What is it?
It seems rather bonkers, at least in my mind, that we today find ourselves in a place where a car that can make as much as 563bhp can be considered ‘entry level’.
Ten years ago, you would have had to look to something mid-engined, and preferably Italian, to find those sorts of numbers. And if you wanted that sort of power and seating for four? Well, you’d have to look at the maddest, baddest and most expensive AMG Mercs and RS Audis to find it.
But in the case of this Porsche Taycan 4S, 563bhp is where things get started here in the UK. And for what it’s worth, this £83,367 four-door sports car doesn’t always develop that headline figure.
The junior Taycan’s full 563bhp is available only during launch control starts, and only if you specify the £4613 Performance Battery Plus - which you absolutely should. Not only does the claimed range jump from 257 to 288 miles, but the combined output of its twin electric motors under regular running conditions also increases from 429bhp to 483bhp. Maximum torque, meanwhile, stands at 479lb ft.
What's it like?
Out on the road, that’s still more than enough to make the 2.2-tonne Taycan 4S feel unbelievably rapid. A stab of right foot will cause it to catapult forwards with all the frenetic urgency of a startled moggy. You wouldn’t ever accuse this car of feeling slow and I can’t imagine many people would genuinely want more power for any reason other than to show off to their mates.
Of course, that’s not to say this electric Porsche is a tricky car to drive smoothly, or in a fashion that won’t see you lose your licence before you can say “270kW rapid-charging capability”. Gentle, considered inputs will allow it to step off and then accelerate very smoothly indeed, and the exceptionally linear power delivery of its twin electric motors instils an immensely satisfying sense of control over the car’s forward movements. And unless you turn its steering-wheel-mounted drive mode selector to Sport Plus to amplify the synthetic, starship-like whirring it generates under throttle, acceleration is almost silent.
The same three-chamber air suspension that appears on the mad-dog Turbo and Turbo S models is also fitted here, so the 4S remains exceptionally controlled in its body movements and impressively comfortable in its rolling refinement, too. Even on our often poorly maintained roads, and even with its suspension dialled up into its firmest setting, the Taycan rides with impressive civility. Bumps are filtered out smartly, and there’s very little suspension noise to be heard, either. With the right attitude and reliable access to rapid charging, you could very easily drive a long way in the Taycan and not find it that tiring at all.