By on June 14, 2018

2020 Porsche Mission E Concept - Image: Porsche

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.

Image: Porsche/YouTube

“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.

Image: Porsche/YouTube

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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24 Comments on “2020 Porsche Taycan: Stop Worrying – This Electric Car Has a Soul, Automaker Claims...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “You’re about to be Taycan.”

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Maybe they could hire Johan and Melody to come up with new names for the entire line?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Johan is free but Melody is tied up:

        “We believe that this is the next evolution of the way that people want to access vehicles,” says Melody Lee, a former Cadillac marketing director who took over as global director of Book by Cadillac on Nov. 1. “Just like leasing in the 1970s was this really novel and revolutionary concept, we think subscription is the future. It’s happening in every industry and in every vertical for every product that you can imagine.”

        http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/sharing-economy-subscription-based-car-buying-grows/311292/

        What I Wear to Work: Cadillac’s Melody Lee
        Luxury car drivers don’t wear flip-flops; neither does Cadillac’s brand strategist

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-09-25/what-i-wear-to-work-cadillacs-melody-lee

  • avatar
    kefkafloyd

    It looks a lot better than the Panamera.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    An electric car ‘with a soul’…ummm…

    *read this with a really cheesy Irish accent*

    Ill believe that when me shite turns purple, and smells like rainbow sherbet!

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    This car has no soul, lol, how silly. Christine had a soul, Herbie had a soul, but I don’t think KITT had a soul.

  • avatar
    probert

    This soul shit is something the Euros have been using for years in the motorcycle biz because, taken in terms of performance, quality of manufacturing and engineering, they can’t make an argument for why you’d pay $8k more for their bike over a Japanese machine. It’s bogus.

    also bogus is the use of the present tense. The car doesn’t even exist yet. So even if you think Tesla’s soul is lacking, you can actually buy one and drive it.

    What they should say is: we have so much invested in traditional cars, that we waited till now to see if we can make a buck in this sector. We recognize this is not the definition of “leadership” and will try to make a decent car.

  • avatar
    James2

    Memo to Porsche: When you have to explain how a word is pronounced or what it means, you already have a loser.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Marketing produced a good ad, but fell down on the car name. But I’ll always call it a “Porsh” anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Total failure. Totally unable to sell a single car:

      https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-25813198

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        “Totally unable to sell a single car”

        :) I liked the ad, but stumbled over the name. But I think you’re right; people will get used to it.

        It’s also a welcome addition to the e-playing field — an entire segment once ridiculed as golf carts.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This is the ad the Kia Soul EV never received.

    Actually, I think Porsche is trying to convince its own customers that the Taycan is a true Porsche.

  • avatar
    mcs

    The post left out a couple of features. Features that Tesla lacks. You can charge the Taycon to 80% capacity in 15 minutes. Some of the stations are already installed. A rumored feature is that you’ll be able to get a two-speed gearbox for autobahn cruising. It’ll also be interesting to see how the two-speed impacts highway range.

    • 0 avatar
      18726543

      I wonder if charging at that rate has any impact on battery longevity. Seems like that would create quite a bit of heat.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Yes, it’s going to impact battery life. The good news on that end is that batteries have improved. Samsung SDI is saying their batteries will last over 4000 complete cycles before the cells are reduced to 80% capacity. That’s a million miles on a 250-mile range car. So, even if beating the crap out of the battery reduces the life drastically, you’ll probably still have a decent range at 150k miles.

        https://insideevs.com/lets-look-at-the-specs-of-the-samsung-sdi-94-ah-battery/

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    I’m sold. Now to come up with a Jillion dollars.
    Actually, I’ve never met a car that I didn’t like.
    But a few convinced me otherwise. (Merkur XR4Ti) for one.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Is there something about electric cars that prevents them from having normal door handles? A stupid game of follow the leader, in the same way every new Android phone needs an iphoneX-style notch.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      That’s the show car. The production version looks much more normal. Here is a video of the real thing. You can see very normal door handles. What the Panamera should have looked like from the beginning: youtube.com/watch?v=4oCoPwc2Rrg

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    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?)

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      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. :^)

  • avatar
    9Exponent

    I thought that the name was a riff on tachyon, but it appears too sensible for Porsche.

    9xx Cumin, it is then!


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