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Tech details of the Porsche Taycan revealed. Image by Porsche.

Tech details of the Porsche Taycan revealed
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What's the news?

The electric Porsche Taycan won't be in showrooms until 2020, but we've had a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the car up close as it undergoes pre-series production. It's the first time that the Taycan has been seen minus the camouflage disguise that it has worn during its arduous testing program. To date, Porsche engineers have racked up nearly four million miles of testing using over 200 prototypes. As well as honing the car's dynamic qualities, the prototypes have been putting public charging networks through their paces around the globe to see how they performs in different countries.

So, what do we know about the Taycan?

We'll start with the design, as it's clearly different from anything else in the Porsche range, but still oozes the company's DNA. It isn't quite as large as a Panamera, sitting between that and the 911 in size. Proportionally, it looks more like a four-door 911 in side profile than the larger saloon and Robert Meier, Director of the Taycan Model Line, describes the driving positions as being almost identical to a 911's.

The Taycan will feature four doors in the traditional style and won't be without a B-pillar as the original Mission E concept was. Helping the rear seating is the provision of sunken footwells, where engineers removed battery cells to boost legroom. The full-length centre console of the concept is gone, though, leaving scope for Porsche to offer four-plus-one seating as an option. There's luggage space at each end so it will be quite a practical car, too.

Where things get far more interesting is up front where a fully digital instrument cluster curves around in front of the driver. Even though we didn't see this in operation, the size and quality of finish suggest that it will be an impressive bit of kit. As for the rest of the cabin, it's a minimal affair, with a small drive select toggle beside the steering wheel. A large infotainment screen sits flush with the rest of the upright dashboard fascia, while between the front seats is a sloping centre console. Atop this are two air vents and the rest of the area is taken up by a second larger tablet display. It is likely that this screen will be home to drive mode settings and climate controls.

What about the battery side of things?

Like almost all other electric vehicles, the battery for the Taycan sits low in the floor of the chassis and will play a key role in how the car handles. The engineering team are keeping tight-lipped as to the exact composition of the battery, but we do know that it is made up of 400 cells developed with LG in South Korea.

It features advanced thermal management and charging software that will give the 800-volt system the capacity to recharge at very fast rates with the right infrastructure. Porsche quotes a time of just four minutes to add over sixty miles to the car's range.

How will that translate to performance?

We've yet to get exact performance figures for the Taycan. For now, Porsche says that is will have over 600hp with the capability of reaching 62mph in less than 3.5 seconds. One interesting titbit of information came from Lutz Meschke, Porsche's Executive Board Member for Finance and IT, who suggested that Porsche may offer on-demand services that will be available to owners through an over-the-air connection. In addition to routine software updates, owners may be able to temporarily or permanently upgrade power outputs, chassis settings and other features by paying via an app.

When will it go on sale?

The finished Taycan isn't expected to make its full public debut until possibly the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. But Meschke did admit that the company has already received more than 10,000 orders for the car, which should account for the first half year of production. It estimates that between 20- to 25,000 units can be produced each year, with scope to expand that by extending shifts and utilising additional production locations in the expansive Volkswagen Group.

Dave Humphreys - 22 Oct 2018

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