120 years after Ferdinand Porsche built his first prototype all-electric Lohner-Porsche horseless carriage, his eponymous company has finally revealed its long-awaited production electric car, the 2020 Porsche Taycan. Ahead of the official reveal, we were invited to a full day of technical briefings on every aspect of Porsche's most important new model since the original Cayenne. There's a lot to cover, so get a snack, use the restroom, fluff your pillow, and call a pet over for a nap because you're not going anywhere for a while. Let's get started.

By now, you know the basics. The Taycan features a floor-mounted battery pack with front and rear motors, the same layout used in Teslas and other EVs. It will launch in two trims, Turbo and Turbo S, which Porsche now considers brand names, not literal identifiers. The primary difference will be the size of the front motor and the list of standard features.

Now, the numbers. The Taycan Turbo S will hit 60 mph in a Porsche-estimated 2.8 seconds, with the Taycan Turbo just behind in an estimated 3.2 seconds. The Turbo S might be even quicker than that, though; we were originally quoted 2.6 seconds to 60 mph, but the number has been revised in the official specs. Porsche also quoted a 10.8-second quarter mile for the Turbo S and an 11.1-second pass for the Turbo. Both cars' top speed is 162 mph, gearing limited (though we saw 168 mph indicated in a Taycan prototype).



More important, Porsche claims the performance is repeatable. During testing, engineers did 26 consecutive launches from zero to 124 mph with performance dropping by only 0.8 second from the first run to the last. Based on published stats, 124 mph should be slightly slower than the Taycan Turbo S' quarter-mile trap speed, so we can extrapolate that after 26 quarter-mile runs, engineers lost less than a second of elapsed time.

It won't be silent on the way there. Porsche engineers believe sound is part of the experience (and it's legally mandated in many countries for pedestrian safety), so the Taycan plays a recording of its drivetrain taken during development and enhanced and mapped to the throttle position. Opt for Porsche Electric Sport sound, and when engaged, it will play an enhanced version of the noise that's significantly louder and deeper.

Turbo and Turbo S being Porsche's two highest-performance trim levels, the Taycan won't be able to touch the Tesla Model S' range out of the gate. The less powerful Turbo is rated at 237 to 280 miles of range on the generous WLTP test cycle, so expect more like 200 to 240 miles on the more stringent EPA test cycle. The Turbo S is rated at 241 to 256 miles on WLTP, so guess 200 to 215 miles EPA.

Both the Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S will draw from a 93-kilowatt-hour battery running at 800 volts. At launch, it will be able to accept up to 270-kW charging from an 800-volt charger. With Thermal Pre-Conditioning and the Charging Planner activated, the battery will be preheated or cooled to the optimum temperature en route to the charging station (Tesla recently introduced similar software). With those systems active, Porsche claims that a 350-kW 800-volt charging station will fill a Taycan's battery from 5 percent to 80 percent state of charge in 22 minutes, 30 seconds. That charging speed will allow a Taycan with a very low battery to gain up to 62 miles of range in 5 minutes. Should you forget to activate pre-conditioning, a 5 to 80 percent charge will take up to 45 minutes at the same station depending on ambient temperature. U.S.-spec Taycans will use the SAE CCS plug format for DC fast charging.

Porsche claims a 400-volt DC fast charger outputting 150 kW will charge a Taycan from 5 percent to 80 percent in 36 minutes. A Level 1 or Level 2 charger at 9.6 kW will take 11 hours to do the same.

The Taycan has two charging ports, one behind each front wheel. The driver's side handles Level 1 and Level 2 charging through an SAE 1772 plug, and the passenger's side handles DC fast charging. Standard charging port doors swing open, but optional powered doors (standard on Turbo S) retract upward into the fender and have a special ice-breaking feature for customers in snowy climates. Activate it with a button inside the car or by waving your hand in front of the door.

Ideally, Taycan owners who need to charge away from home will go to a brand-new Electrify America 350-kW charger or their local Porsche dealer, which will also have 800-volt (presumably 350-kW, but unspecified) chargers available. Older 400-volt DC fast charging stations supply 150 to 250 kW and won't charge as quickly. Taycan buyers will have the option of a standard 50-kW onboard charger or a 150-kW version that will enable the car to get the most out of older 400-volt stations. A standard onboard 9.6-kW AC charger will allow for Level 1 (110-volt) and Level 2 (220-volt) charging with either a wall-mounted charger or the included portable charger.

Electrify America currently has 268 350-kW 800-volt charges online and is expected to have 600 open by the end of 2020, with an average distance of 75 miles between them. Porsche will supply free charging for the first three years at Electrify America stations, paid for through a Porsche app that keeps all your data and payment info in one place. Porsche is adding charging network partners like EVGo to the app and hopes to have 2,700 chargers available across the U.S. that you can pay for through the app. Porsche estimates another 55,000 charging stations across the country can be activated with a credit card. The company is also working with its partners to develop a communication protocol between car and charger that will transfer your billing ID so you won't have to tap an RFID card.

Porsche will offer two portable chargers, a basic unit and a more sophisticated model with a TFT screen and the ability to connect to your phone. Porsche is also introducing the Home Energy Manager, a small device that installs in your home electrical panel; it monitors your home's energy usage and slows down the vehicle charging under heavy loads (such as the air conditioner kicking on) to prevent the main circuit breaker from tripping and shutting down your whole house.

The Taycan has five driving modes, one of which is new to Porsche. Called Range, it puts the car in full-time two-wheel-drive mode using whichever motor is most efficient for the conditions (usually the front one). Porsche says the decoupling of the rear motor will be seamless. Range mode works at up to 74.5 mph and adjusts the vehicle height and rear spoiler position to its most aerodynamically efficient position.

Going up from Range, there are the familiar Normal, Sport, Sport Plus, and customizable Individual modes. Normal is the default setting, and launch control is available in Sport and Sport Plus by the usual method of stepping on the brake, flooring the accelerator, and waiting 3 seconds for confirmation before releasing the brake.

Getting that kind of performance and efficiency requires a lot of power in a car that weighs 5,060 to 5,120 pounds. Porsche gets it done with up to 751 hp and 774 lb-ft in the Taycan Turbo S in overboost (617 hp in normal driving) and up to 671 hp and 627 lb-ft in the Taycan Turbo in overboost (also 617 hp in normal driving).

Permanent-magnet synchronous motors are employed at both ends, chosen over induction motors for their smaller size, greater power density, higher energy efficiency, and, crucially, better cooling properties (though they are more expensive). Further, Porsche specced hairpin wiring rather than typical pull-in winding both because it increases the amount of copper in the motor and because, again, it's easier to cool. Cooling appears to have been the biggest concern because it affects repeatability as well as performance. The motors have their own dedicated cooling circuit separate from the battery and climate control.

Up front is a 175- or 190-kW motor that produces 221 or 295 lb-ft of torque, with Turbo motors getting less power and Turbo S models getting more. The Turbo S motor also produces up to 325 lb-ft for a short period, such as in Launch Control mode. Together with its one-speed planetary gearbox, it weighs 157 or 168 pounds, with the Turbo S motor being slightly larger.

The rear motor and gearbox are both larger and more interesting. The 335-kW motor produces 406 lb-ft of torque for both trim levels, but it can overboost to 450 lb-ft with launch control. It's paired to an all-new, Porsche-developed two-speed automatic gearbox. Together, they weigh 375 pounds.

Why two speeds? More bandwidth. Porsche needs the Taycan to be able to cruise at high triple-digit speeds on the autobahn, accelerate like a Tesla, and have competitive range between charges. One gear ratio can't do all those things without installing a much larger, heavier motor. The Taycan has an aggressive first gear for acceleration and a long second gear for efficiency and top speed. Gear changes are handled by a multiplate clutch and are dictated by the driving mode (you cannot manually shift it). Porsche claims it could only put 5,900 lb-ft of torque to the tires with a single gear, but with a two-speed strategy it can put down 33 percent more, or 8,850 lb-ft at the wheels.

Turbo and Turbo S models are equipped with an electronically controlled limited-slip differential borrowed from other Porsche products branded Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV+). The transaxle also contains a dog clutch capable of fully disconnecting the rear motor for maximum efficiency (permanent-magnet motors create a natural drag even when unpowered).

A structural component mounted under the floor, the standard 93-kW-hr lithium-ion battery contains 33 modules of 396 cells each. Each pouch-type cell is rated for 64.6 amp-hours, and the pack as a whole has a maximum output of 620 kW. Two "foot garages," empty space in the battery pack left there so the rear passengers don't have their knees in their chests, push some of the modules up under the center console in the front, so you won't see the Tesla's completely flat floor. All told, the battery pack weighs 1,389 pounds and is liquid-cooled by a dedicated cooling system.

Porsche settled on 800-volt operating power because it allows for both faster charging and smaller cables, which saves weight. Porsche claims 800-volt chargers will be able to support 400- to 500-kW charging in the future, when the batteries are ready. The pulse-controlled inverters are packaged with the gearboxes and motors; they put out 190 amps continuously and 300 peak amps in front, 380 amps continuously and 600 peak amps in rear. Porsche claims the drive systems reach 98.5 percent energy efficiency.

Like their corporate cousins at Audi, Porsche engineers have decided coasting is more efficient than regenerative braking, so that's what the Taycan does when you lift off the throttle in normal conditions. Regenerative braking engages when you press the brake pedal, and it handles all braking up to 0.39 g, at which point the mechanical brakes join in to help. Regenerative braking will continue all the way to the point of ABS intervention, able to pull down up to 265 kW of electricity. According to Porsche, the regen will handle 95 percent of all braking duty, and the company will instruct dealers to replace the brake pads every six years regardless of their condition so they don't become too contaminated with road grime.

If you prefer one-pedal driving (Porsche engineers don't; they say it makes your ankle tired), a steering wheel button will turn on off-throttle regenerative braking. The really clever mode, though, is Auto, which will use the forward-looking camera to watch the traffic in front of you while you're coasting and apply regenerative braking automatically if the car ahead slows down, maintaining your distance.

Ten-piston front and four-piston rear calipers handle the mechanical stopping, clamping Porsche's specially coated steel brakes on Turbo models and carbon-ceramic brakes on Turbo S models. Steel brake discs measure a massive 16.3 inches front and 14.4 inches rear; the carbon discs measure an even bigger 16.5 inches front and 16.1 inches rear. Porsche says they'd have to be even bigger if the regen wasn't so good.

Turbo models will wear 20-inch turbine-style wheels with 245/45 front and 285/40 rear tires. There are optional 21-inch wheels in a five-spoke design borrowed from the Mission E concept the Taycan is based on, or optional aerodynamically optimized five-spoke wheels with carbon-fiber blades. Either will be wrapped in 265/35 front and 305/30 rear tires. Turbo S models will get 21-inch wheels standard. Summer tires are standard, with the 20-inch size optimized for range and the 21-inch size for performance. Both wheel sizes will be available with all-season tires if you want them, but you can only get winter tires for the 20-inch wheels. Turbo S models also get exterior carbon-fiber body trim.

Shown a few weeks prior to the rest of the car, the Taycan's interior draws heavily from the 911 and Panamera, but with distinct technological enhancements.

Starting at the driver's seat, the curved all-digital instrument cluster has been retained from the Mission E concept and is Porsche's first without a mechanical gauge. Fully configurable, it measures 16.8 inches diagonally and features "hard" touch-sensitive buttons at the left and right edges for the headlights, stability control, dampers, and more. The standard display is a three-gauge layout, with each gauge customizable for additional information. It can also do a full-screen navigation display with Google satellite maps or a reduced display with just speed, traffic sign recognition, and navigation directions if the latter two are activated.

Below and left of the instrument cluster, Porsche's left-mounted ignition switch has been replaced with its first push-button starter. On the opposite side is a small shifter similar to the new 911's, but it sticks straight out from the dash rather than standing up.

In the center, a 10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system runs Porsche's latest MIB 3 user interface software, which has been simplified from the current system found in other products. It features Apple Music fully integrated from the factory along with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a native digital assistant that responds to casual speech like Siri or Alexa would. The system can also receive over-the-air updates like a Tesla and will get software updates and new features in the future.

You can choose an optional identical 10.9-inch screen, directly to the right and situated in front of the passenger. Porsche's thinking is the passenger might want to act as navigator or DJ, and doing so on the center screen would mean interfering with the navigation system while the driver is using it. This way, the passenger can change songs, change vehicle settings, or look up restaurants at the destination and add them to the navigation all without bothering the driver. The real advantage is that unlike the center screen, no functions will be locked out on this screen while the vehicle is in motion.

Back to the middle, another touchscreen, measuring 8.4 inches, is mounted below the infotainment screen. This one permanently displays, in descending order, shortcuts to infotainment functions, climate controls, a track pad, and miscellaneous controls, including drive mode, parking assist, and stereo volume. The track pad can operate the main infotainment screen; it responds to gestures like swiping and pinching, or you can draw letters on it to spell out a search term. Only this screen has haptic feedback. Behind that are a pair of real cupholders you'd never find in a 911.

All of the vents are controlled through the main infotainment screen, similar to a Panamera or Tesla Model 3, though it's designed to be simpler than the former. You can set them to blow straight on you or diffuse into the cabin, or you can position each vent individually. The system will pair the vent settings to the key, so it'll put them back where you want every time you get in. If you get the optional four-zone climate control system, the rear seats also get electronically controlled vents and a touchscreen located between the front seat backs. Otherwise, the back seats get old-school mechanical vents.

Pulling back from the dash, there are two steering wheel options, standard and Sport. The latter features metal accents and the familiar drive mode knob. There are also three seat options: Normal, Comfort, and Sport. The seating position itself is designed to mimic the 911's as closely as possible for that sports car feel. The dash and doors can be finished in a solid color or optional two-tone schemes, including black and white, black and beige, or black and red. It'll all be covered in either leather that's been tanned in an eco-friendly process or a combination of Race Tex synthetic leather and woven fabrics, both made from partially recycled materials.

A wireless phone charger is available in the center console armrest, and there's a storage cubby below the lower climate control screen. Porsche is working on a head-up display, but it won't be available at launch. Farther above, a panoramic sunroof will be standard when the Taycan hits the market and will be optional in the future. It won't have a sunshade because it's made of seven layers of glass and anti-UV coatings for 100 percent sun protection and minimal heat transfer.

The rear cargo space of this Panamera-like hatchback is big enough to hold two golf bags laid one over the other in an X. There's also an underfloor storage area good for holding the portable charger. The frunk is slightly smaller than the one you'll find in a 911, owing to the front motor and power electronics.

Porsche's exclusive J1 platform underpins the Taycan and draws inspiration from the similarly sized Panamera sedan. At 195.4 inches long, 77.4 inches wide, and 54.3 inches tall, the Taycan is slightly shorter than the Panamera in length and 1.57 inches shorter in height. Porsche claims it's the stiffest street car chassis the company has ever built.

The Panamera-derived suspension features control arms up front and a rear multilink. A new three-chamber air spring system is standard and features a reserve tank for ultra-fast height changes. On the go, it'll automatically lower 0.4 inch, unless you put the car in Sport or Sport Plus mode, when it'll lower by 0.87 inch. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) active dampers are standard, as is Porsche Traction Management (PTM) with PTV+. Rear steering is standard on Turbo S and optional on Turbo. Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, 48-volt active anti-roll bars, are optional.

Porsche claims its PTM traction control system is up to 10 times faster in the Taycan than in other models thanks to the ability to immediately change the behavior of each motor without having to wait for clutches, actuators, or engine rpm to catch up.

Because it's a Porsche, you'll be able to fully defeat Porsche Stability Management, which will have a Sport setting if you'd still like a safety net. When fully defeated, the computer will only control the front-rear torque split, active dampers, and limited-slip differential.

The Taycan employs active aerodynamic aids front and rear for both efficiency and performance. Flaps in the nose open when the car is stationary or in a performance mode for increased cooling, but they otherwise remain closed to reduce drag. The rear spoiler has a standard aerodynamic height for normal driving or a high position to reduce lift during performance driving; the spoiler stows when parked. Like the new 911, the door handles recede partially into the body when the car is locked or moving. The under tray is flat to minimize drag and, in another first for Porsche, includes flat trays under the axles and on the rear lower control arms. Porsche claims a drag coefficient of 0.22 to 0.25.

The passenger cell itself is cold-rolled steel, reinforced in key areas with various high-strength steels. Porsche went with a heavier steel floor for its better sound insulation qualities instead of aluminum. The front and rear crumple zones are made of aluminum, and special extruded aluminum beams run below the doors on each side to help keep crash energy away from the battery in front/rear collisions and in side impacts. The front and rear subframes and motors are designed to slide under the car in a crash so they don't impact the battery. Inside the pack, structural beams are designed to channel crash energy away from the battery modules to keep them from touching and starting a fire.

Up above, the Taycan is equipped with a full suite of sensors and active safety systems like automatic emergency braking, lane keeping with steering assistance, blind-spot monitoring, and more.

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The 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo is priced at $152,250, while the Taycan Turbo S carries an MSRP of $186,350. In addition to the Turbo and Turbo S, we expect lower trim models in the future, including a rear-drive base model with greater range.

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