Can you have too much of a good thing? Nah. Porsche has a hit on its hands with the Taycan.
More than 20,000 were delivered globally last year, and the all-electric four-door coupe’s become the UK’s second-favourite Porsche, behind the Macan. And now the Stuttgart derivative machine is running flat-out, churning out new versions and making hay.
Following the recent release of the rear-drive standard Taycan (still unconfirmed for Australia), we now have the Cross Turismo – a new, vaguely all-terrain estate bodystyle set to go on sale in the third quarter of 2021 with two powertrains broadly comparable with those available in the standard car.
The exception is that, quite logically, we won’t see a two-wheel-drive Cross Turismo, so the entry-level car will be the 4S Cross Turismo, priced from $201,000 before on-road costs.
The sole other model is the top dog Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo, which will cost $271,200 (before ORCs).
In sedan form, the Taycan 4S is priced in Australia at $191,000 before on-road costs, while the Taycan Turbo is a $269,100 proposition (again before on-road costs).
READ: Taycan price and specs
What’s different with the Taycan Cross Turismo?
The fundamental package remains the same: high-performance 800-volt electrical architecture, twin-motor all-wheel drive with a two-speed gearbox on the rear axle for monstrous launch acceleration and efficient running at speed.
The Taycan 4S Cross Turismo's powertrain packs 360kW, launching it from zero to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds, while the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo stocks 460kW to accelerate it from zero to 100km/h in 3.3 seconds.
But the Cross Turismo enjoys standard multi-height adaptive air suspension (with another 30mm of lift with the Off-road Design package fitted), and a dedicated Gravel drive mode for use on loose surfaces (it bumps the suspension to full height while also optimising such systems as the torque vectoring and the stability control to better suit low-grip surfaces).
Performance Plus is standard
Perhaps most importantly, the Taycan Cross Turismo is fitted as standard with the Performance Plus battery.
That pack is normally an $11,590 option on the regular Taycan 4S sedan which, if selected, would make the Taycan 4S sedan even pricier than its high-riding counterpart. Seems like a wagon-lover's bargain, then.
There’s also the bodystyle, of course, which bumps luggage space up to 1200 litres (accessed via a powered tailgate) and increases second-row headroom by a useful 36mm.
Like the look?
So do we. Timing is everything, and the Taycan Cross Turismo’s is strong. Jacked-up Porsches are very much a thing at the moment.
The 911 has long been happy to be modified and thrown at unpaved scenery sideways, the Dakar 959 elevated the concept to an art form in the ’80s, and high-rise Porsche sports cars are as on-trend right now (see Singer’s ACS Concept and the endless spy shots of 992-gen 911s on long-travel suspension) as not going out, ever.
All of which helps explain why the Cross Turismo exists, and why it manages to look so damn good – better, arguably, than the standard car, with no little RS6-style sleek-estate sauce in the mix.
There are off-road-inspired design touches, including wheelarch trims, unique front and rear lower aprons and side sills, but the Allroad-style bolt-ons are laudably subtle, stopping short of turning the classy Taycan into some sort of gauche Dakar wannabe.
Inside, the Cross Turismo is business as usual, with the Taycan’s classy, uncluttered cabin, a great driving position (made more day-to-day friendly should you choose to run around with the ride height lifted) and primarily touchscreen-based infotainment that does at least offer simple menus and crisp haptic touch feedback.
Read next 2021 Porsche Taycan confirmed for Oz
Neat details include the steering wheel button to switch between the two levels of regenerative braking (both of them relatively low and intuitive), encouraging you to do so on the fly, and the easy-reach touch functions on the driver’s display for stuff like drive mode, stability control setting and damper set-up.
It’s not really an off-roader, is it?
Not really, though the standard car’s superb in low-grip conditions (thank all-wheel drive and the easily modulated torque of e-motors) and the Cross Turismo builds on that solid foundation. The increased ride height and Gravel mode promise to make the odd muddy car park or rough green lane a pleasure rather than a pain.
But don’t expect to go boulder-crawling in it. In the words of Porsche’s Stefan Weckbach, vice president for the Taycan model line: “The biggest challenge was combining the requirements of sportiness with off-road capabilities.
“The Cross Turismo has to be capable of high performance on the racetrack but must also be able to handle mud, scree and gravel. While this is not a hardcore off-road vehicle, it specialises in unpaved and dirt roads. It’s like a type of Swiss army knife on up to 21-inch wheels.”
2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo pricing for Australia
The two-strong Cross Turismo range kicks off at $201,000 for the Taycan 4S, or you can opt for the Taycan Turbo for $271,200.
Both will become available in the third quarter of 2021, with order books open now.
2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Australian pricing
- Taycan 4S Cross Turismo – $201,000
- Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo – $271,000
All prices expressed in this story exclude on-road costs.
A version of this story was first published at carmagazine.co.uk