Porsche will soon begin production of the marque’s first electric vehicle or rather, since the first ever Porsche model, originally released in 1898.
Originally named the "Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model" Ferdinand Porsche was challenged to create an electric drivetrain for the marque’s debut model, which he achieved successfully. Its replacement over 100 years later however, produces more than three horsepower, and is called the Taycan, meaning “spirited lively horse” in acknowledgment of the brand’s badge.
The recent re-discovery of the rare vehicle in a shed in Austria so close to the announcement of the production of the Taycan may have seemed serendipitous, especially in light of the brand’s €7 million investment in EV technology over the next three years.
Production of the Taycan will begin later this year at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen plant, with the EV being built alongside the conventionally powered 911 model. According to a german newspaper, Porsche intends doubling production to an expected 40 000 models per year, and interest has already been expressed from consumers looking to pre-purchase.
Porsche is the first dedicated sports car producer to produce an electric model, joining luxury car brands like Audi, Jaguar and BMW in producing publically-available electric vehicles.
The Taycan is envisioned to compete with Tesla's model S sedan and according to Porsche's head of electric vehicles, Stefan Weckbach, it will be able to sustain performance better than its rivals.
Previously known as the Mission E, the new vehicle has a range of over 482km, produces more than 447kW and accelerate from 0-100km/h in under 3.5 seconds.
The Taycan will come in three specifications, and pricing will start at $75 000 (approximately €65 000) and range up to $130 000 for the Turbo model.
• Carrera 300kW equivalent to 396bhp
• Carrera S 400kW equivalent to 529bhp
• Turbo 500kW equivalent to 661bhp
An advantage for US customers:
The brand has partnered with Electrify America, and will offer customers in the United States three years of unlimited half-hour charging sessions at no additional cost.
When the 661-horsepower, four-door EV launches later this year, dealerships will also work with customers to install charging stations at their home.
Like sister-brand Audi’s e-Tron GT, Porsche says the Taycan will be compatible with 800v power points, making for quick charging times. The brand reports a 400km range in 20 minutes, 80% charge in 17 minutes and up to 100km in just four minutes.
‘Take the Turbo Charging Planner for our battery electric powertrains as another example,' said Uwe Michael, head of the Electrics/Electronics Development Division at Porsche. 'Quick-charge options are optimally matched to your route planning and charging pedestals are pre-reserved, meaning that you can gain that all-important advantage and lose as little time as possible. Added value of this kind helps to determine the essence of the brand.’
The vehicle is expected to have other high-tech features, such as a digital instrument panel that mirrors driver movements and a dashboard that can be controlled with gestures through a holographic display.