Porsche experienced a transformational moment this year with its entry into the whisper-quiet world of electric vehicles. Even for a sports car brand that's famous for its growling flat-six engines, the challenge of regulatory pressures is hard to get around.
The four-door Taycan EV, which will arrive in U.S. stores in December, is the vanguard of a slew of electric Porsches that will include EV variants of the Macan crossover, 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman sports cars.
Taycan: Porsche's first battery-electric sports car is true to the brand's performance characteristics, with its top variant capable of 0 to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds and covering a quarter-mile in 10.8 seconds. The Taycan 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 high-power chargers, with a maximum charging capacity of 270 kilowatts.
At launch, the Taycan will come in Turbo and Turbo S versions. Those models will start at $154,860 and $188,960, including shipping. A sub-$100,000 base Taycan is planned for the second half of 2020 and is expected to offer a 79-kWh battery. A Taycan Cross Turismo wagon variant is expected to arrive in the U.S. in the first half of 2021.
Cayenne: Porsche will launch a sportier coupe variant of its midsize crossover in the fall to compete with the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and BMW X6. The Cayenne Coupe will be available with two high-performance engines. The standard model will feature a 3.0-liter mono-turbo V-6 engine capable of generating 335 hp and sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. The top-of-the-range Cayenne Turbo Coupe will be equipped with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 capable of 541 hp and a 0-to-60-mph acceleration time of 3.7 seconds.
Plug-in hybrid versions of the Cayenne coupes are planned for the first quarter of 2020. The Cayenne will receive a refresh in the second half of 2022.
Macan: Porsche's best-selling U.S. model will go all-electric. Production of the battery-powered second-generation compact crossover will start in Leipzig, Germany, in 2022. The electric Macan will be based on the premium platform electric, or PPE, architecture, developed in collaboration with Audi. Like the Taycan, the next-gen Macan will use 800-volt charging technology.
The Macan is due for a redesign in 2022.
Meanwhile, the current generation has received a freshen that includes improved headlights and taillights. The base vehicle retains its 248-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four. The S and Turbo received new engines. The S received the 3.0-liter V-6 from the Panamera, with output of 348 hp.