Face To Face With The Taycan

I’m pretty sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to EVs. They’re the end of ICE-powered cars as we know them, and for the most part are bland, uninspired interpretations of the automobile that suck all emotion from the driving experience.

But while EVs have assumed the basic shapes of cars, they shouldn’t be judged and compared to what we have known up until now. Approached as a whole new thing, I have found EVs to be just as fun as ICE cars, but in different ways.


When I last sampled Tesla’s Model S a few years ago, it was immediately apparent that once the EV recipe was nailed, we’d have something quite special on our hands. Now, thanks to Porsche, I’m pretty sure we’re there.

I met the Porsche Japan representative at a flashy new EV pick-up area inside their central Tokyo HQ, where a Taycan Turbo S was waiting. The quick-charge parking spots made me feel like I was in the future, but the massive Taycan looked less like a heartless transportation module and more like something that exudes excitement and begs to be driven. And for the next four days, that’s what I’d be doing. I was more that excited to see how far the performance EV game has come since my Tesla drive.


What followed was disorientation and confusion. Slipping into the minimalistic cabin surrounded by touchscreens, I selected ‘D’ on the shifter and hovered away in silence. Or at least that’s how it felt.

There was an eerie, alien ship-like sound coming from around the car and through the speakers. I found out later that you can select whether this artificial soundtrack is on or off, but I sort of liked it.


Before getting into the shoot, I stopped by one of my favorite coffee spots in Tokyo, right opposite the T-site in Daikanyama, which itself has become quite famous for its monthly Sunday morning meets.


As I alternated between latte sips and my camera, I couldn’t help but appreciate the work that Porsche, along with its consultants (namely Rimac), have done with the Taycan.


This isn’t a toy for early adopters willing to put up with shoddy build quality and suspect software just so they can be part of a movement. The Taycan is an extremely well-engineered performance monster that Porsche was probably more serious about than any other car it makes. It had to make a statement and that it makes loud and clear.


It shows just how serious EVs can be if a legacy manufacturer goes all-in.

Warp Speed Unleashed

Unlike most sports cars that I’m fortunate enough to drive, I approached the Taycan with some restraint. I didn’t want to mash the throttle to the floor in its most extreme drive setting right away; I wanted to feel and get to know the car first.


I felt I owed that to the team of engineers that have made this such a good driver’s car despite its massive weight and huge physical size.

It feels like a Porsche, it steers like one, and as I soon found out, it goes better than any other Porsche I’ve ever driven.

Maybe it’s the effortless way in which the acceleration hits, but a car has never left me gob-smacked like the Taycan did. The fist time I asked 100% from it, I was absolutely shocked. It was like driving an 800hp R34 Skyline GT-R with a big single turbo, but with the full-boost force coming on in a split second and never relenting throughout the entire rev range.


From that moment on I was tapping into its maximum thrust at every opportunity.


I spent the next few days giggling like a child with a new expensive toy, looking forward to every drive knowing that I’d be able to put my body through some serious acceleration forces.


Electric is fun. Electric is addictive.


My kids fell for the car as quickly as I did, baptising it ‘The DeLorean’ and asking me to floor it from every junction so we could go… ‘Back To The Future.’


Needless to say, I was happy to oblige.


I’m someone who has an interest in what the world now consider ‘old’ cars, but I’m in no way trying to hold onto the past. Old cars should exist, and if you’re lucky enough to run and enjoy a classic or modern classic, then that’s what you should do.


But when it comes to new cars, I think we should commend the auto manufacturers that allow their designers and tech guys to push the boundaries. I mean, look at this cabin.

You open the door and you know you’re in a Porsche. The essence is there, but it’s like some crazy executive at Stuttgart signed off on a concept car interior for a production model. The layout takes a little while to get used to, but as with most things you adapt to it all pretty fast.

This is what you expect a car like the Taycan to look like inside. There are no mediocre or boring approaches; nothing is conservative. Porsche went full-out, and you know it upon first glance.

To EV Or Not To EV?

I’ve touched on the Taycan’s ballistic acceleration, which is of course the thing most concentrate on as it’s so wild, but I would like to emphasise just how well the whole package is put together.

The handling is rewarding; it feels really sorted and then – like every EV car – the Taycan does that trick where it hides its weight thanks to its batteries being in the floorpan. I only ever really noticed the car’s sheer mass under braking, and even then Porsche has equipped the thing with the biggest brake package I’ve ever seen on a production car, so there are definitely no issues with its stopping ability.


Then there’s the traction. It rained for 90% of the time I had the Taycan, but that wasn’t much of an issue as its 1,050Nm and 750hp is unleashed so effectively. There’s a slight four-wheel loss of traction, but then it just hooks up and in the split second it takes you to get to 80km/h shifts seamlessly into second gear. At the 2.8-second mark you’ve hit 100 km/h, and you can repeat that all day long if you wish, something I did. It’s so addictive.


‘What about the range?’ I hear you ask. According to Porsche, it’s just under the 400km mark; I had the car for four days in total and covered 290km around the city and highways, and never needed to charge it. I drove it hard, too.

I’d be lucky to get the same sort of mileage in Project GT-R or Project 964 driving in the same manner without having to refill their tanks, so for me the Taycan’s range seemed perfectly acceptable.


Speaking of charging, living in Japan means I have one of the most well-developed EV support networks at my disposal. I’m never too far from a fast charger and most supermarkets and department stores have 200V slow chargers to trickle up your battery while you shop. The bigger highway stops have a couple, if not more fast chargers, so longer journeys are totally doable as long as you plan ahead.

And so, after four days this is how I spent my last night with the car. On my final drive home before dropping the Taycan back to Porsche the next morning, I stopped by the closest fast charger – at Nissan Prince – where I plugged in at 22% remaining battery. Within 30 minutes it was back to around 80% charge. Porsche will soon have their own chargers at bigger dealerships across Tokyo and Japan, so it’s going to get even easier.


Buy price aside, which is pretty astronomical at around ¥30mil (approx US$270,000) for the car I drove, everything about the Taycan Turbo S is exactly what I would want in a daily-driven family cruiser. It’s basically a hypercar, a grocery getter and an eco machine all rolled into one. It makes so much sense that it’s hard to argue with, and from a purely enthusiast perspective, there is nothing about this car that you’d miss from an ICE-powered one.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare



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Having been extremely privileged to have driven a few Taycan models, I am absolutely here for this EV future if we can have more cars like the Taycan.

I want one. And not just the typical enthusiast thoughts of wouldn't it be cool if I had one of those. I _Want_ one.

Now, being able to afford to buy one is another issue.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yes but it's all going (and is) trickling down right. Porsche with the help of Rimac has shown what the best looks like, now what sits under that is fast approaching. That's the exciting part. Oh and I have found there is an even better car than this, the Sport Turismo version of the Taycan. Must borrow!


Well to tackle some points very fast: the problem with EV is the charging time and the power plants used to supply the power plus the technology is getting outdated very fast.
I have no problem going EV in the future but for the time being i prefer to limit myself to hybrid at max untill they finish experimenting and they solve the charging problem(s) (not all countries are well developped I'm still working in areas where gas stations and even roads does not exist).
And let's not forget the huge showoff screens in the cockpits.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

That's the argument Mr. Toyota is making. And it does make sense. But at the same time the tech is here to make these, let's call them first-gen run of EVs, so manufacturers are jumping on board so as not to be left behind. It's all going to evolve and change very fast. It will all get pretty interesting once solid state batteries become a thing


That's why I'm not against the future gen of EV but not this one, even if we look in the history of ICE it was not all glourious (70's oil crisis, diesel fuel, 1st turbo application,...). Plus you can't compare a model T to any current vehicle in market things have evolved. And I'm still betting on Porsche to make their new clean fuel a thing.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah that bio fuel is interesting but at the same time I can't see how they will make it a viable option. Or affordable for that matter.


I look at them a bit like the typical battery-based Quartz clock vs. a mechanical movement-based clock. The electric one will be more efficient and useful, but without the wizz/bang/pop(SOUL) that makes me (a millennial) happy to tinker and drive after a long day in front of a screen.

They are very neat, and yes, the future.... but in the process I don't want regulations to decapitate my hobby for the sake of some "green initiative" that criminally neglects the component-longevity variable when calculating their carbon footprint. We as a car community need to organize MUCH BETTER in order to protect those privileges and promote the advantages ... SEMA is for a past generation ... where are the organizers for today's generation? Hopefully not cow-towed into silence ....

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Rather than regulations it's mostly down to the car companies. A well rounded manufacturer will be able to sustain both, the race to electrification so as not to be left behind, but not forgetting the heritage and the support those cars/owners will need. Not all are doing this well at all unfortunately


had this argument too many times, not having it again, but also not letting it go unchallenged here. the lifetime carbon footprint of an EV even including those activities is well-documented as lower than those of an ICE-powered vehicle. if your only environmental goal was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, an EV fleet would be a big net positive.

there are other issues that come with EVs, but cradle-to-grave carbon footprint is not one of them.


Not a fan of conspiracy but i think developping public tansportaion is more effective to the environment. The only reason is that the governments have to pay for the change while EVs we have to. You need something quiet and is self driven so youy can relax on the way home instead of concentrating on the road? there is a very effective, tried, and trusted method called train. Keep the car for family rod trips, track days,... which can also be an EV.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

The self driven thing has gone pretty quiet as of late. It's as if someone has realized it's all a bit too much, too early.


Was thinking about this as I was reading your comment here, Dino. I'd recommend The Smoking Tire Podcast episode with Missy Cummings, professor in robotics at the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering, and they go in depth into this topic. She said at one point that at least in our lifetimes, the self driving thing doesn't come close to what we do.

Stuff is really complicated and will take a truckload of time to achieve that.


Boring, ho hum to look at, yeah, most electric vehicles I see are uninspiring. Cost is definitely part of why. I'm sure over time the cars, trucks will look better and the ranges will get longer. Charging stations are being built all over the state to help move more and more people into electric vehicles.


Charging EV vehicles wouldn't be such an issue if they could power the roadways (like a slot car track), but that would require an incredible infrastructure investment and restructure. Imagine if all the delivery trucks, taxis, buses, and passenger cars could run on electric motors that are powered by free electric roadways in the main city areas, only using batteries in rural outskirts or suburban areas. It's a pipe dream, of course, but that would be something.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Would be nice. It's also concerning, as nobody really thinks at who will be making that shit ton of electricity needed to sustain it all. And how that electricity is being made. I had that thought enter my mind many a times while playing with the Taycan, but then I hit the loud (quiet?) pedal and giggled such complex thoughts away lol


My wife and I test drove a Taycan 4S a couple of weeks ago. The one aspect of the car that stood out the most to us was how much it drove like a ‘normal’ car. This was quite the revelation after spending a week with a Tesla Model X on our vacation earlier this year. It took a little while to get use to the Model X. The regeneration/recovery of energy makes slowing down very abrupt. It would slow the car almost immediately without the use of brakes. Whereas the Taycan was able to coast once it was up to speed. The only thing didn’t like about the vehicle was the lack of visibility out the back. Other than that we’d happily sign for a Taycan Cross Turismo.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Tesla is commendable for getting the EVs to where they are at now, but their cars never get updated and the build quality and materials is pretty poor. Cross Turismo is next on the must drive list for me!


With $ 250,000 USD tag, OF COURSE it HAS to meet ALL expectation.
If I am going to drive a Huracan Performante, or a GT3 RS, or an R35 Nismo, OF COURSE it has to be a good review; let alone this $250K Taycan.

Not all car enthusiasts have that much money to have a FUN EV. This is why the current ICE cars are still relevant because they can be have for well under 1/5 of this Taycan. Unless car manufacturers can make a fun EV for under $40K USD realistically, the EV future still is not very bright yet =[


You're right - at this end of the market, no manufacturer can afford for their offering to be lacking in any way. And that right now, EV options that aren't commuter cars in an affordable price bracket are few and far between... but that's changing fast. By 2023-2026, a whole pile of good stuff is going to land on the market, from Hyundai, Renault, VW/Cupra, Audi, Polestar, Lotus, and more. And it'll be reasonably priced!


Agreed. Until then, we all still have to wait for a while for something reasonably priced lol

Dino Dalle Carbonare

That was my point. It will all - and is - slowly trickling down from the pinnacle of EVs that the Taycan has shown us to be. Pretty sure if I did it the other way round, i.e. driven a Nissan Leaf and told you great and fast EVs are coming in the future it wouldn't have worked quite so well. Plus I got to snap my neck in half from the acceleration so I had fun doing it lol


I must admit I had my hackles raised at the opening paragraph, thinking "I don't agree with that, that's a simplistic, dismissive view of what EVs can do"... but you got me. This is the editorial and view I wanted to read about for EVs into the future, and going in with a completely open mind, sounds like you were absolutely sold on the merits of the car in its own right. It's a totally new experience and there's nothing boring about that. Great to hear you had so much fun Dino, and if the kids loved it too, then that's even better.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Haha thanks. But yeah, it makes sense to keep an open mind with these type of cars. What's the point of comparing if they are just totally different things. Now I got to drive a Cross Turismo and see how much of the kid's stuff I can fit in the back. (not much I'd imagine, but any excuse to sample that acceleration again)


in my country, EV are only affordable by the fat cats, boasting and claiming to do their bit to save the environment. Hidden somewhere in their garage, they also the owners of many cars with large capacity engines. Spewing 2-3x more poison in to the air compared to average joe cars on the road.

The govt. is all hot-air, ain't doing much with EV charging infrastructure. EV has not come to age, until a few more decades to come.

That's the real fact.


Same where I live.

You get punished by raising taxes on the yearly vehicle tax and the tax per litre at the pump, because you cannot contribute to the environment well enough and not having enough money to buy an EV. Raise the taxes to give grants to the EV buyers is another.

I see it as a trend for the rich right now, but we'll see how it develops in the future.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Change doesn't happen instantly though ...


I haven't driven a Taycan yet, but have spent time in its Audi relation, the e-tron GT. Even the non RS model completely reprogrammes what you think 'fast' is, and the fact that it steers really well too is massively impressive.

These performance EVs are very, very good but just in a different way to ICE.

Also, the thought process behind them is that you should really do the bulk of your charging at home, overnight. There's just a different mindset required coming from an ICE car.


A different mindset which they will impose on enthusiasts against our will through legislation etc.


I don't really buy into the whole EVs being forced on us conspiracy, our government couldn't organise themselves enough to fill a pothole and their current plan to encourage more EVs is to disincentivize them on the forecourts by increasing their prices.

That being said, while I don't have a problem with the majority of commuter appliances being switched to EV, I think as motorists the world over are an easy target for governments to be seen to be doing something proactive about climate change, while simultaneously ignoring the actual primary contributors to the world's environmental problems.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yep or just short fast-charge stops here and there during longer journeys. People will get even fatter as they will be planning more "toilet" stops along their journeys lol


I will eventually conclude that I have a problematic personality.

And how do you miss the target so much every time, Dino?

Maybe speedhunters should not be taken seriously by considering it as an advertising site, not the site of people who understand this business.

VW group is shitbox maker in EV world. Maybe they can be better than GM, at least their cars don't burn.

The Tesla you don't like is selling a supercar killer for half that Porche price and you are using the arguments of 5 years ago as an excuse.

Speedhunters not Speedbuyers...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

You talking about the Plaid? I've driven 4 Teslas thus far, and I'm sorry but they weren't very good cars in the real sense of the word. Fast in a straight line, yes. Long range? Maybe, and that's because Telsa Japan does not let journalists keep the car for more than a day. Nor charge it. What conclusions can one possibly draw from this?


These photos present the car so much nicer than any press images Porsche made. Amazing!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks Yalim!


When I last sampled Tesla’s Model S a few years ago, it was immediately apparent that once the EV recipe was nailed, we’d have something quite special on our hands. Now, thanks to Porsche, I’m pretty sure we’re there.

It makes so much sense that it’s hard to argue with, and from a purely enthusiast perspective, there is nothing about this car that you’d miss from an ICE-powered one.

Except, of course, that this car is unaffordable for 99% of the people. You make it sound like people should pick this car next instead of the new ICE Golf (or whatever affordable car) they were considering "because you won't miss a thing".

The only thing I can think of is that I'd get this car over a Tesla if I had that kind of money. Which I don't.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I also did say it represents the higher end of EVs. I'm pretty sure anyone that clicked on the story didn't expect a Porsche EV to cost as much as a Golf. So I don't get your point?


As of late the problem I have with EVs isn’t so much with the cars, but the attitude some people have. It’s like there is an army of folks that say any ICE vehicle is trash and we should just give them up, that they are old dumb technology (“stupid old cars”). I’m not against EVs, but their high and mighty demeanor is what agitates me.


Hah easy, just remind them that the core/power source of their EVs are fabricated the same way of a vinyl record.


Isn't that the behaviour of green/leftwing people in general? That their ideas are superior and that everyone who doesn't buy into them is name-called? Or cancelled? Certainly a growing trend, often supported by the press.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yes there does seem to be that sentiment. Especially from the early adopters. I also think it's wrong for legislations to stop manufacturers from making ICE cars. Give them 10, 20 or 30 more years and they would get even more efficient. Funny as most of these governments are the same ones that don't have a clue how their electricity production could ever sustain a fully electrified future. As its always the way politics, that doesn't matter as it will be someone else's problem down the line. That's why shit never works...


"It’s basically a hypercar, a grocery getter and an eco machine all rolled into one. It makes so much sense that it’s hard to argue with, and from a purely enthusiast perspective, there is nothing about this car that you’d miss from an ICE-powered one."

Except shifting gears. And sound. Other than that sure.

As a person looking at a product in 2021 this makes a lot of sense and that's my exact problem with EVs: you think about them like a toaster or an oven, not like a car. As a person who drives cars for fun I don't like them. Yes, I know it's fast, but they are also incredibly dull from a sensory stand point.

As someone who races and tracks cars I hate them. $270,000 for a Lamborghini is already BS to me when you can get a formula car, trailer, and truck and go much faster for less money. I think we are seeing the toasterization of the automobile and the average person is going to love it...just the same way people don't care about manual transmissions anymore. Or driving in general.


Edit: I also laugh at how the whole point of EVs was to "help the environment" but what do we do with the lithium ion batteries that are not recyclable once they're decommissioned? These cars are actually creating a new environmental problem and no one is discussing that.


Plus the fact that the electricity they use to charge is, more often than not, from unsustainable sources.. A huge proportion of EV's essentially run off coal at this point smh

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yes there are a lot of problems in the background that those unleashing legislations have no interest in solving, because in the long run, that's none of their concern.


Both replies well said. Good point Dino. They don't give a damn! I know electric stuff is fast and fun in its own way but not my thing personally. Great photos though!


The taycan is the car the model S aspires to be. A propper car but in ev and not ice. Not a driving meme from someone who has no clue about acctual mobility


Misha have already shown that Polestar and M3P can be fast around the ring. Plaid have the new record around the ring for saloon car. Turn 14 have shown that the M3P can go fast at Pikes Peak.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Well I think Tesla could have been there if they actually hired (enough) talent from legacy manufacturers to get their cars to actually feel right. I think Rivian is a great example of how it's supposed to be done if you just all of a sudden dive in head-first into an industry which is over a century old. Tesla approached it like a tech company, i.e. get your customers to beta test your cars. Which is not right and plain dangerous.


So when do they make the small hatchback rally car that can do 320mile range and is just as fun to drive on a mountain road as it is on a gravel road as it is on a race track?

That is what I am ready for! lol

All in all. I don't tend to argue against EV's much. I will miss a lot of things about ICE engines but unless we can get a carbon neutral fuel method going towards the future the ICE will eventually go completely away. EV's are fine. They will do car things and will somehow be fun for even the common person eventually. I hope club racing and stuff like that will be able to survive the future. It will be neat and interesting seeing this shift. I don't know what to think about it honestly but it should be fine as long as enthusiasts keep buying cars and telling automakers what we really want in an EV or Alt Fuel.

Good write up. I enjoyed reading this Dino.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I think, or rather I hope, that cars like these happen only when the battery tech is there. When lighter more energy dense tech is there, that will be the right time.


I am going to have to agree with BMW on this question, thinking about the BIG PICTURE. Hydrogen is a solution to a very large set of problems. BEV's create as many problems as they solve. BUT I'm afraid that "the market" has already decided that they support BEV's even if most of us never really understood the alternatives.


There's an interesting article in the August 2021 issue of Racecar Engineering by Peter Wright comparing Biofuels, Hydrogen & pure EV which doesn't shine a particularly friendly light on hydrogen.

A lot of people don't seem to realise that hydrogen-cell cars are still electric vehicles, which just happen to generate their own power on-board to turn the motors.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Think Toyota were there first no?


Would still rather a WRX or something with more life, good review though.