Auto

Porsche Taycan: a modern marvel

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor ---
Auto & Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, September 06, 2019

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ELEVEN journalists from across 16 Latin America and Caribbean countries had the privilege of getting a sneak peak of Porsche's latest addition, the fully electric Taycan (pronounced tie-kan), ahead of its September 4 global release.

The “introduction” took place at Porsche's North American headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, two weeks ago. The swanky building had somewhat an air of familiarity.

“The building was used in the movies as the headquarters of Marvel's Avengers,” shared Francisco Diaz, a colleague from Puerto Rico, who then showed me a picture of the facility as depicted in the movies.

This was quite apt as the Taycan is Porsche's newest marvel.

Drawing its inspiration from the iconic 911, the Taycan carries the design language of the Porsche throughout. The vehicle's crouching stance, sloping front, pronounced fenders, flush door handles, and continuous rear light strip are all distinct stylings. A four-point LED daytime running light is also part of the package.

The driver-focused dashboard is outfitted with five touchscreens. A new 16.8-inch curved screen is rounded and directly in front of the driver, with a real glass lens and anti-glare polarising filter, and the option of multiple gauge layouts for the driver.

The Taycan has five drive modes: Range, Normal, Sport, Sport Plus, and Individual.

At its core, the Taycan's body is forged from a combination of steel and aluminum joined with a variety of different welding processes, screws, rivets, and adhesives. Upping passenger safety is hot-formed steel for the body's pillars, side roof frame, and seat cross member and boron steel for the bulkhead cross member.

And the Taycan is big on safety, according to Steffen Koenig, director of body and safety.

“There are no compromise in terms of safety. The Porsche Taycan has met all the standards for safety all over the world,” he told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

For performance purposes, the shock absorber mounts, axle mounts, and rear side members are constructed of die-cast or forged aluminum, while all body panels minus the front and rear bumpers are also made from aluminum to lessen the weight. In total, 37 per cent of the Taycan is made of aluminum.

Boasting a drag coefficient of 0.22, the Taycan Turbo has the lowest drag of any vehicle in Porsche's current production line-up. Full underbody panelling also contributes to its slippery aerodynamics. The Taycan Turbo S is slightly less efficient at cutting through the air, with a 0.25 drag coefficient.

The electric motors in both variants produce 616 horsepower. But in terms of maximum output (especially with the standard launch control system engaged), the Turbo and Turbo S radically diverge. Engage the max propulsion setting in the “base” car and the available 627 pound-feet of torque mingles with an overboosted 671 hp to launch the Taycan Turbo to 60 miles per hour in 3.0 seconds, 62 in 3.2 seconds, 124 in 10.6 seconds, and past the quarter-mile in just 11.1 seconds after it set off. That's quick, but the Turbo S is much quicker.

With Launch Control engaged, the twin electric motors in the most powerful Taycan ups the output from 616 hp to 751 hp. That matches nicely with the always available 774 lb-ft of torque and scoots the Turbo S to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, 62 in 2.8 seconds, 124 in 9.8 seconds, and across the quarter-mile mark in 10.8 seconds.

“We have the best mix of performance, and range. We built a sports car and you can feel it. It's a great car,” Koenig added.


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