2023 Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo | PH Review

2023 Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo | PH Review

While speed matters (and always will), it wouldn’t be unreasonable to conclude that some of the senior Porsche Taycans are a bit much. To have the ability to move so much car that fast can be, frankly, a bit unsettling. It’s not a phenomenon unique to Porsche, of course – it’s happening across the EV world. Roads are no quieter and speed limits no more lenient, yet the power wars continue unabated. See the 435hp, £36,495 MG 4 XPower as proof. Getting to 62mph in 3.8 seconds is probably fun a couple of times, but who really needs that in a family hatch?

Especially as less powerful EVs lose out on so much less compared to petrol powered equivalents. You don’t have to make do with an inferior engine or less advanced gearbox or similar – it really is just reduced power. This Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo may well be another car that strengthens the case for less being more when it comes to EVs. That even extends to the spec here: it’s just a silver Porsche estate, the Taycan is established (and in some areas, popular) enough to not really draw much attention at all. The Allroad-style Cross Turismo range only kicks off with the Taycan 4, presumably as the Taycan No Name is rear-drive only. But again that fits with the appeal of this model: the fundamentals are all there, just without so many fripperies. A two-tonne EV is never going to be ‘pure’, but you can see the logic; this might just be as much Taycan as most folk need.

With so much of this Taycan ostensibly familiar – even the wheels are optional from a Turbo – it’s probably worth dealing with the performance first. Because while 408hp is the headline figure, that’s only available as an overboosted launch peak, to get the big T to 62mph in 5.4 seconds. Ordinarily, the motor is offering up 326hp, which sounds rather less impressive. And the ready salted Taycan never pins anyone in their seat with slip road acceleration, or takes their breath away at launch. Yet never does it feel underpowered, either, those dash digits ramping up to big mph in good order. If anything it’s quite nice to enjoy the whirr of motors on full throttle for a bit longer, and actually use 100 per cent of its travel more than once. By their nature, EVs always feel a bit more potent than the spec sheet says, and that’s seldom seemed truer than with the Taycan. It’s fast enough, and feels just about brisk enough to warrant the asking price.

Speaking of which, this is a more modestly specced Porsche EV than is typical, because a few options simply aren’t available on the rear-drive mode. So this one goes without four-wheel steer, air suspension or ceramic brakes, and (mostly) is all the better for it. That’s a ‘mostly’ because the brake feel of this Taycan wasn’t great, the travel quite long and the pedal too soft; it’s always been a small demerit, the balancing of regen and rotor braking not quite spot on for the Porsche, if seemingly better with the optional PSCB or PCCB brakes. It’s a small quirk that can be worked around, but is worth noting. The regen isn’t strong enough for one-pedal driving.

This feels a much more relaxed Taycan experience than those headline-hogging GTSes and Turbos. Not that they’re tiring or anything, but in being so fast and so flat and so capable you almost feel compelled to drive them to their maximum all the time. Or the maximum you feel comfortable with, at least. This one, not so much. Where those models that sit a bit lower to the ground on their air springs are always quite taut (as feels appropriate with a more focused billing), here the default setting is cushy and comfy. It’s a real treat, actually. Only when Sport Plus is selected does it really tense up and deliver that familiar (and still slightly unfathomable) Taycan ability, where the weight feels so low the battery pack must be scraping the floor and no entry speed is too optimistic. Just one steering axle makes this Taycan feel a little less omnipotent than other models, but it’s no lesser relation.

Indeed, that impression extends so far that it doesn’t even feel especially rear-drive; as with the saloon equivalent, the overriding impression is much more of huge purchase and composure. Full throttle out of junction will barely trouble the traction. Does anyone care? Probably not. But best park any dreams of a cheeky squiggle on the way back from the tip now. That said, if you can get to a skid pan

Where certain entry points to Porsche ranges (2.0-litre Macan) seemingly exist as much to make the customer get a more expensive one as anything else, there’s no such angst with this Taycan. It’s just the Porsche EV in Standard Play, rather than fast forward, and that’s no bad thing. Perhaps the concept doesn’t feel quite as groundbreaking as it did just four short years ago (some screen functions are fiddly), the Taycan remains one of the very best EVs on sale, even with just the 326hp. Be sure to get the upgraded battery, because that gets the WLTP range above 300 (where otherwise it’s in the mid-200s) and really plays to its GT strengths. Performance Battery Plus doesn’t come cheap, but then the best Porsche options never did. Otherwise, fill your boots – or don’t, in fact, and just have a smart silver estate car. Either way, just plain Taycan remains highly recommended.

SPECIFICATION | PORSCHE TAYCAN SPORT TURISMO

Engine: Permanently excited electric motor, 79.2kWh battery (93.4kWh Performance battery Plus optional)
Transmission: Twin-speed rear transmission, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 326hp (408hp on overboost)
Torque (lb ft): 263 (launch control maximum)
0-62mph: 5.4sec
Top speed: 143mph
Weight: 2,080kg (DIN unladen)
MPG: 222-268 miles (standard battery, Performance battery Plus 304 miles and 2.93mi/kWh)
CO2: 0g/km
Price: £80,200 (price as standard; price as tested £90,438 comprising Performance Battery Plus for £4,454, Driver memory package for £282, Ambient Lighting for £329, 4+1 seats for £371, ParkAssist including Surround View for £575, Sport Chrono Package for £875, Side window trims in high gloss black for £269, Electric folding exterior mirrors for £231, 20-inch Taycan Turbo Aero wheels for £1,676, Dolomite Silver Metallic for £852)

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