As Taycan Awaits EPA Figures, Porsche's U.S. Boss Offers a Hint

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
as taycan awaits epa figures porsches u s boss offers a hint

The one thing we don’t know about Porsche’s sexy and prohibitively expensive Taycan EV happens to be one of the most important aspects of any electric car: its range. While many of you (read: almost certainly all of you) have no use for the Taycan and couldn’t afford one without a Brinks holdup, the newly revealed model is nonetheless making waves.

Mostly among argumentative nerds, mind you, but bear with us.

Call it pettiness, call it schadenfreude, call it whatever you like, but it’s quite enjoyable watching an established and storied automaker attempt to beat Tesla at its own game. The Fremont, California-based automaker had it coming after years of pencil-snapping pronouncements by its larger-than-life CEO. And maybe there’s some satisfaction to be had on the part of Tesla for creating a segment other rivals want to carve a slice out of.

But about that range…

Hot on the heels of the big reveal, Bloomberg caught up with Porsche Cars North America CEO Klaus Zellmer for a very hard-hitting interview in New York City. While a concurrent unveiling in Germany floated the possibility of a 280-mile range on Europe’s WLTP cycle, which would translate into a slightly lower EPA figure, the nattily-dressed Zellmer suggested American Taycan buyers could expect a less Bolt-like driving radius.

The executive said his team drove a Taycan from the model’s Niagara Falls, Ontario launch site to NYC, stopping to charge up after 240 miles of driving. At that point, some 45 miles of range remained on the vehicle’s display, Zellmer said.

Judging by a couple of short clips of the Taycan en route, it seems the blue Turbo S model stopped for juice in Binghamton, NY after travelling the I-90 and I-81 corridors. Except for the last handful of miles, that’s a flat stretch of roadway with annoyingly low speed limits. There wouldn’t be many opportunities to recoup a bit of charge from braking and coasting. If a Taycan Turbo S driver can expect that kind of mileage on the highway, Porsche might not need to worry all that much about the Model S’s significantly advanced range (370 miles in Long Range spec, 345 miles in Performance) — though the Model S’s lower price, plus the range difference, means Advantage Tesla in the event anyone cross-shops these two models.

As the most powerful Taycans of the range, the Turbo and Turbo S command the loftiest prices while eating up the most power from their high-output (670 and 750 hp, respectively) dual-motor powertrains. A lesser Taycan with a single motor and longer range would push the Taycan and Model S much closer together in terms of price and driving distance, but such a model remains hazy for now. Naturally, Porsche wants to enter the segment with a splash (and earn the most revenue while doing it), hence starting off with its top-trim models.

[Image: Porsche]

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4 of 41 comments
  • IBx1 IBx1 on Sep 09, 2019

    Christ, line 2 of the article and you're calling us all poor. That's a great look, insulting your audience. Have fun with whatever you drive, journalist.

    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Sep 09, 2019

      Yep. I could swing one and I know other posters here could as well. Not that I would because it seems to be a lot to pay for less capability than the Competition.

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Sep 09, 2019

    You know, I am not the biggest Musk fan by any stretch and sometimes I feel Tesla would be better off without him at the helm, However, It is nice to see the rest of the world playing catch up to a US Automotive company for a change. Hate on about how the company is run and all that, but frankly if you want an EV by most objective standards there isn't a better one to buy than a Tesla. Furthermore, as I have recently shopped them if you live in the Southeast Tesla is the only one that won't look at you like you have a second you know what growing out of your forehead when you ask about an EV. I was fairly harsh on Tesla up until recently even after enjoying test drives. But between seeing manufacturer after manufacturer bring out "Tesla Killers" only to miss the mark and seeing several friends now enjoy very positive ownership experiences as well as seeing that even our old Leaf was perfectly livable 95 percent of the time I have been converted. Anyway, it reminds me of every GM that came out in the late 90's to early 2000's. "This is the car that is finally as good as the Japanese" only to hear it again at the models replacement. Good on Tesla. Perhaps Toyota will rebadge them soon.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Sep 09, 2019

      Well said. I've balked twice at buying a Model 3, but I've been thrilled with my Ioniq EV. My pause on the Model 3 (Fall of 2018) was due to: 1. Obvious quality issues, even on the showroom car. 2. Corporate instability. 3. Price. 4. Badge snobbery. (e.g.: some friends had eyebrows raised at them for buying a used M-B SUV, so they traded it for a more-expensive Toyota minivan and nobody said a word. I'm reluctant to have to explain the "T" to people.) 5. Center display. 6. Egress. I had trouble getting out, doe to something odd with the steering wheel and brake pedal. I could figure it out eventually.

  • MaintenanceCosts Despite my hostile comments above I really can't wait to see a video of one of these at the strip. A production car running mid-eights is just bats. I just hope that at least one owner lets it happen, rather than offloading the car from the trailer straight into a helium-filled bag that goes into a dark secured warehouse until Barrett-Jackson 2056.
  • Schurkey Decades later, I'm still peeved that Honda failed to recall and repair the seat belts in my '80 Civic. Well-known issue with the retractors failing to retract.Honda cut a deal with the NHTSA at that time, to put a "lifetime warranty" on FUTURE seat belts, in return for not having to deal with the existing problems.Dirtbags all around. Customers screwed, corporation and Government moves on.
  • Bullnuke An acquaintance of mine 50+ years ago who was attending MIT (until General Hershey's folks sent him his "Greetings" letter) converted an Austin Mini from its staid 4 cylinder to an electric motored fuel cell vehicle. It was done as a project during his progression toward a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering. He told me it worked pretty well but wasn't something to use as a daily driver given the technology and availability of suitable components of the time. Fueling LH2 and LOX was somewhat problematic. Upon completion he removed his fuel cell and equipment and, for another project, reinstalled the 4 banger but reassembled it without mechanical fasteners using an experimental epoxy adhesive instead which, he said, worked much better and was a daily driver...for awhile. He went on to be an enlisted Reactor Operator on a submarine for a few years.
  • Ajla $100k is walking around money but this is almost certainly the last Dodge V8 vehicle and it's likely to be the most powerful factory-installed and warrantied pushrod engine ever. So there is some historical applicability to things even if you have an otherwise low opinion of the Challenger.And, like I said up thread, if you still hate it will be gone soon anyway.
  • Carlson Fan GM completely blew the marketing of the Volt. The commercials were terrible. You'd swear they told the advertising company to come up with an ad that would make sure no one went out and shopped a Volt after seeing it!...........LOL My buddy asked why I bought a car that only goes 40 miles on a charge? That pretty much sums up how confusing and uninformative the advertising was.