Porsche Mission E

Styling

The concept version of the Taycan was introduced in 2015 as the Mission E, shown in the only official images available so far. Recent spy shots reveal that the style and size of the Porsche Taycan—as with the Mission E Concept—strike a balance between the 911 sports car and the Panamera luxury sedan.

The front end is inspired by the iconic 911. The headlights stretch as they lift up to the side skirts which flare over the front wheels. The hood slots between those arches, starting narrow at the nose and then broadening to the full width of the car at the A-pillars.

The charging port on the front passenger side is positioned between the wheel arch and the sculpted side panels, which are reminiscent of the Panamera. Performance wheels are pushed to all four corners. The side of the car’s body is somewhat narrow along the doors before broadening to the brawny proportions of the four-door sedan’s rear. The Taycan is shorter with a lower stance than the Panamera.

The roofline sweeps in a consistent aerocurve over the cabin until it drops to the trunk lid. The rear haunches are more sedan-like than what you see in the sporty front. The taillights and fake exhausts are connected in a horizontal strip that juts out from the back end.

The overall effect is beautiful, striking the right balance of speed, muscle, and luxury. There’s very little to indicate that the Taycan is all-electric—until the hood is lifted to reveal a frunk where most people will expect to see an engine.

“The Taycan drives like a Porsche, looks like a Porsche, and feels like a Porsche,” said Stefan Weckbach, head of Porsche’s battery-electric vehicle model series. “It just happens to have a different type of drive.”

Performance

The Taycan can sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than 3.5 seconds and reach 124 miles per hour in just 12 seconds. Its two motors, one on each axle, combine to produce 600 horsepower. Porsche emphasizes that the Taycan’s ability to produce a sequence of power bursts is unprecedented among EVs. That translates to multiple, successive high-power launches without any loss of performance. Top speed will be governed to 155 mph.

The high horsepower combines with great handling via four-wheel steering and active torque vectoring. An expected long list of special capabilities includes air suspension that can add two inches of clearance on demand.

Efficiency & Range

It’s not fully confirmed, but multiple media reports indicate that the Taycan will be available with a choice of battery packs: about 80 kWh and another offering 95 kWh. Based on typical levels of efficiency, that could mean a choice between about 270 and 300 miles of range. The bigger pack will not only offers the maximum range on a single charge but provides the full dose of horsepower.

Porsche Mission E

Charging

Despite PR about the Taycan’s capacity for ultra-fast charging, you can expect practical daily electric refueling to occur at familiar speeds. While plugged into a 240-volt home charging station or today’s common public chargers, the Taycan adds between about 25 and 30 miles of range in an hour. The car utilizes the CCS plug and 11-kW onboard charger. Most owners will charge at home overnight, replenishing the 90 kilowatt-hour pack from completely empty to full overnight in about nine hours.

The headline-grabbing innovation is the Taycan’s 800-volt fast-charging capability—but only when plugged into custom Porsche public charging stations that have not yet been built. Porsche says that it plans to eventually install 500 of them at highway locations and Porsche dealerships across the United States. When up and running—and if positioned in locations that might be useful to you on a highway journey—you could add as many as 250 miles in about 20 minutes.

Of course, Tesla already has about 1,300 Supercharger locations that can add about 170 miles of driving range in a 30-minute stop. So the Porsche network and system would be a step up—but it will take time for the Porsche network to emerge. The company says it will have 300 stations in place by the end of 2019, with two-thirds of them equipped with 800-volt capability.

Porsche also aims to make charging at one of these stations as easy as filling up a gas tank. Just use a regular credit card (or an app) at any charging station rather than requiring membership to a proprietary charging network. The details are still being worked out.

Porsche Mission E

Passenger & Cargo Room

Porsche wants the Taycan to be a low-slung sports car while providing comfort for four passengers. Like other luxury automakers now introducing EVs, the company’s designers are excited about the possibilities provided by electric vehicles for more interior space—even in the back seat. We might see deeper than usual foot wells in back. And expect there to be a funk in front as well as a capacious trunk in back.

Early glimpses of the dash reveal a sleek instrument cluster with digital dials—and a large, landscape display in the dashboard’s center. There are separate infotainment touchscreens for the driver and front passenger. The steering wheel offers left and right thumb-controlled scroll wheels and, as Porsche designers prefer, lots of buttons.

Price

The Taycan is expected to start at around the same price as the Porsche Panamera, which starts around $85,000. That’s guesswork until the company makes a formal announcement about price. Sometimes, EV use tax incentives to alter the perception of price. With that in mind, we suspect that the most desirable trim offering longer range will have a sticker above $90,000.

Porsche Mission E

Purchase Process

Despite the lack of a published final design, specs, and pricing, Porsche’s website already has a form for customers wanting to register interest in the Taycan. Dealerships are also taking deposits of about $5,000, well ahead of the car going on sale in late 2019. If you are keen on buying a Taycan, it might make sense to put in a deposit. Porsche says it will produce only 20,000 Taycan vehicles on a global basis per year.

Porsche Taycan specifications

Availability: 2019
Base MSRP: TBD
Est. tax credit: $7500
Technology: Electric Vehicle
Body type: Sedan
Seats: 4
EPA Range: 300 miles pure electric
Battery size: 95 kWh
Charging rate: 11.0 kW

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