Porsche has finally taken the wraps off the all-new and all-electric Taycan, with insane acceleration figures and a chassis engineered by some of the best drivers in the business.
Let's take a look at five of the coolest features fitted to the Taycan.
It has a two-speed transmission
This may not seem like a groundbreaking feature in a regular internal-combustion car, but the Porsche Taycan is one of the only electric cars ever built that uses a two-speed transmission.
What's the point? It's a way of ensuring the car can propel at maximum speed in first gear, before shifting up a gear to maximum efficiency and top speed.
The two-speed transmission uses three shafts, along with two spur gear stages and a shiftable planetary gear set. In its first gear, which operates at low speeds for high torque starts rotates around 15 times for each revolution of the wheel. This allows wheel torque of up to 12,000Nm.
Moving into second gear shifts the ratio to 8:1 (that is eight motor revolutions to one wheel revolution), which allows the car to hit a top speed of 260km/h. It's able to hold the first gear for extended periods as an overboost gear before changing up to its top gear. It's mated to an electronically-controlled differential lock.
The two-speed transmission on the rear axle teams with another single-speed transmission of sorts on the front axle. It's a coaxial, compact one-speed planetary gear integrated on to a spur-gear differential.
It regenerates more energy than most ICE cars produce
Unlike a lot of electric cars on the market, the Taycan is able to regenerate up to 265kW of power, which allows the Taycan to decelerate at a rate of 3.8m/s/s. Most other electric cars will regenerate less than half of that figure, making the Taycan particularly efficient at pumping energy back into the battery that would otherwise have been lost to friction as heat.
The other benefit of this, according to Porsche, is that 90 per cent of the Taycan's deceleration will be by regeneration. That means the brakes will last longer, with Porsche now prescribing a pad change every six years to accommodate their use (or lack thereof).
Also unlike other electric cars on the market, the Taycan won't enter a regeneration mode unless the brake pedal is pressed. If the driver lets off the throttle, it will simply coast as opposed to going directly into a regen mode.
It lapped the Nurburgring in 7:42 minutes
Nurburgring lap times are arguably the most pointless tools of measurement known to man. But if you strip away the brag factor associated with these times, they are a useful tool for indicating how a particular vehicle compares to another benchmark in the segment.
In this instance, the lap time is incredibly quick, but slower than some of its peers – such as the petrol-powered BMW M5 Competition. The main reason is because of its top speed – 260km/h. Most other fast cars in this segment car achieve a higher top speed, which allows them to catch up on the longer stretches of the Nurburgring.
But if you strip those fast, straight stretches away from the equation, the Taycan is quicker point-to-point than the BMW M5 Competition and even the Panamera Turbo.
Even if you back-to-back the Taycan lap against the Ferrari 812 Superfast and 488 GTB, it holds its own at the start of the track before approaching the 200km/h plus sections. That leads us to the next point – it's only the fastest four-door electric production vehicle because it's able to manage continuous repetitive throttle applications.
No power degradation, ever
If you've ever driven a fast Tesla, you'll be used to the sensation of being pinned back in your seat. But, keep hitting the throttle in succession and it'll start tapering off to the point where a full throttle punch feels only like a half throttle hit regularly.
Porsche has entirely overcome that power degradation by virtue of intelligent thermal management. A Tesla is capable of continuously drawing the same amount of current in succession, but it throttles the amount you can access to preserve the battery, reduce electric motor heat and effectively reduce weight (because all of the extra cooling equipment required adds weight to the package).
In fact, it's so good that a recent test saw 26 consecutive 0-200km/h runs performed one after the other for an episode of the Fully Charged TV show. The difference between the fastest and slowest attempts was just 0.8 seconds.
This is the type of activity that was previously impossible in an electric car, so it gives you an idea of just how much Porsche has been able to cram into the Taycan.
Insane acceleration and performance
The Taycan will initially launch with two variants, Turbo and Turbo S. The initiated would then assume down the track we would see the Carrera 4S, Carrera S and Carrera, but you never know.
But, for the moment, the Turbo and Turbo S will offer insane performance to whet the electric vehicle appetite.
The Turbo S will accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 2.8 seconds, 0-160km/h in 6.3 seconds, and 0-200km/h in a blistering 9.8 seconds. With 560kW of power on offer (in overboost mode, or 460kW normally), the driver has access to 1050Nm of torque at any given point.
The Turbo isn't too far behind with a 0-100km/h sprint of 3.2 seconds, 0-160km/h in 6.9 seconds, and finally 0-200km/h in 10.6 seconds. It offers up to 500kW of power (overboost, or 460kW normally) and 850Nm of torque.
That acceleration is matched by a whopper set of brakes. The rotors are carbon-ceramic in construction (420mm) with 10-piston calipers at the front, while the rear uses 410mm rotors with four-piston calipers.
A set of steel brakes will also be available. They use 10-piston calipers at the front with 415mm rotors, with the rear set coming in at 365mm rotors and 4-piston calipers.
You can read more about the Taycan here. Pricing for Australia won't be revealed until early 2020, with the first batch of cars arriving to Australia in Q4 2020.
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