2020 Porsche Taycan: Stop Worrying - This Electric Car Has a Soul, Automaker Claims

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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2020 porsche taycan stop worrying this electric car has a soul automaker claims

Even if some of its buyers don’t have one, Porsche prides itself on building cars with a unique essence, a certain substance that cannot be denied. A soul, in other words. Now, the automaker promises we’ll all discover that same quality in its upcoming electric sedan, which recently picked itself up a new name: Taycan (pronounced “tie-con”).

Formerly called the Mission E (seen in concept form above), the Taycan appears next year as a luxurious, long-range four-door with a price tag that almost certainly begins in the six-figure range. It’s a clear competitor to what was, for years, the only choice in this field — the Tesla Model S.

In a recently released video, Porsche seems to be making the argument that buyers who care the least bit about history and soul will have no use for that other car. It’s also a pretty good piece of marketing in its own right.

“It’s like the wind, some say. Or gravity. You can’t see it, but you know it’s there,” a deep, slightly gravelly, erudite-sounding voice states. “You can’t find its button on the dash, or its chapter in the owner’s manual. We have no drawings of it. We don’t know how much it weighs. Can’t time it on the track. Ask 10 of our engineers about it and get 10 different answers. But there’s no debate about its existence.”

Meanwhile, we’re treated to darkened, glistening shots of existing Porsche models, juxtaposed with shots of half-built vehicles on the assembly line and a 911 hanging its tail out on the track. The music swells. More Porsche models flick by, a stubbly man grins behind the wheel, no doubt knowing he made the right choices in life.

“After just one day behind the wheel, it’s the most valuable part of the car,” the voiceover continues, music rising to a crescendo. “The irreplaceable component, the thing you love more and more with every passing mile. The thing you instantly miss in any other car. The soul. For reasons mysterious and many, every Porsche ever built has one, and always will.”

We’re then shown a long, low-slung sedan with full-width taillights, concealed by a shroud of darkness.

It isn’t known if the narrator was thinking of the 914 or Cayenne Diesel while recording this spot, but it’s probably safe to say those weren’t his sources of inspiration.

As a piece of automotive marketing, this spot ranks pretty high up the list. Why? It doesn’t grate or ooze pretentiousness. It’s confident but not hit-you-over-the-head serious, and it maintains a sense of wonder and curiosity throughout that’s reflected in shots of a young boy (who must have eluded security) walking through a warehouse filled with the brand’s historical rolling stock.

Porsche wants to get across that the Taycan is a vehicle of substance. Like the Tesla, both vehicles have a mission, but Porsche aims for an Old World-type sophistication that places quality and driver satisfaction at its core. It’s not saving the world — it’s saving the driver. Despite originating from a luxury German automaker, Porsche’s spot comes across as less snobby than the Tesla superfans you’re likely to come across on social media (maybe “eco-snobby” is a better term, as many Musk aficionados wouldn’t be caught dead driving another electric car, despite their main concern in life being sustainability).

In a statement released late last week, Porsche chairman Oliver Blume said the new car “is strong and dependable; it’s a vehicle that can consistently cover long distances and that epitomises freedom.”

The automaker promises a 0-62 mph sprint in 3.5 seconds, with a European driving cycle range of “over” 500 kilometers (311 miles). Expect a reduction on the EPA cycle when it arrives here next year.

[Images: Porsche/ YouTube]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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3 of 24 comments
  • Sigivald Sigivald on Jun 15, 2018

    A soul? Look, Porsche. I don't want black magic in my car, okay? (Or do you mean it comes with a Kia for use as a daily driver?)

    • Mcs Mcs on Jun 16, 2018

      If it comes with a Kia Soul, you could trade it in for a Dodge Demon and have a nice garage-mate for your Porsche. With two nice cars to alternate between both would last forever because of the reduced miles. :^)

  • 9Exponent 9Exponent on Jun 16, 2018

    I thought that the name was a riff on tachyon, but it appears too sensible for Porsche. 9xx Cumin, it is then!

  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
  • FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
  • Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.