Porsche's first battery-electric vehicle, the Taycan, is a track car in street clothes.
The Taycan's designers and engineers were given an ambitious mandate.
"We didn't want to make an electric car. We wanted to make a Porsche with an electric drivetrain," said Stefan Weckbach, the Taycan's head of development. "The Taycan drives like a Porsche, it looks like a Porsche, it smells like a Porsche and it does have the Porsche soul in it — even though it has an electric drivetrain."
The Taycan's spec sheet suggests the mandate was met.
The top-of-the-line Taycan Turbo S delivers up to 750 hp and can run a quarter-mile in 10.8 seconds. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, faster than any model the brand makes.
Squeezing track car performance out of an electric powertrain required creative engineering.
Porsche developed a two-speed transmission that is on the Taycan's rear axle. First gear delivers greater acceleration from a standing start, while the long second gear ensures high efficiency and power reserves while traveling at high speeds, the automaker said.
The top Taycan models have a permanently excited synchronous motor on each axle. A special feature of the Taycan's motors is the hairpin winding, which allows the copper wires in the solenoid coils of the electric motor to be packed densely, increasing power output and torque.
The Taycan not only drives fast, it recharges quickly. It is the first production vehicle capable of charging at 800 volts, and can refill its 93.4 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery from 5 to 80 percent in 22.5 minutes using a high-power charger, with a maximum charging capacity of 270 kW.
The Taycan will arrive at U.S. dealerships this year and have a driving range of up to 280 miles, based on Europe's Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure. It is the first in a fleet of battery electrics that Porsche plans for the next decade, including crossovers, coupes and roadsters.