but I quite liked it. It adds character to the car’s muted voice, and even if it’s only a sliver, it’s appreciated nonetheless.
We’re going fast now and I’m learning all the time. The suspension takes big chunks of Panamera componentry but the actual three-chamber struts are unique to the Taycan. The car rides eerily well but is so deftly damped in Sport and Sport Plus that with that steering and devastating acceleration, it’s monstrously fast from point to point, even on difficult roads. No car in my experience has ever managed this amount of mass so well. No, you can’t lob it as you might a shorter, lighter car, but once you’ve guided it into the apex, its composure is phenomenal.
But is it fun? Well, yes, because its capabilities will leave you slack-jawed and anything that can do that is always amusing, and no, because it’s still nothing like the fully immersive driving experience of, say, a 911. And with four doors, that mass and that wheelbase, but without a flat six or any gearbox, that’s not too surprising.
There’s still stuff I’d change here. Most notable is the lack of ‘engine’ braking when you come off the accelerator. It is Porsche philosophy that, broadly speaking, one pedal should make the car go and the other should make it stop, and while you can vary the degree of off-throttle deceleration, I’d like more, even at its peak in Sport Plus. I kept barrelling up to corners tapping a non-existent paddle for downshifts that weren’t there. You need to use the brakes – or what feel like the brakes – far more than in a normal car. In fact, up to 80% of the available deceleration does not require the massive discs at all. Took me a while to get my head around that one, too.