The Porsche Taycan 4S Was Born To Fly (CleanTechnica Review)

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The Porsche Taycan 4S landed on my driveway and immediately commanded my attention. It is not a subtle car, sporting the swooping body lines and wide stance Porsche is known for but with a completely new electric powertrain that absolutely transforms the experience.

The low-slung Taycan sits on the road as if it never plans to leave, with the only hint that it might leave the road being the cockpit that welcomes the driver. Even powered on, the only hint that it was built to fly through canyons are the aerodynamics of the exterior. Flowing curves and tactically placed air gussets help the Taycan slice through the air while delivering air to all the critical systems of the vehicle for maximum performance.

Walking up to the Taycan, a chime indicates the vehicle’s awareness of the presence of The Driver. Otherwise flush door handles emerge and the lights wink a subtle greeting at The Driver as if teasing them to take a drive. Opening the door might as well be lifting the cover of a cockpit, as a hefty steering wheel flanked by a bank of modern displays invite The Driver to slide into the glove-like seat.

Slipping into the seat is more akin to hopping into a fighter jet than a mere car. A curved display behind the steering wheel provides all the necessary information while underway including a speedometer with an integrated power and regeneration gauge. As a digital display, the display can be customized to meet the needs of The Driver and by Porsche over time via software updates.

Behind the steering wheel is where The Driver’s hands will go to find a host of traditional knobs to control the lights, windshield wipers, and cruise control. The knobs keep all the features of the vehicle needed while underway close at hand. A careful selection of buttons and knobs on the steering wheel make it easy to control volume or scroll through the display menus while keeping both hands on the wheel.

The Taycan powers on automatically when The Driver enters, begging for The Driver to give some attention to the accelerator. Gliding out of the driveway, the Taycan prowls city streets, ready to overtake vehicles, but more than that, searches for open road. A slight hum from the twin AC Permanent Synchronous Motors ties the accelerator pedal to the power being laid down in the mind of The Driver.

Our ride came in a beautiful frozen blue metallic that pulls equal inspiration from the sky and the water. Porsche has a lengthy list of options that let you customize the Taycan to your specific liking. One of the more impactful options is the battery, with a Performance Battery Plus upgrade that offers around 30 miles more range per charge, depending on the configuration of the vehicle.

The Taycan sits atop a massive battery pack that serves not only to power the beast, but to maximize traction. Leveraging a skateboard style architecture, the Taycan’s battery optimizes the weight distribution in the vehicle, all but eliminating body roll and ensuring all four wheels stay grounded no matter how vicious the curves.

Competing with the forces of gravity, engaging Launch Mode in the Taycan threatens to not only break traction where the rubber meets the road, but to separate The Driver from her tenuous hold on consciousness. In launch mode, the twin electric motors get a special boost of juice as they spool up, catapulting The Driver and her vehicle from zero to sixty in 2.6 seconds.

The Taycan presents The Driver with five driving modes to support whatever experience the day calls for. If the mood changes, it’s a simple matter of twisting a steering wheel-mounted dial to turn the Taycan up to 11 in Sport Plus mode.

The adaptive air suspension subtly adjusts the stance of the vehicle to accommodate, whether that’s dropping the suspension down to low for long freeway stretches or ramping up to a higher setting for city driving. The vehicle can also change the suspension automagically at predefined geolocations to adjust for known challenges like steep driveways or potholes thanks to the Smart Lift feature.

To recharge the pack, the Taycan comes with a convenient dual port charging setup. Both sides of the Taycan are equipped with charging ports that support AC charging. That makes it easy to tap into an AC charger at work or at home regardless of the parking situation. The passenger side of the vehicle is home to a combo charger that supports both AC and DC charging with a CCS1 combo port.

The Taycan supports up to 270 kW charging so we were eager to connect up to one of Electrify America’s 350 kW charging stations in Pismo Beach, California. Starting the charging session at 45% state of charge, we topped out at 117 kW. That’s a far cry from the 270 kW max of the car, though charging curves often take both the automotive OEMs and the charging station operators some time to perfect.

The Porsche Taycan comes with three years of unlimited 30 minute charging sessions at Electrify America stations. That’s a nice incentive to buy a new EV and to try out the rapidly expanding Electrify America network. To charge, we just plugged in and, thanks to the integrated Plug&Charge capability, the station authenticates with the vehicle itself. No need for a special card, app, or credit card. It is a slick solution to streamlining one of the major bumps in the road in public charging.

Even a casual glance at the Porsche Taycan makes it clear it was not designed to be a commuter car. Akin to caging a lion, the Taycan is made to fly, and it does so in a way that sets it apart from even the esteemed ranks of the rest of the Porsche lineup. It loudly proclaims that the future is indeed electric. It is a bold statement about a car designed from the ground up by people who love to drive as the ultimate vehicle for The Driver. The one who loves the road.

The Taycan does not care about efficiency, though it does a handsome job of squeezing more fun out of every charge. The Taycan does not care about affordability, with a base price point and options that can make your eyes bleed. It cares about enabling the greatest connection with the road, with maximizing the joy that can be experienced along each and every mile of highway in every corner of the world.

All images credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

Kyle Field has 1639 posts and counting. See all posts by Kyle Field