The Porsche 911, which first came to market in 1963, has been the face of the company ever since. Despite the fact that the company now makes the Cayenne SUV, the Macan SUV, the Panamera sedan, and the Boxster/Cayman sports cars, the 911 is still the signature Porsche model.
That may be about to change. The new Taycan all-electric 4 door sedan will be in production soon and the company says it already has 30,000 reservations for the car. In light of that level of interest, the initial plan to build 20,000 cars a year has been doubled to 40,000, according to a report by Bloomberg, citing a research note by Evercore ISI analysts Arndt Ellinghorst released on July 29.
The Porsche 911 sold 35,573 copies last year. If the company actually sells 40,000 Taycans — which cost around $90,000 each — that will eclipse sales of the iconic 911 in its first year on the market. Will that happen? “We’ll see,” said the Zen master.
While most people think of Porsche as a maker of sports cars, its best selling model is the Macan, with 86,031 sold in 2018 according to Best Selling Cars.com. The Cayenne was next with 71,458 deliveries, then the Panamera with 38,443 sold, followed by the 911. The Boxster/Cayman twins sold a total of 24,750. The company does not give individual sales numbers for those cars, which are mechanically identical. The Cayman is a hardtop and the Boxster is a roadster. If you don’t know the difference between a convertible and a roadster, ask around. The answer may surprise you.
The Taycan is an important car for Porsche, which hopes it will be a worthy competitor to the Tesla Model S. The company is installing fast chargers at dealerships in the US and Europe that can give the car an extra 62 miles of range in as little at 4 minutes. The car’s total range on a single charge is 500 kilometers, or 300 miles, based on Europe’s rating system (the US system will not be as generous).
Porsche will hire 1,500 new workers to help build the Taycan. 1,000 have already been recruited and trained, drawn from over 32,000 applicants. Training to build the new electric Porsche takes 6 months to complete. The Taycan will be officially unveiled in its final production form in September. Sadly, it will not feature the rear-hinged back doors seen on the Mission E prototype, probably because a central pillar supporting the roof is required to meet current rollover safety standards. A pity, that.
Every Porsche owner likes to fantasize about taking the car to the race track, where Porsches have dominated the competition for decades. Sustained high-speed driving on Germany’s famed autobahn is also something German customers put a premium on.
Porsche says the Taycan has been designed with an advance battery cooling system that will make sustained high-performance driving possible. If so, that may be a significant competitive advantage over the Tesla Model S. Expect plenty of head-to-head matchups between the Taycan and the Model S on YouTube once the Taycan is available to the public.