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First drive: 2022 Porsche Taycan GTS. Image by Porsche.

First drive: 2022 Porsche Taycan GTS
Is the new GTS version of the Taycan just another trim level? We track test it to find out.

   



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2022 Porsche Taycan GTS

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

The prospect of an electric Porsche was as controversial as it was inevitable, but the Taycan has still managed to become a smash hit for the German brand. We've already been impressed by the entire range, from the entry-level car to the range-topping Turbo - even if the name is confusing. But this is the new driver-focused model, the GTS, and Porsche claims it's the "sporty sweet spot" in the Taycan range. We took to the track in a bid to find out whether that's the case.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Porsche Taycan GTS
Pricing: from 104,190
Electric system: electric motor on each axle plus 93.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack
Transmission: single-speed (front), two-speed (rear) automatic, all-wheel drive
Body style: four-door, four/five-seat saloon
CO2 emissions: 0g/km
Electric range: 313 miles
Top speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 3.7 seconds
Power: 518hp (598hp with overboost)
Torque: 850Nm
Boot space: 407 litres

What's this?

Just when you thought the Taycan range had excelled itself with a non-turbocharged Turbo model, Porsche has added to the confusion with yet another new model. Dubbed the GTS, it splits the difference between the already rapid 4S and the outrageously fast Turbo. But that's an over-simplification, because Porsche says the GTS is the most driver-orientated model in the range. One for the purists, if you will.

Although we suspect most of the purists would rather have a petrol engine on board, the Taycan remains stubbornly electric. The complicated powertrain puts an electric motor and a single-speed transmission at the front, while there's another motor and a two-speed gearbox at the back. That means the car has four-wheel drive and, perhaps more importantly, 518hp. And the overboost means that can temporarily rise to 598hp.

That places the GTS neatly between the 4S and Turbo in terms of power and straight-line speed, but Porsche says the chassis is set up to be more focused than either the 4S or the Turbo, which is designed to be more of an autobahn tool. Well, they didn't put it quite like that, but that's what they meant.

Anyway, the GTS rides on adaptive air suspension, which is very similar to any other air-sprung Taycan in its design, but Porsche claims tiny differences make it slightly stiffer and offer improved body control. It also comes with the Sport Chrono package as standard, meaning every GTS will have a range of driving modes that affect the way it feels on the road or track.

Externally, the newbie is set apart from the other Taycans in much the same way as any other Porsche GTS model. There's lots of black trim on the windows, badges and around the door sills, while there's an aerodynamic diffuser at the rear and some black trim around the door mirrors. Although our test car had much of the black trim replaced with carbon-fibre, because sport.

Inside, the dark theme continues with Porsche's Race-Tex microfibre fabric on the steering wheel and dashboard. It's a motorsport-inspired material and it feels lovely to the touch, but we'd worry about spilling anything on it. Anyway, aside from that, the beautifully sculpted sports seats and the optional carbon trim on the dash and steering wheel, the GTS's cabin is almost identical to that of any other Taycan.

There are three touchscreens, with two in the middle and one in front of the passenger, while the lower of the two central ones has some strange haptic feedback that makes it a little frustrating to use. But that's the only ergonomic faux pas, with almost everything else proving highly intuitive. Even the curved, configurable digital instrument display is easy to get the hang of, and the steering wheel controls are self-explanatory.

But the overriding sense is one of quality. Everything inside the Taycan cabin feels beautifully engineered, from the high-quality materials to the switches and latches for the doors and windows. It's very solid and very German.

That sets the tone for the sensible side of the GTS, which comes with the same 407-litre boot and 84-litre 'frunk' as the standard Taycan. That should be plenty, but those who need more space can fold down the rear seats, or they can choose the forthcoming Sport Turismo estate version, which promises even more carrying capacity. It should have more rear seat space, too. The Taycan isn't bad, with ample legroom, but the sloping roof makes headroom a little tight for taller passengers.

As well as being among the most impressive performers in the Taycan range, the GTS also has one of the best battery packs - at least on paper. The 93.4kWh unit is the same size as in the other Taycans, but this one benefits from a software update that allows it to cover 313 miles on a single charge. Officially, that means the GTS has a longer range than even the rear-drive Taycan, but that's just on paper. The update is applied across the range, so when the other models go through the economy test again, expect to see them catch up. Even so, a 300-plus-mile official range is not bad for a car that's billed as an enthusiast's machine.

How does it drive?

Despite slotting into the middle of the Taycan range, the GTS is mighty effective. At 3.7 seconds, the 0-62mph time might be half a second slower than that of the Turbo, but it still feels incredibly fast. It's the sort of speed that seems to rearrange your internal organs as you're hurled towards the next corner. We suspect it'll make overtaking slow-moving traffic addictively simple.

Not that we found much slow-moving traffic on the track. The GTS weighs well over two tonnes, but that doesn't stop it being unbelievably agile. With all that weight low down in the car, the centre of gravity is still grazing the road surface, so there's very little body roll. Of course, Porsche couldn't hide that weight completely, but it's well disguised, giving you little sense that the bulk is dragging the car away from the apex of a corner.

The steering is heavy and a little vague around the straight-ahead position, with a slight elasticity as you increase the steering angle, but the front wheels - and rear wheels, in the case of our test car - respond brilliantly. As soon as you turn the wheel, the nose dives into the corner, and the grip from those massive tyres is seemingly never-ending. That means the GTS will simply cling on in high-speed corners, with no sign of the back end letting go. In fact, it seems slightly prone to understeer, with the front washing out slightly when you really get over-ambitious. But that's fine, because the stability system will cut in to rescue you from your own incompetence if needs be.

Our car came with the optional ceramic brakes, which felt a little numb but gave the Taycan immense stopping power. But even without the feel 911 drivers value so highly, the system provides immense confidence on a racetrack, tempting you to brake later and later in search of a little more time.

While the GTS's potential is clearly impressive, the car's character largely depends on which driving mode you select from the little rotary dial on the steering wheel. Range and Normal mode see the accelerator response and suspension settings blunted, while the front motor is all but disconnected to make the car almost exclusively rear-wheel drive. That helps to give the GTS that impressive range, although it will still be tough to achieve in real-world conditions. If only because the acceleration is so addictive - even with the blunted response.

To sharpen things up, pick either Sport or Sport Plus, with the latter being the most hardcore setting the Taycan has to offer. These modes make the GTS feel progressively more alert, with stiffer suspension and more responsive controls, but they also activate the car's synthesised electric sound. This has been specially tuned for the GTS to be louder and richer than any other Taycan, including the Turbo. The sound is a bit weird - it's a strange cross between a strangled petrol engine and some sort of spaceship - but it sounds surprisingly natural. It even has a kind of gearshift noise when the rear gearbox swaps between its two cogs.

Driving on a silky-smooth racetrack wasn't a great test for the suspension, so we'll have to reserve judgement until we get a car on the public roads. Our first impression suggests Normal mode doesn't feel dramatically different to the standard Taycan, which surprises with its suppleness. But the sportier modes were noticeably firmer, and we suspect they'll prove less comfortable than their more conventional equivalents on typical UK back roads.

Verdict

We've had mixed feelings about Porsche's GTS models in the past, with the latest 911 GTS proving too firm for UK roads, even if it makes sense on a racetrack. The Taycan GTS feels less compromised, but still slightly more agile. It also has a modicum of extra character compared with the rest of the line-up, but it costs more, too. It will only really represent value if you plan to take the car on track days.

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Exterior Design

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Interior Ambience

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

3 3 3 3 3 Comfort

5 5 5 5 5 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain


James Fossdyke - 1 Dec 2021



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2022 Porsche Taycan GTS. Image by Porsche.2022 Porsche Taycan GTS. Image by Porsche.2022 Porsche Taycan GTS. Image by Porsche.2022 Porsche Taycan GTS. Image by Porsche.2022 Porsche Taycan GTS. Image by Porsche.

2022 Porsche Taycan GTS. Image by Porsche.2022 Porsche Taycan GTS. Image by Porsche.2022 Porsche Taycan GTS. Image by Porsche.2022 Porsche Taycan GTS. Image by Porsche.2022 Porsche Taycan GTS. Image by Porsche.








 

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