The Taycan Turbo S impressed us a great deal with its supple ride composure, and with surprisingly effortless agility and cornering poise for such a heavy car, when we tested it in 2020. The regular Taycan does without that car’s electronically torque-vectored four-wheel drive, and without some of the weight, granted; but, as we’ve already explained, our test car also did without its range-mate’s clever height-adjustable air suspension, four-wheel steering and active rear differential. So is there a net dynamic gain here to report here, or a loss?
It’s a complicated equation, but our test jury agreed that the cheaper, simpler, rear-driven Taycan probably offers at least as much driver appeal as its more expensive sibling, if not a shade more – with its dynamic strengths apparent in slightly different places.
There is a clearer sense of purity and a more natural handling balance about the single-motor car. The fact that the chassis is always pushed out of bends from the rear axle makes its handling more honest and a shade more predictable, and also leaves the steering entirely uncorrupted by tractive forces. The regular Taycan’s more moderate performance level is also easier to fathom on the road than that of the Taycan Turbo S, and can be fully uncorked without trepidation, which makes the car easier to enjoy much of the time.
Being couched so low to the ground remains a central dynamic asset for the car. It’s one of only a handful of EVs ever to have conjured a real, perceptible gain from carrying its bulk low and using it to lower its centre of gravity – something routinely claimed of so many electric rivals, but rarely decisively delivered. And relatively gentle suspension rates are evidently key to its success.
The Taycan rolls very little when cornering. It pitches very little under power or brakes. It changes direction with the really distinguishing crispness and natural poise you’d expect of a much lighter sports coupé, and has manageable and consistent steering weight and a natural cornering composure that both invite you to experiment with power, line and attitude in a way you just don’t expect in a 2.2-tonne, four-door EV. It’s a really captivating drive, and a true Porsche.
Only at bigger speeds on rising country roads, when vertical inputs set up moments of heaving and compression, do you become aware that the Taycan doesn’t actually need stiff springing or aggressive damping to do any of the above. Then, for a moment, the steel sprung car can feel just a little bit heavy and under-damped where a lower-slung, more actively reined-in air-sprung Taycan might not.