One of the great things about connected and computerized vehicles is the potential for software updates. At their best, these software updates come via over-the-air (OTA) updates, and no visit to the dealer is needed to get bug fixes, some recalls, and even new features. Even when these updates require a trip to the dealer, it’s certainly better to be able to update instead of needing to buy new parts to change how the vehicle functions.
We’ve known for some time that Porsche is going to offer better range for most 2023 Taycan EVs, but we somehow missed an important announcement: these new for 2023 capabilities will also be available for the owners of pre-23 Taycans as well, and via a software update.
Porsche’s all-electric sports car, the Taycan, has been delivered to more than 75,000 people worldwide since its introduction at the end of 2019. A comprehensive update is now available: regardless of how old your vehicle is, what engine it has, or what body type it is, all model variants can be updated to match the 2023 model year with a software update. Porsche says the update will happen on a market-specific basis.
Customers will experience an array of benefits depending on when they received their vehicles, including increased powertrain efficiency and access to new functions and improvements in the Porsche Communication Management (PCM), Porsche Connect, and assistance systems. The update also offers the ability to unlock individual functions and equipment after purchase (function on demand, FoD) as well as enhancing Taycan models’ over-the-air update capability. Best part: the update is free for customers and can be completed during a visit to a local Porsche service workshop.
“This campaign will allow our customers to benefit from the continuous further development of the Taycan. We have extensively optimised the model series in almost every respect since 2019,” says Kevin Giek, Vice President Model Line Taycan. “New functions have been added and others have been revised or tweaked to further enhance the customer experience. Following this update, anyone driving a Taycan from early in the car’s production run will be pleasantly surprised by how much has developed on the vehicle side since then.”
The specific number of improvements and innovations installed in your Taycan will depend on how old the car is. Let’s talk a bit more about these updates:
The ‘Normal’ and ‘Range’ driving modes partially disconnect the front electric motor in all-wheel drive models to reduce energy use. These modes also increase the vehicle’s range by using an electric freewheel that reduces frictional drag losses. The driver can see if all-wheel drive is engaged by looking for the energy-flow indicator in the central display.
In other words, the driver can see the energy status of the car easily and automatically. The regenerative braking system has also been updated for convenience; it will remain even when the driver changes driving modes. Therefore, these Taycan models from 2020 to 2021 model years will have more customer convenience overall.
The Taycan’s improved battery conditioning, especially in colder weather, means that it can be rapidly charged more often and over a wider range of battery charge levels (SoC). For 2020 and 2021 model-year Taycan models, this enables greater range and shorter charging times. The waste heat from the electrical components is used to temper the battery even more than before.
Porsche Communication Management (PCM) & Porsche Connect
The updated model features include new functions, a more colorful tile design on the start screen, and greater ease of use. For Taycan models produced in 2020 and 2021 up to mid-2022, the update optimizes voice control and integrates the Spotify app. Android Auto is available wirelessly.
The navigation system in the 2021 model year Taycan has been updated to include charging stations. Drivers of this model can select and filter based on charging capacity. In addition, the head-up display has been optimized for an improved view of the map contents. For all models prior to 2023, operating instructions can now be given through voice control.
The new and improved ParkAssist function will make finding a parking spot easier than ever before. With an increased range, this system is available for models 2020 and beyond.
A Hardware Upgrade Is Available For Faster Level 2 Charging
The 22 kW onboard charger is now available for retrofitting. Customers can combine this retrofit with a workshop visit for the software update. With up to 22 kW of charging capacity, the variant charges the battery significantly faster.
The retrofit for Europe and North America also includes activation of the Plug & Charge function. With this, you can charge and pay without a card or app simply by plugging in the charging cable. As soon as the charging cable is inserted, Taycan will start encrypted communication with the compatible charging station nearby. The whole process starts automatically from there!
Pretty Good For “Legacy Auto”
What’s really surprising about this news is that it’s not coming from Tesla. Normally, vehicle manufacturers profit from year-to-year and generational changes, because customers have to pick up a newer car to take advantage of the upgrades. But, with connected and computerized vehicles (and competition from Tesla), we’re seeing manufacturers rethink this strategy, at least some.
While I’m sure Porsche drivers would rather see this update come over the air, and not require a visit to the dealer, the fact that Porsche is giving even some 2019 Taycan drivers a free upgrade to 2023 specs should be a very welcome bit of news. Taking advantage of better efficiency, better range, and better convenience and safety features used to cost a lot, but now it’s free for them.
There is just one bit of weirdness: the EPA range for 2019-22 vehicles. Motortrend tells us that for vehicles that will benefit from these updates and get more range, there will not be an updated EPA range figure. Not only would this require re-testing affected vehicles to arrive at new figures, but there’s just not a process to upgrade EPA figures for vehicles in this situation. Further, some of the oldest Taycans have probably seen some degradation that would further complicate the issue.
But, if anyone ever argues with you about EPA range, feel free to point them to this article or the one at Motortrend. You’re probably up to 2023 specs, assuming that really matters when you get the added range either way.
Featured image provided by Porsche.
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