In front of the powerful beauty that is Niagara Falls, Porsche revealed the culmination of its Mission-E: The all-electric Porsche Taycan. What began a half dozen years ago with the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid and continued with the three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid, Porsche signaled its commitment to an electric future with Taycan (pronounced tie-kahn), which will coincide with its entry in Season 6 of the FIA Formula E Championship.
“Change is always challenging,” said Detlev von Platen, member of Porsche’s executive board for sales and marketing. “When we went from air-cooled to the water-cooled 911, everyone gasped. But soon after everyone realized that the soul of Porsche was still present. We began that journey (of water-cooled engines) in motorsport with the 962. Today it is the same. We are looking toward the future where motorsport and mobility will be digital and electrically powered. The performance, the seating position, the emotion when driving a Taycan… it’s all Porsche.”
The flagship Turbo S version of the Taycan can generate up to 560 kW – equivalent to 761 horsepower with an internal combustion engine – and accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds. Range is up to 412 kilometers (277 miles), with a top speed of 160 mph. A Taycan recently lapped the Nurburgring Nordschielfe in 7 minutes and 40 seconds, setting the EV lap record, only just over a minute slower than the 911 GT2 RS.
One of the many lessons learned from the 919 Hybrid centered around voltage capacity and charging times. The Taycan is the first production vehicle with a system voltage of 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts for electric cars. As a result, in just over five minutes, the Taycan’s battery can be recharged using direct current (DC) from the high-power charging network for a range of up to 100 kilometres (62 miles).
Porsche and IMSA legend Hurley Haywood was on hand for the premiere. “I have to admit, I never would have imagined this back when I started in IMSA with the 914-6,” he said. “But seeing where Porsche has come from – the 911 GT3 R Hybrid to the street hybrids, including the 918 Spyder, and of course the 919 race cars – this is really just a continuation of the engineering and concept of always improving the performance of sports cars.”