It’s been said that in Hollywood there are no new ideas for movies. To that end, we have seen reboots of The Lion King, Ghostbusters and Godzilla and we can expect this trend to endure for years to come. One of our favourite flicks of all time, Back to the Future, has no plans for another go around…yet. If that day comes, we have a suggestion for director Robert Zemeckis to recast Doc Brown’s DeLorean with a Porsche Taycan Turbo S, a more relevant, contemporary choice. Oh, fans will moan that the flux capacitor equipped, gullwing door classic should not be toyed with- because tradition- but the Taycan would make a much better choice for Marty McFly and Doc Brown’s time travelling exploits. Think about it: it’s better looking, much nicer inside and wayyyyyy faster than the DeLorean protagonist we’re used to. It can nearly hit 88 miles per hour after Doc could finish his trademark catchphrase “Great Scott!” Plus, there’s ample room to install the flux capacitor in the frunk so none of the pesky time hopping equipment would get in the way of comfort over any decade traversing journeys. You’re welcome, Mr. Zemeckis…We look forward to the royalty cheques that will come rolling in.
Flux capacitor or not, putting your foot down in Porsche’s top dog EV feels like a time warp. You have all seen the wide-eyed looks of drivers on YouTube who do just that and it isn’t acting folks. We have agonized on how to best articulate the experience to you, dear reader, but the proper words are elusive. Mat the throttle and the Turbo S literally compresses the air out of your lungs, more so than any other car we have driven to date. We all know that electric cars make peak power at 0 rpm, so one second you’re glancing way down the road, sweaty palms firmly holding the steering wheel and the next second- you’re gone. No drama, no wheel spin- surely this is what a time warp feels like.
The Taycan Turbo S will require you to recalibrate what you thought you knew about sheer acceleration. First, you need to be aware that if you intend on really uncorking the battery’s full might it had better be in a situation where you can see far ahead and without traffic to get in your way. While on vacation near some interesting (read: squiggly) rural roads we stole away for an afternoon drive to see how the Taycan fares when you show it some corners. We’ll talk about that shortly, but we need to touch on how different a casual drive is in a Turbo S than in any other car bristling with horsepower we have experienced along this familiar route in the past. In cars with internal combustion engines, you see a corner up ahead and stand on the gas. The transmission pauses to find the right gear while the engine gets ready to deliver full power and then you arrive at the corner, brake, and do it all again. Not so in the Taycan. You see the corner up ahead, flex your right foot and then you find yourself at the apex much, much faster than you had intended. It takes a little getting used to develop a rhythm because this car simply crushes straightaways like a superbike but without the noise. Need to pass a dawdler out for a Sunday drive? There’s no planning, no making sure that you have enough room to get it done. You simply think about where you want the car to go and the Taycan obliges while pressing you almost violently into your leather trimmed seat. To say that we never got tired of this would be a massive understatement. In fact, family and friends begged for a ride and we never grew weary of seeing their reaction of quality parts joy and terror when we showed them what this car is capable of. The best part? This astonishing performance is repeatable until the last electron is depleted from the battery, something that can’t be said about the Tesla Model S whose speed trails off dramatically as heat permeates the battery pack and drivetrain components.
Yet the Taycan Turbo S isn’t just about shrinking stainghtways. Because it wears the Porsche crest, its handling prowess and other dynamic metrics had to be at the level associated with the any of the brand’s other cars powered by a gasoline engine. We’ll talk about the standard carbon ceramic brakes first because they are one of the things you first notice when you walk up to the Taycan. It isn’t like you’d miss them because they are certifiably enormous. Sized 16.4 inches at the front and 14.4 out back, the front caliper has 10 pistons and is about as big as a child’s forearm making them among the largest brakes ever fitted to a production car. Predicably, the stopping power they command is fierce, and they are also tasked with sending power back to the battery pack. Interestingly, Porsche decided to leave one pedal driving off the menu, reasoning that using the brakes makes for more of a ‘normal’ experience that those familiar with Porsche might expect.
With steering and chassis tuning offering typical Porsche precision it won’t come as a surprise at how deft the Taycan’s ability to negotiate corners is and they help shrug off some of the immense 2,380 kilogram curb weight. Most of that heft comes from the battery pack which is mounted as low as possible giving the car a commendably low centre of gravity. Two impressive things result from this. The first is that the Taycan feels planted in a way that no other car can match. It also has an uncanny sense of straight ahead, resolutely locked into a lane while fixed onto the horizon with laser like commitment. These attributes make for thoroughly enjoyable highway behaviour. Adding to the experience is a whisper quiet interior, so long trips are made in the kind of serenity that eludes even the poshest luxury car.
Whilst enjoying the Taycan’s decadent cruising experience, we had time to survey the surroundings that make up the car’s cockpit. It doesn’t take long before you realize that Porsche have soundly whipped Tesla in terms of quality and fit and finish. Everything is meticulously assembled, and any signs of cheapness are completely absent. It’s far more comfortable than a Model S, and the Burmester stereo is incredible and superior to the tinny sound quality coming out of Tesla’s speakers. The lack of buttons and haptic touchscreens seem daunting at first, but you quickly get the hang of it and find yourself navigating menus with ease.
About the only thing we’d call the interior out for is the practice it takes gracefully getting in and out of the Taycan. The B-pillar is situated such a way that makes for some awkwardness until you develop the muscle memory to navigate it. Overall there are very few gripes that popped up on our radar. Brake feel feels a bit distant at the top of the pedal’s travel and there’s the range anxiety we developed when indulging the enormous acceleration but we can’t blame the Taycan for that- that’s more of a user issue. At least if you can find an EV charge station that supports Level 3 charging, you can be back on the road with nearly a full battery in as little as 30 minutes. It’s enough time to use the washroom and grab a coffee with time to spare which you can use to admire the Taycan’s pleasing shape, as passersby who encountered it would do while it soaked up juice wherever we had it hooked up to a charger.
After “how fast is it?”, the question we were asked most was “would you buy a Taycan Turbo S?” The 911 GT3 Touring, our current favourite Porsche model, gave us pause for thought because we lust after it so much. But the answer is yes, if we were buying an electric car (and we had the money) our choice would unanimously be for the Porsche. This is such a complete car that it did wonders to assuage our anxiety for the ubiquitous EV landscape we are inevitably headed for. It shows us that the future can and will be fun for car enthusiasts, albeit in a different context than cars powered by internal combustion engines.
The Taycan Turbo S is a special car, one that will leave an indelible mark in our collective subconscious. It bears repeating that never before have we encountered something that accelerates the way this car did. You can have your hyper cars- this one will trounce ‘em all. It does the quarter mile in a shade over 10 seconds folks! It still hasn’t sunk in how incredible that is. That it looks great, is a joy to drive in any situation and is surprisingly practical with its two trunks are added bonuses.
And so, without further adieu: “88 Miles an Hour Marty!”
2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo S – Specifications
- Price as tested: $248,470
- Body Type: 5-door, 4 passenger sedan
- Powertrain Layout: Front and Rear Electric Motors/all-wheel drive
- Power Source: 2 permanent-magnet synchronous AC, 255 and 449 hp, 325 and 450 lb-ft; 93.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
- Total Horsepower: 750 @ 0 rpm
- Total Torque (lb-ft.): 774 @ 0 rpm
- Transmission: 1-speed direct drive (front), 2-speed automatic (rear)
- Curb weight: 2,380 kg (5,246 lbs)
- Observed Fuel Economy: 23.7kWh/100km