20 January 2021

Porsche Taycan Turbo 2020 Car Review

There haven't been too many cars that have had quite the anticipation ahead of their arrival than the Porsche Taycan.

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Porsche Taycan 2020
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Porsche Taycan 2020
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Porsche Taycan 2020
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Porsche Taycan 2020
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Porsche Taycan 2020
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Porsche Taycan 2020
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Porsche Taycan 2020

The teaser Mission E concept set the scene back in 2015 and had motoring enthusiasts fizzing in hope that the real thing would look similar. The good news is that in the flesh it’s not much different, partly down to those lateral air intakes in the front bumper and the four-point LED headlights.

The word Taycan (pronounced ‘Tie-Con) has Turkic origins, and roughly translates as ‘soul of a spirited young horse’. The name reflects both the origins and the future of the brand: the horse on the Porsche crest, the expression of its soul, on its way into a new era of the sports car.

Our test model was finished in Jet Black Metallic paint and exhibited a raft of upgrades to showcase the scope of how you can dress the car up. Some of the more outstanding ones included the 21-inch Mission E Design wheels painted in Satin Platinum (which cost an additional $8,660), a fixed panoramic roof and Porsche Electric Sport sound, all to give the car a bit more panache.

Our car also featured the Sport Chrono Package, which includes the GT sports wheel complete with a circular drive mode switch and top centre marking so you know when the wheel is centred.

If you’re a fan of screens in vehicles, the cockpit of the Taycan will appeal to you. The curved instrument cluster display is 16.8-inches and has touchscreen control panels on the sides for the lights and chassis functions. The 10.9-inch centre top display controls your infotainment and there’s even the option of a matching display on the passenger’s side, while the 8.4-inch central console has a crazy Direct Touch Control function, where the operator receives haptic feedback through their finger to let them know that a feature has been selected.

New Zealand models gain a range of standard equipment in addition to worldwide standard specifications. All three model grades will be equipped with Surround View, Comfort Access, Lane Change Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, front seat ventilation, steering wheel heating, rear side airbags, electrically folding exterior mirrors, digital radio and privacy glazing.

Additional New Zealand standard equipment for the Taycan 4S includes 20-inch Taycan Sport Aero wheels, metallic paint, front seat heating, 14-way electric comfort seats, Auto-dimming mirrors as well as the BOSE Surround Sound system. Furthermore, the Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S will also gain driving dynamic and comfort features like Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) Sport, four-zone Advanced Climate Control and ambient lighting.

Hyper fast charging

This Porsche received the optional charging system upgrade to the 150kW on-board charger and has two charge ports, one for DC (fast/Hypercharging) and one for AC (home). Also ticked on the option list was the Mobile Charge Connect, which is a portable 11kW charger for the home that has a touch display, as well as WiFi and smartphone or tablet connectivity. On a journey, you can use fast chargers, or the new Hyperchargers (one just launched at the Auckland Bombay hills), which can supply up to 300kW and the Taycan can take 270kW of this, giving it roughly 100km of range in just five minutes.

Charge times at home using 11kW AC charging, is nine hours from zero to 100 per cent. It takes approximately 93 minutes using a 50kW DC charger to get from five to 100 percent, and just 22-and-a-half-minutes to get to 80 per cent using the new Hyperchargers - enough time for a coffee and a cake stop.  

Real quick

As you might expect, the Porsche Taycan Turbo is crazy fast in terms of acceleration. Using launch control, you can get from zero to 100km/h in just 3.2 seconds. The maximum torque of 850Nm does its best to pin you to your seat. The top model – the Taycan Turbo S – can reach 100km/h even faster - just 2.8 seconds @1.2g (faster than a skydiver in freefall).

Worried about going over the speed limit? There’s a driving mode selection called ‘Range’ that instantly caps the speed to 100km/h, so on the open road there was no danger of speeding if you wanted to put the acceleration to the test.

Driving positions in sports cars are very important, and the 14-way adjustable seat allows you to get it just right. The driving position is actually derived from the 911, so it’s nice and low. Very Porsche-like.

The drive, as you’d hope so in a $309,000 sports car, was outstanding and you can really feel the difference when you cycle through the different driving modes. The Taycan Turbo actually felt surprisingly light and agile, despite weighing 2,305kg. It handles like a car on rails, similar in some ways to our experience with the new MINI Electric a couple of months back. To help you navigate your way over speed bumps and larger kerbs, there’s a way to adjust the suspension to raise the nose.

Switching two-speed transmission

A newly developed, automatically switching two-speed transmission on the rear axle ensures noticeably improved dynamics. The extremely short-ratio first gear benefits initial acceleration, while the long-ratio second gear holds acceleration reserves for high-speed manoeuvres. At one point during testing, we thought we heard an electronic rev downshift when slowing down, which could be in conjunction with the shift of gears.

The question on everyone’s mind…

Why does the Turbo naming convention still stand, if the car is electric and clearly has no turbos? Well because the car is electric at heart but its soul is Porsche and the design remains typically Porsche, so the name has stuck. To Porsche, the ‘Turbo’ name is more than the means of forced induction on an internal combustion engine, it is given to the model’s top performance trim, of which the Taycan is no exception.

The on-board sound effects seemed a bit ridiculous at first, but as with any fast car you need to have sound to match. It helps make the driving experience that little bit better, almost egging you on to take that corner a bit faster. The sound effect is actually an enhanced recording of the sound the electric motors make, played back through the infotainment speakers. You can turn it off, but after a little while of driving, we turned it back on. After all, you can’t really drive a true sports car with no noise, it’s just not right.

At a glance


Porsche Taycan Turbo


Dual electric motors


From $289,900 (+ORC)

ANCAP safety rating

Not rated


93.4 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion


Two-speed auto



Towing capacity




Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

366 litres (boot), 84 litres (front)

Safety systems

  • Active Lane Keeping
  • Lane Change Assist
  • Traffic Jam Assist
  • Night Vision Assist
  • Eight airbags
  • Surround View Cameras
  • Crash optimised body
  • Multiple high-voltage disconnection points

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