Porsche’s first electric sedan is almost here and production of the long-anticipated Mission E, now known as the Porsche Taycan, begins next year, which means we’ll likely get a glimpse of the production version around the time of the 2018 LA Auto Show. Here are 7 things to expect from Porsche’s first, but by no means last, Tesla fighter:
1. The name
Taycan, pronounced “tie-kahn,” will be the production name of the Mission E concept, which had by now acquired its own brand recognition. Porsche says that the name approximately translates to “lively young horse” in some Asian dialects.
2. The motors
The Taycan will be powered by a pair of electric motors with a combined output of over 600 hp, but the kicker is that the rear motor will be more powerful than the front motor to make it more of a rear-biased car. The permanent magnet synchronous motors will also work to achieve braking, rather than relying on disc brakes alone. Expect two-speed gearboxes for city and highway driving — EVs don’t usually have these, but it really does make sense to have a taller gear to maintain acceleration at the top end of the performance envelope.
3. The performance
Porsche indicated earlier this year that the Taycan will be capable of sprints from 0-60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds, and it will hit 125 mph in “less than” 12 seconds on its way to a top speed that will be somewhere north of 155 mph. Porsche execs have indicated that the 3.5-second launches will be repeatable all day long, in a jab at Tesla’s asterisk-marked launch times.
The Taycan will also serve up multiple driving modes, as you’d expect, to tailor its lithium-ion battery and motor performance to the type of driving you’re doing. This means you’ll be able to hypermile when you don’t need the full capabilities of the motors to save battery juice, and you’ll also be able to use full power when you want.
4. The range
Porsche is aiming at 500 kilometers on the notoriously optimistic New European Driving Cycle, which works out to 310 miles. Real-world mileage will vary, of course, depending on driving conditions, but we expect it to land a bit south of the nominal 310-mile figure — perhaps around 250 miles — judging by how the NEDC driving cycle usually translates to EPA figures.
5. Fast charging
Porsche says that owner will be able to juice the Taycan up to 80 percent in just 15 minutes with an 800-volt charger; this works out to 250 miles if we take the 310-mile range at face value … and if you can find an 800-volt charger.
“Our new electric sports car is strong and dependable; it’s a vehicle that can consistently cover long distances and that epitomizes freedom,” Oliver Blume, chairman of Porsche AG’s executive board said this year.
6. The soundtrack
Since the Taycan will be an EV, its powertrain won’t really generate a sound aside from tire and wind noise. But it will have some sort of artificially generated noise like many other EVs, as Porsche has hinted, that will be audible to those outside. We won’t keep our fingers crossed in hopes of hearing a flat-six howl; the current repertoire of EV sounds leans toward electric hums that sound like “Star Trek: The Original Series” props.
7. Cross Turismo
Porsche has confirmed that the Taycan will also spawn a wagon-like crossover nicely (and closely) previewed by the Mission E Cross Turismo concept. Expect to see a five-door body style with a rear hatch and a raised ride height in addition to a revised suspension. The final product will still need to differentiate itself a bit from the Panamera Sport Turismo and Macan, so expect something akin to a raised station wagon.
“The key for the Panamera Sport Turismo was versatility. In the case of the Mission E Cross Turismo, the focus was more on this combination of different vehicle characteristics,” Porsche chief designer Michael Mauer told Automotive News Europe earlier this year. “Take this car in the morning to the meeting in the city, and in the evening, you go to your chalet in the Swiss mountains.”