‘NOT A QUESTION OF SPORT’ - Porsche Taycan Sports Saloon Independent New Review (Ref:1447/14112)


Car and Driving’s Independent New Review of the Porsche Taycan Sports Saloon.

By Jonathan Crouch Added 9th February, 2024

The Taycan Sports Saloon's heart is electric: its soul though, is very much that of a Porsche. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at the improved version.

Ten Second Review

What might the Porsche of full-electric performance cars be like? In this Taycan, back in 2020 we got our answer. Now it's been significantly improved - faster, longer-ranging and quicker-charging. As before, it's more powerful and faster than any other EV yet made. And as you might expect, it continues to set the handling benchmark for what a performance EV can be. Taycan pricing is exclusive of course. But if you're looking for the electrified state-of-the-art, you'll find it right here. In this review, we look at the Sports Saloon version.



Fully electric performance cars are all much the same right? They all give you a great big heavy battery, a couple of electric motors and enough pulling power to tear up the tarmac. Oh yes and they all feel terrible the first time you throw one into a corner. In 2020 though, Porsche came up with something better: the Porsche Taycan. Launched in the Sports Saloon form we look at here, the range was then expanded with Sport Turismo and Cross Turismo body styles; and all handled like no ever large luxury sports EV ever had. As a result, over 150,000 Taycans had been sold by the time this extensively revised model range was introduced in early 2024.

This improved car looks much the same - and sits on the same J1 800v platform as before - but under the skin gets big changes in terms of drivetrain and charge capability. Though this model continues to share much with its development cousin, Audi's e-tron GT, it's still the car to beat in its segment.

Driving Experience

There aren't many cars that can keep up with a Taycan, whatever drivetrain they might use. Quite a lot's new with this revised version, though for the time being, Porsche has decided not to adopt the tri-motor drive system from cousin model Audi's SQ8 e-tron. Instead, Zuffenhausen has redesigned this Taycan's rear electric motor, which is 10.4kg lighter than before, but up to 107bhp more powerful, depending on the variant you're looking at. When fitted with the Sport Chrono Pack that most customers want, the base single-motor rear-driven Taycan now offers 429bhp (26bhp more than before). And the mid-range dual-motor Taycan 4S now offers 590bhp (up 67bhp from before). The biggest increases though, are at the top of the range, where the strangely-named 'Turbo' version offers 871bhp (200bhp more) and the Turbo S develops an impressive 938bhp (186bhp more). A push-to-pass feature on the now-standard mode switch gives a quick burst of acceleration should you need it. More dynamic variants are to follow, including a GTS derivative, a Turbo S Performance Pack model and a top GT. As for EV range, well depending on variant, that can be up to 421 miles, an increase of up to 109 miles. Helping here is an increase in battery size, the base pack now at 89kWh, with the larger pack (standard on the Turbo variants) now at 105kWh.

What else? Well air suspension is now mandatory (the old coil-spring set-up's no longer offered) and the twin-chamber air springs are matched to the new dual-valve dampers recently introduced in the Panamera. This more greatly varies the car's behaviour between its 'Comfort' and 'Sport' modes and allows for variable ride heights at high speeds. As before, the most difficult task the engineers had here was in disguising what as usual on an EV is a prodigious kerb weight - in this case around 2.3-tonnes. Plenty's been thrown at that problem as part of this update.

Optional is an Active air suspension system which enables individual control of each damper via a small electrically-driven compressor. Roll and pitch through the bends can then be countered, without the need for the physical anti-roll bars used in the previously-available PDCC anti-roll system. Turbo and Turbo S models get Porsche's Torque Vectoring Plus rear differential, which through turns is able to over-speed the outer rear wheel to help the Taycan's cornering balance. Rear-wheel steering is optional across the line-up (and standard on the Turbo S). And all of this tech is co-ordinated by a clever Porsche 4D Chassis Control set-up.

Design and Build

As before, there are three Taycan body styles - the Sports Saloon we look at here, plus the Sport Turismo (a kind of Shooting Brake estate) and the Cross Turismo crossover. As for the visual update changes, well they're subtle. Porsche has redesigned the bumpers across the range, with a bespoke look for the Turbo variants (which also get new 'Turbonite' exterior detailing). And the aero-optimised wheels have been redesigned, with sizes between 19 and 21-inches. New Matrix LED headlights now feature, with HD matrix units available as an option.

There are far fewer changes inside, apart from a few colour and trim options and updates to the interfaces for the curved 16.8-inch driver's display, the main 10.9-inch centre touchscreen and the optional front passenger monitor. Otherwise, things are much as before, which means a dashboard apparently influenced by the original 911 design from 1963 in the respect that there are very few buttons and the instrument cluster is wider than the steering wheel.

And rear seat space? Well in size, the Taycan Sports Saloon we look at here sits between a 911 and a Panamera and rear compartment room reflects that: two adults will be quite comfortable and they'll get a further screen (5.9-inches) if you've specified 4-zone climate control. Special recesses in the under-floor battery allow for so-called 'foot garages' which improve legroom while keeping the seating position low. In terms of boot space, there's nothing like as much as you'd get in, say, a Tesla Model S: there's a 366-litre boot (about the same as you'd get in a VW Golf), plus a further 'frunk' nose compartment offering a further 81-litres.

Market and Model

For the Taycan Sports Saloon we look at here, prices now start from £86,500 for the base rear-driven version. It's around £96,000 for the mid-range dual-motor Taycan 4S. And just over £134,000 for the Taycan Turbo. The Turbo S tops the range and just over £161,000. You only need fractionally more for the alternative Sport Turismo and Cross Turismo body shapes (the latter unavailable in rear-driven form). At least these figures get you a slightly better equipped Taycan than before. The mode switch on the steering wheel is now a standard feature. For models equipped with the Sport Chrono package and the bigger 'Performance Battery Plus pack', there is a special 'push-to-pass' button on the mode switch. Using the new control lever on the left behind the steering wheel, control of the driver assistance systems is now more intuitive. Apple CarPlay has been more deeply integrated into the vehicle displays and functions. And the new In-Car Video function enables video streaming on the central display and the passenger display.

As you'd expect, it's possible to spend a further fortune on the options list - which you'll need to do if you want all of the handling systems we touched on earlier. As you'd expect, there's also a whole portfolio of available camera and radar-driven safety and autonomous driving tech. Most Taycan owners will want Adaptive Cruise Control, which works particularly well as part of the Porsche InnoDrive system. This can look ahead for up to two miles as you drive using radar and sensor feedback plus predictive GPS data before then modifying speed and gearshift strategy to better suit the speed limits, topographic road features and traffic flow you're likely to encounter. 'Active Lane Keeping', 'Traffic jam Assist', 'Lane Change Assist' and 'Night Vision Assist' features are also available.

Cost of Ownership

As suggested earlier, EV range has increased substantially - by around 35%. That's with the larger 'Performance Battery Plus' pack that most customers want, which has been increased in size from 93 to 105kWh (though is 9kg lighter) with the unit arranged in 396 pouch cells, which sit in a redesigned housing with composite glassfibre materials for its underbody guard. That bigger pack is optional with the base Taycan and mid-range Taycan S models, which as standard come with an 89kWh pack (10kW bigger than before) that takes them, respectively, either 367 or 348 miles on a charge. With the larger 105kWh pack fitted, the Turbo version goes 394 miles, while the Turbo S manages 393 miles.

To preserve charge, there are weight improvements of up to 15kgs. And the maximum recuperation capacity during deceleration from high speeds has increased by more than 30 per cent from 290kW to up to 400kW. As before, unlike most of its rivals (but as with the similarly-engineered Audi e-tron GT), the Taycan has an 800volt electrical infrastructure (rather than the usual EV 400v set-up). This time round, this model's bigger battery packs can charge at up to 320kW (50kW more than before) and Porsche says that both packs will charge from 10-80% in just 18 minutes (4 minutes quicker than the equivalent smaller-capacity batteries could do before). It's 33 minutes hooked up to a more usual 150kW public DC supply. Home wallbox charging should be quicker too, thanks to a new controller and software for the 11kW AC in-built charger. With an 11kW supply, the 93kWh battery needs nine hours to charge from empty to full; it'd be 11 hours for the 105kWh battery.


If, like us, you'd begun to imagine that the golden age of the motor car was well behind us, there's cause for hope here. And even for an argument that a really well engineered EV can restore to enthusiasts some of the driving involvement and excitement that's been lost in recent decades as powerful petrol engines have become sanitised by turbochargers, particulate filters and camera-driven technology. Ultimately, those petrol engines have to go, but what replaces them doesn't necessarily have to be an automotive domestic appliance. The Taycan proved that. And proves it again in this usefully upgraded form.

This car is priced to be vanishingly rare but its technology will in future surely be shared with more accessible EVs in Porsche's Volkswagen Group parent company. And from there, other competing volume brands will have to copy it. So the Taycan might really prove to be a turning point in EV development. The place from which automotive engineers regained emotive control in motor car development. There's a place in the market for electric cars produced merely to go from one location to another. But a desire for more than that will also exist amongst those who come in search of something extra. And if you'd despaired of an EV, any EV, ever properly providing that, then you need to try this car.

  • Performance
  • Handling
  • Comfort
  • Space
  • Styling
  • Build
  • Value
  • Equipment
  • Economy
  • Depreciation
  • Insurance
  • Total (69/110)

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  1. Emissions and efficiency data taken from official test results, where available, when new. Data shown is intended to provide a standard figure for comparing the relative fuel economy of different vehicles of a similar age and condition, and does not represent the average fuel consumption that will be achieved on the road. Actual figures will depend on factors including the age of the vehicle, how it has been maintained, road and weather conditions and driving style.