By on January 16, 2020

Image: Porsche AG

As one would expect with an electric model, the first iterations of the Porsche Taycan revealed to the public were the high-performing Turbo and Turbo S variants. Hotter models land with a bigger splash (and earn their maker more money), so it was no surprise to see Porsche keep lowlier versions on the back burner. One surprise was the Turbo’s range: 201 miles, drawn from a 93.4 kWh battery pack. Hardly an industry-beating figure, especially for a six-figure car.

Now, the EPA has bestowed a rating on the Turbo’s more muscular sibling, the Turbo S. With an identical battery and extra oomph on tap — 750 horsepower — the Turbo S manages a 192-mile figure. Deal breaker, or irrelevant?

Sporting a duo of potent electric motors powering all four wheels and a 0-62 mph time of 2.8 seconds, the Turbo S is not your sister-in-law’s Leaf. While neither emit any CO2 from their non-existent tailpipes, the Porsche is, at its core, a refined driving machine that just happens to not pollute.

Performance, not efficiency, is Porsche’s topmost concern here, and that may be just fine with those willing to plunk down the necessary $187,000-plus for a Turbo S.

Yet range remains a selling point and a point of consternation for those who don’t have it. At roughly 5,200 pounds, the Taycan Turbo S is a hefty beast, outweighing most SUVs. Were that sizeable battery pack put to work maximizing range instead of feeding the hungriest of motors, Porsche might have a vehicle capable of challenging Tesla in the range wars, but it wouldn’t be much of a Porsche.

Image: Porsche AG

As it stands, the EPA rates the Turbo S at the equivalent of 68 mpg (MPGe). In contrast, the Tesla Model S Performance with its 100 kWh pack earns a 97 MPGe rating and goes the distance at 326 miles.

Environmentalists like to point out that smaller, lighter electric cars with just enough battery to handle day-to-day driving needs are the most efficient automotive solution to the climate issue, and they’re right. 192 miles is more then enough for even a lengthy commute. A robust recharging network and faster charge times would offset concerns of range, but that remains a work in progress. In the meantime, automakers continue chasing ever-higher range figures from ever-larger battery packs. And those packs are not the greenest thing out there.

As with traditional muscle cars, EV performance still demands the consumption of finite resources, just of a different kind.

[Images: Porsche AG]

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26 Comments on “Does Mileage Matter? Hottest Porsche Taycan’s Range Revealed, Debate Ensues...”

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    5,200 pounds!
    When do the lighterweight sprint versions arrive with a 40 kWH battery?

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “Performance, not efficiency, is Porsche’s topmost concern here, and that may be just fine with those willing to plunk down the necessary $187,000-plus for a Turbo S.”

    I believe you are correct.
    Anyone who purchases such an automobile, does it so for the bragging. And will have a second automobile (most likely a regular ICE-powered Porsche) for longer trips.

    • 0 avatar

      You mean second or third car. You’re right probably an ICE Porsche and the other one is a Land Rover (or Range Rover, I can never keep it straight which one is the higher end)

  • avatar

    Porsche can build all the electric vehicles they want but why did they call the upper trim lines “Turbo” and “Turbo S”. There is not a turbo anywhere near these engines (motors, for the pedantic).
    They could have easily tacked on some alpha-numeric soup to differentiate trim lines. GT2, GT3, the Taycan GT EV XYZ!

    • 0 avatar

      Because “Turbo” and “Turbo S” mean “Fast and Expensive” and “Faster and Expensiver.” “GT2” means “Faster and Expensiver and tuned for the track,” and “GT3 means “Lightweight Expensive Stripper Track Toy.”

    • 0 avatar

      That bothers me too, but I guess they are just trim names at this point.

    • 0 avatar

      The same reason BMW and Mercedes numerical names no longer represent engine displacement.

      The customer learns to expect their car to be called something, they don’t care what it does or does not mean other than “expensive”.

      • 0 avatar

        BMW and Mercedes needed to drop the displacement when they moved to turbocharged ICEs. How could they get the someone to trade in a 2013 328i for a 2015 320it. It would be a step down so just call the 2L IL4 a 328.

  • avatar

    The mileage equivalent is irrelevant, but the range is not. You don’t buy a Porsche _sedan_ unless you’re worried about practicality, and a sub-200 mile range just isn’t that practical for anything other than commuting and weekend errands, at which point, what are you doing with two extra doors? This strikes me as a whiff by Porsche.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The Taycan has turned out to be a disappointment.

    Compared to the Model S:
    – it costs a lot more
    – is slower
    – has much less range
    – has no Supercharging network

    For those who run the Nürburgring, even the new “Plaid” version of the Model S will likely beat the Taycan. Until the Plaid is available, that will be a bragging point for the Taycan.

    One thing the Model S lacks: the Porsche badge. For the few who buy this thing, that will be the reason why they got one.

    So much for the “Tesla killer” from an ‘established’ mfr, that Tesla haters keep wishing for. Maybe those morons at Tesla could teach Porsche a thing or two.

    • 0 avatar

      Having not seen this in person, I have to assume the Taycan has a nicer interior than the Tesla, and it will probably be more comfortable for someone who has a history of buying Porsches. Tesla’s powertrain is revolutionary, put that in a Porsche and I might lust after it.

      I wonder how one of these would do on a typical track, that’s a lot of weight to move around.

      I look forward to the future to see how the reliability of these compare to the Tesla over some period of years.

      • 0 avatar

        The Taycan has a nicer interior if you like a more conventional design. The Tesla has a nicer interior if you want to feel like you’re in the future. I have always loved Porsches, and I like this one too. But I also think Tesla interiors are brilliant in a more forward-thinking way. Similar to architecture, minimal design is more difficult to achieve than standard pieced-together design, and requires more thought and engineering. Also, keep in mind… the standard Porsche interiors are pretty plain and uninteresting. One thing that I hate about Porsche is that you need to (or at least, can) spend over $30k in optional interior trinkets to make it look like the impressive interior that everyone thinks about when they think “Porsche.”

        • 0 avatar

          The Tesla interiors aren’t just minimalist in design, they’re made of lousy materials by luxury-car standards. Even a plain-looking base Taycan interior will feel a lot nicer.

    • 0 avatar

      The biggest problem those morons at Tesla have is that the Model S is essentially the same car it was when it launched, barring small updates. THAT is the problem.

      Here in Los Angeles, electrics are HOT in the luxury market. All the dudes who bought Model S’s since 2012 now want something new and DIFFERENT, and Tesla has nothing new to offer them. Since most just commute short distances to the office (wife usually has an ICE-powered SUV for long trips anyway), the reduced range of Taycan does not really matter.

      I have also heard from more than one Model S owner that they don’t like how the lower-end Model 3 has opened the brand to the “masses,” cheapening the cachet of the Tesla brand.

      • 0 avatar

        “I have also heard from more than one Model S owner that they don’t like how the lower-end Model 3 has opened the brand to the “masses,” cheapening the cachet of the Tesla brand.”

        Oh, the irony.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX


        As for brand cachet, Tesla has said from the outset that the Model 3, and then the Model Y, are to be the volume products. Roadster 1.0, Model S, and Model X were merely springboards to reach the Model 3.

        Accordingly, Model S and X volume have dropped a lot, but have stabilized to be about 17% of Tesla’s US volume, together.

        One could ask a Corvette owner how they feel about that car sitting in the same showroom with a $15k Aveo.

        Back to the Model S, my fear about an update is that Tesla will push the Model 3’s display into it and eliminate driver-facing displays.

    • 0 avatar

      I can assure you that “Tesla” badge costs more than Porsche badge which is BTW is just one of VW brands.

  • avatar

    The Tesla LR version of the Model S has 373 mile range, or 3.73 miles/kWh. This Porsche gets 2.0, but isn’t the Long Range version of course. But it does seem likely that the fast Tesla is 50% more efficient than the Porsche. Since motors/controllers wouldn’t even vary 10% from best to worst, my conclusion is that Porsche’s battery supplier is way behind the Panasonic cells in Teslas. Something just does not add up between Tesla and the rest. C/D just tested the PHEV Volvo V60, and it’s another 2.0 miles per kWh dud. The difference in efficiency has to end up as rejected heat – but where is it dissipated? Who knows?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      mcs says Tesla’s secret sauce is in the motors.

      But their battery degradation is also the best around (meaning least), and their switchgear has to be superior in order to achieve their 0-60 capability and high efficiency.

      So there probably isn’t just one key ingredient.

    • 0 avatar

      Porsche is running wider tires which hurts efficiency, but the range is disappointing as is the weight.

      Also I wish people would stop using battery nameplate capacity when discussing efficiency. The Model S battery has a nameplate rating of 100kW-hr but a lower usable output (~90). For efficiency we need to discuss miles/kw-hr from the charger (includes battery loses). Different OEMs have different tolerances for pushing their batteries hard.

      According to EPA the Taycan Turbo S gets ~2 mi/kw-hr
      The Tesla S100D gets ~3mi/kw-hr
      The Tesla S Long Range gets 3.4 mi/kw-hr.

  • avatar

    For an “all-in” company these early EVs from the VW empire aren’t very impressive.

  • avatar

    So whose 2.0l does it use now? The article doesn’t say. I’m glad it’s not GM, but whose is it?

  • avatar

    So long as there’s no BEV tax incentive for this, who cares.

    But I bet there’s a BEV tax incentive.


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