How’s this for an electric shock? Porsche has been stunned by its own forecasts with the revelation that the first year’s allocation of the new Taycan electric sedan is sold out.
Never before in the history of Porsche has it sold so many cars ahead of launch, and the sudden spike in demand now has the company scrambling to see if it can increase production.
The global boss of Porsche, Oliver Blume, told Australian media at the Geneva motor show the company has “20,000 pre-orders already” even though customers haven’t seen the final production car.
Porsche has only shown the Mission E concept car (pictured here), but has not released price estimates.
The company has revealed some preliminary details about the Taycan's drivetrain, with the top-spec model featuring two electric motors, one each on the front and rear axles, capable of propelling the car from 0-100km/h in "well under" 3.5 seconds.
Additionally the Taycan will have a driving range of up to 500 kilometres, and support 800V and 400V fast charging stations.
The company confirmed that “no other Porsche” has had such a sales impact prior to launch. “For sure we haven’t reached, half a year before launching, 20,000 pre-orders,” said Mr Blume. “It’s a totally new segment for us.”
Taycan customers can look forward to customising the sound of their electric car, and former Formula One ace, Aussie Mark Webber, now a Porsche ambassador, has already had a test drive.
“We had a very interesting experience with Mark Webber,” said Mr Blume. “When he drove the car last time we showed him the sound … and he was very astonished.”
Porsche says the Taycan will have a unique note — inside and outside the car — but it won’t pretend to sound like a petrol-powered performance car.
“I’m not a fan to make an application of a combustion engine for an electric car, that’s not authentic,” said Mr Blume. “We adapted the sound from the electric engine [into the cabin]. The driver can choose to drive with or without it. You have the option to make it louder.”
Despite the demand for Taycan — and Porsche posting a record 256,000 sales globally last year — Mr Blume says the company is not about to become a volume brand and will still be able to retain its exclusivity.
“Volume is not a figure that has a big importance for us,” said Mr Blume. “It’s more important to have more tailor-made cars [and] satisfied customers. Volume is more a consequence of a successful product strategy.”
He said Porsche planned to increase sales “step by step … 5 per cent per year, we don’t want to … have jumps like 20 per cent”.
“We sold 35,000 911s last year. Versus the 1960s and 70s that’s a lot of cars, but people don’t talk about Porsche suddenly being volume cars”.
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling