Unless you’ve been living under a rock – and no disrespect to the residents of Coober Pedy – you’ve probably spent at least part of this last week reading reviews of the new all-electric Porsche Taycan. Some have been pretty complimentary, while others have struggled to get under the skin of Porsche’s first modern EV. But if there’s one thing that has united reviewers, it’s the sharp intake of breath when the prices were announced.
The Turbo model costs around $300K and the Turbo S flagship a cool $350-odd grand, so pitching these as some kind of rival for a Tesla Model S looks way off beam. Fortunately, help is at hand for those who want a Taycan but aren’t willing to fork out quite such a fat stack of cash. The Taycan 4S is being added to the range and the price is likely to come in somewhere around $200K. That’s cheaper than any Panamera or 911, albeit still a bit spendier than any of Mr Musk’s current wares.
The Taycan 4S also comes as a welcome relief to those who were getting a bit aerated about an electric car being fitted with a Turbo badge. We have no great issue with it given that putting the words Sport and Luxury on the back of a Lexus ES has to be an exercise in the driest of Japanese humour. Anyway, I digress.
The erstwhile entry-level Taycan is offered with a choice of two battery sizes. The so-called Performance battery delivers up to 390kW (530hp), or you can opt for the Performance battery Plus that wicks things up to 420kW (570hp).
The single-deck Performance battery, with a total capacity of 79.2kWh, comes as standard. Opt for the peppier 93.4kWh dual-deck Performance battery Plus and you get the same set-up seen in the Taycans with the Turbo badges.
Like those cars, drive goes to all four wheels, and in both variants 0-100km/h disappears in a claimed 4.0 seconds. Given what we’ve seen with the other models, that claim is conservative. What’s more, the 4S shares the Turbo models’ repeatability of performance, that being a key Taycan design criterion. The top speed is also 250km/h in both cases.
So what differs between the two batteries? In a word, range. The range is pegged at 407km (WLTP) with the Performance battery and up to 463km with the Performance battery Plus. Because of the more modest power draw, that range is the best of the entire Taycan range, so if you’d shunned a Turbo model on the basis of range anxiety, it might well be time to reassess. The other key difference between the two 4S variants is the maximum charging capacity, which is rated at a peak of 225kW for the Performance battery or 270kW for the Performance battery Plus.
Apart from the badge on the pert rear end, you’ll spot a Taycan 4S due to its standard-fit 20-inch Sport Aero wheels and red-painted brake calipers. A revised front apron, sleek side sills and a rear diffuser finished in black also differentiate the 4S.
Jump inside and you get the same cowl-free dashboard, robotised HVAC and digital clusters, and the 4S is fitted with a part-leather interior with 14-way adjustable front comfort seats with memory function.
In fact, most of the big-ticket items that have impressed testers in the Turbo models are fitted to the 4S, most notably the adaptive air suspension with three-chamber technology and electronic damper control PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management). There’s also that fiendishly clever regeneration system through the brake pedal, where the actual brake pads aren’t used for 90 percent of brake pedal requests. Should you really mash the stoppers, you’ll be glad of having a set of six-piston, fixed-calliper brakes biting down on 360mm discs on the front axle. At the back there are four-pot units and 358mm discs. The discs are cast iron rather than carbon ceramic, to help keep a cap on cost.
As you might have spotted, all of the prices are currently what we think are pretty accurate estimates. Porsche isn’t going to reveal its hand on pricing until early next year, at which time it’ll formally open the order book, with first deliveries down under expected at the end of next year. If the quantity of expressions of interest are anything to go by, you’ll need to move extremely fast to get an early build slot on a 4S. What are you waiting for?
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