Debatably Affordable Porsche Taycan 4S Launches Next Spring

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
debatably affordable porsche taycan 4s launches next spring

While Porsche’s Taycan has been praised as unquestionably worthy of the Porsche name, it’s also subject to the brand’s (ahem) aggressive pricing structure. Gone are the days when you can purchase a basement-level Porsche 944 for the modern equivalent of $20,000. The cheapest model currently occupying the automaker’s portfolio is the 718, which sets you back 57 grand before you’ve added a single option.

When the Taycan debuted as Porsche’s first purely electric vehicle a number of weeks back, the model’s $150,900 (before destination) MSRP was expected. Porsche rolled out the higher-end “Turbo” trims first, with promises of more budget-minded models to follow. That car arrived today, and it costs $105,150.

Despite being $50k cheaper than the Turbo and $85k less dear than the Turbo S, Porsche’s Taycan 4S is far from an affordable electric. However, the company may have lowered the bar enough to open the vehicle up to more buyers — which is probably fine, considering the company is unlikely to have the ability to manufacturer BEVs in significant quantities right now. Few companies can.

Sacrifices have been made. The 4S lacks the oomph of the Turbo models, delivering 429 horsepower from twin electric drive motors positioned front and rear. While 522 hp can be had briefly with help from the vehicle’s launch control system, it’s a far cry from the Turbo S and its 616 hp … or 751 hp with launch control engaged.

Battery size is also limited to 79.2 kWh, though customers can select the “performance battery plus” version of the 4S ($110,380) with a 93.4-kWh, double-deck battery pack and 563 hp (with launch control). That model also boasts a maximum range of 287 miles on the WLTP cycle — the best the Taycan can currently muster. Both models hit 100 kph (62 mph) in 4.0 seconds, with Porsche specifying that both are to be electronically limited to 155 mph. While quite a bit slower than the Taycan Turbo S, which takes just 2.6 seconds to reach highway speeds, that’s still quick by modern standards.

The new pricing makes the model a more direct competitor to Tesla’s Model S, which still offers superior range at lower prices and similarly enviable (if not superior) acceleration figures. Though that’s hardly a dig at Porsche. Tesla has been at this EV stuff for much longer, and the Germans have said they wanted to spend a considerable amount of time perfecting the vehicle’s handling.

While largely similar to premium examples of the Porsche Taycan, 4S models receive smaller wheels/tires and their own front fascia. The rest is pretty much identical, minus battery size and output. All versions of the Taycan are all-wheel drive with permanent synchronous magnet motors driving each axle. The rear also uses the same two-speed transmission and 600-amp inverter with a 300-amp, pulse-controlled unit in the front.

Automated emergency braking, forward-collision warnings, and lane-keeping should all remain standard with Porsche hiding its more advanced driving aids (like adaptive cruise control) behind paywalls. Air suspension, keyless entry, eight-way power seats, and LED headlamps should also remain complementary — as will Apple CarPlay. But Porsche still does not support Android Auto.

Taycan vehicles are eligible for the $7,500 EV tax credit in the United States (plus any local incentives) and Porsche intends on offering free, 30-minute stints at Volkswagen Group’s Electrify America fast chargers for the first three years of ownership. The automaker said to expect 4S models to begin arriving at U.S. dealerships in the spring of 2020.

[Images: Porsche]

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Oct 14, 2019

    I am told that the drift velocity of electrons in an electrical circuit is on the order of millimeters per second - one mm/sec equating to 0.002 MPH (or approximately 11 feet per hour). My question: Are the electrons any faster in Taycan "Turbo" models? (Because the pistons in my car move *way* faster... why just the other day I achieved a piston speed of 38 MPH!)

  • ToddAtlasF1 ToddAtlasF1 on Oct 15, 2019

    "Gone are the days when you can purchase a basement-level Porsche 944 for the modern equivalent of $20,000." The 944 launched for $18,600 in 1983, IIRC. There was instantly a waiting list and some world class gouging involved. That's about $47,600 in today's money. The 914 launched for $3,600 in 1970. That's about $24,000 today for a car that was sold as a VW in the rest of the world and would make a new Boxster look like an Acura in terms of standard equipment. Speaking of twenty grand, that's about what the price for the Taycan went up between the preproduction hype a few months ago and its arrival on the market.

  • Ajla "The upgrade is permanent" 🤔Journos really should be calling out the automakers like Mercedes that are attempting to make this sort of thing subscription only because it obviously doesn't need to be."with a one-time price tag of $1,195"This also shows the poor consumer "value" of Mercedes wanting $1200 per year for a 60hp jump on the EQE350.
  • Dukeisduke Will the next owner have to pay up, too, like with Tesla? What's the starting price of the Polestar 2? I saw a clean used one listed locally the other day, and it was under $50k. I wasn't sure if that was a deal or not.
  • Buickman what about EMFs from riding on a giant battery?is there a vax for that?
  • ScarecrowRepair $1.2M at $1K per car is only 1200 cars, and if you spread that over 5 years, 240 cars per year, roughly one per work day and one more every weekend. Sell another every weekend for the interest. That seems plausible to me.
  • FreedMike There are the guys charging $20000 over sticker for a F150 Lightning. They won’t go broke.