First Drive: 2020 Porsche Taycan Is a High-Priced Alternative to the Tesla Model S
This electric sports car is a new age machine
Porsche’s Taycan is the first major challenger to take on the Tesla Model S, the granddaddy of luxury electric vehicles (EVs). The 2020 Porsche Taycan is a low-slung four-door sedan with a dose of practicality. With it’s bulging fenders and four-eye headlights it also looks like nothing else on the road, short of exotic cars in the multi-hundred-thousand or even million-dollar price categories. In fact, it’s so distinctive that we’ve noticed Model S owners often slow down to check it out.
Of course, unlike the Model S, and other Teslas, there aren’t many Taycans around. The car just debuted for the 2020 model year, and just under 1,100 were delivered to owners in the U.S. in the first half of this year.
Like most Porsches, the prices start high and can quickly reach stratospheric heights. The 2020 Porsche Taycan makes the Model S look like a bargain. The Taycan 4S starts at $103,800, while the Turbo starts at $150,900 and the Turbo S starts at $185,000. (EVs don't have turbochargers, so it's just a name.) Both the Turbo and Turbo S are more powerful and quicker than the 4S, with a top speed of 161 mph, compared with “just” 155 mph for the 4S.
The 4S version has an EPA-rated range of 203 miles. The Turbo and Turbo S get 201 and 192 miles, respectively.
So far we’ve been feeling out the range limits of the Taycan while putting on miles before it goes into the instrumented portion of our test program. While no other manufacturer has a charging infrastructure like the Tesla Supercharger network, Porsche does include three years of free 30-minute charging sessions on the Electrify America network of chargers (Audi includes this for E-Tron owners, too).
What we bought: 2020 Porsche Taycan 4S
Powertrain: 562 hp combined from two electric motors; 1-speed direct drive; all-wheel drive
Options: Carrera white metallic paint ($800); heated steering wheel ($280); 20-inch Taycan Turbo Aero wheels ($2,380); front and rear heated seats ($530); rear 2+1 seats ($480); power folding exterior mirrors ($330); Porsche electric sport sound ($500); Performance Battery Plus ($6,580); mobile charger connect ($1,120); adaptive cruise control ($2,050); Premium package ($7,170); massage seat with ventilation upgrade ($1,150)
Total options: $23,370
Destination fee: $1,350
Total cost: $128,520