Good Omen: Porsche Is Plenty Pleased With Taycan Reservations
Porsche has taken payments from 30,000 European customers eager to be among the first to drive the brand’s first all-electric vehicle, the Taycan sedan. The number of reservations exceeded the automaker’s expectations, according to CEO Oliver Blume.
It also gives some amount of hope that electric vehicles still have a place in the premium market space. EV sales remain weak and high-end models like Jaguar’s E-Pace and Audi’s e-tron have struggled, though both have suffered supply-related struggles since entering production.
However, thus far affordable electrics have failed to take over the market. Despite the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt outperforming their fancier European counterparts in most regions that aren’t China, Tesla remains the biggest dog in the yard. Model 3 sales remain comparatively strong and people continue purchasing the brand’s pricier electrics at a rate other manufacturers can only envy.
That’s one reason the Taycan earned the title “Tesla Killer” back when Porsche HQ was still calling it the Mission E. All measures of success in the EV world are placed squarely against the mechanical offspring of Elon Musk. Fortunately, Porsche has managed to come out of the gate relatively strong.
Naysayers will likely note that Porsche and Tesla are brands for affluent people and poseurs desperate to look wealthy and swollen with good taste. But they also offer something truly novel (Tesla has farting turn signals!), and the electric revolution has to exist somewhere if it’s to persist at all. If those with extra cash are willing to foot the bill while battery costs come down, all the better. Mainstream manufacturers are feverishly working to bring more interesting electric designs to market, many of which won’t be expensive showpieces or bargain-basement eco-boxes. As those products flood into their respective markets over the coming years, we’ll have a better sense of what the general public is actually interested in. For now, chic sedans that aren’t quite within everyone’s financial reach are holding down the fort.
According to Germany’s Handelsblatt, Taycan reservations required a downpayment of 2,500 euros. Some 10,000 of the 30,000 individuals who dropped cash to hold the model have already placed a firm order to buy a Taycan. Porsche plans to ship another 20,000 units to the United States in 2020. If the company manages to sell them all in a single year, it may become the de facto leader in premium electrification by edging out the Model S — despite having no hope of catching the more affordable Model 3.
Still, we’re still not sure if direct comparisons to Tesla are truly fair. While Porsche is definitely targeting people prone to buying a Model S, the two vehicles have somewhat different objectives. Porsche’s Taycan ( 522 to 750 hp, depending on trim) is clearly more of a performance sedan with luxury playing second fiddle; the still-fast Model S sees the world the other way round. As Porsche collects deposits, Tesla is also receiving heaps of praise for the number of reservations made on Cybertruck, which is on course for 200,000 holds by the end of this year. Unlike Taycan, Tesla’s pickup has a much lower MSRP and only asks for $100 down (refundable) on reserves.
The true test (or the best we can come up with) will likely be to see whether or not the Taycan can supplant the Model S as the world’s preferred premium electric sedan. We can’t determine that until its been in production for a while, meaning these reservation figures are little more than a good omen.
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- Cprescott I remember when Fords were affordable.
- Cprescott As a once very LOYAL FORD buyer, I had to replace my 22 year old Ford (bought new in 1997) once it finally started to have problems at 180k miles. I would have gladly purchased something like this from Ford but they abandoned me as a car buyer. Oddly, Hyundai still builds cars in a variety of flavors so I became a customer of theirs and am very happy. Likely will consider another once this one gets up in mileage.
- SCE to AUX A friend once struck a mounted tire that was laying flat in the middle of her lane on the PA Turnpike. She was in a low late-90s Grand Prix, and the impact destroyed the facia, core support, radiators, oil pan, transmission, subframe, and suspension. They fixed it all.
- Dukeisduke Lol, it's not exactly a Chevrolet SS with Holden badging.
- Dukeisduke Years ago, I was driving southbound along North Central Expressway (south of Mockingbird Lane, for locals), and watched a tire and wheel fall out of the bed of a pickup (no tailgate), bounce along, then centerpunch the front end of a Honda Accord. It wasn't pretty.
It's a Porsche, or as most know it now "not as good as a Tesla." Porsche doesn't have the engineering chops to compete with Tesla on EV's- they're a peddler of rebadged VW CUVs wrapped up in their heritage branding, but they're boat-anchored to VWAG's second rate engineering and design while stuck in the same bureaucracy that caused Dieselgate. Tesla's got a massive head start by owning the EV space, whereas Porsche is about as relevant as BMW.
"You don’t have to wait for the transmission to downshift, no turbo lag, no need for high revs. Both M140i and M340i have 500Nm (370 lb ft) from well under 2000rpm." That's not correct. Those BMWs, like other turbo cars (including my Golf R) only develop that power and torque at full throttle and with the turbo spooled up. If you're pootling along at a small throttle opening and low rpm, your turbo is spooled way down. Giving it full gas serves you a big helping of turbo lag and not a lot forward progress until the engine comes on boost. Mashing the throttle on a naturally aspirated engine gives good response unless you're way out of the torque curve. Doing the same with an EV gets you the full beans, since their electric drives are designed for full torque delivery from zero rpm.