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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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]

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  • 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!

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.
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