In the Eye of the Taycan

Back to basics, but the other way around. The high-strung Taycan is now available with pure rear-wheel drive. What does that tell us? One engine per Porsche can also be enough. And it is precisely this that awakens something particularly primal in the Taycan.
Text Herbert Völker
Photo Matthias Mederer & Kirill Kirsanov ·

Friends, truly, enough is enough. One motor is enough for a Porsche. Because especially with Porsche, the announcement that the Taycan is now available in a pure rear-wheel drive version evokes a sense of getting back to the roots.

This means: one motor instead of two. Less weight and less power. The permanently excited synchronous motor is located in the same place where the power has always come from in a Porsche: in the rear. In the spirit of tradition, it should also be pointed out that Ferdinand Porsche was an electric pioneer of the first order: from the highly efficient hub-mounted electric motors in the Lohner-Porsche of 1900 to the electric racing car La toujours Contente (“The Always Satisfied”), the world's first all-wheel electric concept. Two years later, by the way, he also developed the world’s first hybrid vehicle. Its name: Mixte.

But let’s get back to the rear-wheel drive. In motor racing, the little Porsches outdid the bigger competition with their compact dimensions, reduced weight and technical ingenuity. Air cooling eliminated the need for an entire system of radiators and hoses. The flat profile of the boxer engine dramatically lowered the center of gravity. Dry sump lubrication ensured a permanent oil supply. Rear-engine, rear-wheel drive – the weight on the rear wheels maximized traction, especially in difficult driving conditions. Porsche was always a good example of how racing could inform civilian life: refined simplicity and its ally, durability, won the world over as a philosophy and as a business model.

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A fistful of data

Two battery options are being offered with the new entry-level Taycan: Performance and Performance Plus, with a distinction being made yet again between battery capacity and battery power, the same way Porsche did with the 4S, Turbo and Turbo S models. The technical specs offer different figures for the range depending on the mode of calculation: WLTP, EPA or the manufacturer’s own guidelines without air conditioning. The sprint from zero to 100 km/h takes 5.4 seconds in both motor variants, and the top speed of 230 km/h is also the same. By eliminating the front-axle motor, the weight savings versus the next-up 4S amounts to around a hundred kilograms. So much for the facts and figures. The numbers clearly show: We don’t need more Porsche. Less Porsche is the real thing!

We ourselves are the highly referential inertial body in the eye of the Taycan.

Silent acceleration

The electric powertrain delivers unmitigated force with an uncannily quiet execution, primordial, spontaneous, unleashed from standstill with the highest possible torque. Porsche is an expert on all types of changes in velocity. Because the physical concept of acceleration wonderfully includes any change in speed (including negative acceleration!), even taking into account change in direction at constant speed. In this universal respect, the automobile (and the motorcycle) is an ideal case of applied physics. The vehicle – with us inside (or sitting on top) – is exposed to a constant acceleration, which is always a force acting in a certain direction.

A directed force?

Porsche drivers will see this as particularly useful, as they find themselves in a self-service store offering the highest-quality accelerations, always measured in the appetizing dimension of meters per second squared. A marvelous world of positive acceleration, centripetal acceleration (sometimes leading to centrifugal acceleration), angular acceleration, tangential acceleration, LATERAL ACCELERATION!

Of course, a certain inertia must always be overcome in the vector system, and we ourselves are the highly referential inertial body in the eye of the Taycan. In a nutshell: Without our inertia, the Porsche would be worth nothing; only through our insistence does it cross through space, time and traffic circles.

The Porsche coda

Especially as our fundamental inertia, overcome in cascades of human endeavor, makes it so desirable to own a Porsche at least once in a lifetime, back to the basics, classically modern, or hypermodern – with everything that defines Porsche in terms of aspiration, design, quality and surfing at the edge of the moment. Because the Porsche coda is: When you drive this car, you have found the intersection of two essential coordinates; your life coincides with the world order at a point in time that always lies just a few seconds ahead of you. Because we only become aware of the present thanks to this little trick: by giving it and ourselves a little head start. And because, in keeping with Humphrey Bogart’s famous proclamation that we should wait until at least cocktail time to be a whiskey ahead of the world, we’ll give ourselves a sober head start in a back-to-basics Porsche, that lifestyle measure of worldliness.Weltbeschaffenheit.

Distinctions of new simplicity

Black brake calipers, nineteen-inch rims – and the “Taycan” lettering in the rear. But it’s not quite as simple as that, because of course the rear-wheel drive Taycan can also be equipped and accommodated with all the options of the dual-motor all-wheel-drive models. A nice touch is that the interior can now be fitted with recycled materials. Like the used fishing nets that went into the Econyl yarn of the floor covering.

When you drive this car, you have found the intersection of two essential coordinates.

In addition to classic seat leather, Porsche is also offering the option of its sustainably tanned Club Leather “OLEA”, which uses olive leaves as tanning agents. Another new feature in the Taycan is a completely leather-free interior with state-of-the-art surface textures. The “Race-Tex” material is a high-quality microfiber partially consisting of recycled polyester fibers. According to the manufacturer, its production causes 80 percent less CO2 than the production of traditional materials.

Frozen berry, kids!

You only get one chance to make a good first impression. The Taycan does everything it can to defy this norm, presenting itself as a new entry-level model with esprit and panache, weighing barely more than 2,000 kilograms and having the personality of an entertainer: successful – and completely unrestrained by convention.

The Frozen Berry Metallic paint is a bit daring, but the color has already sent the Chinese market into raptures. Our other favorites among the seven new Porsche coats are Mahogany Metallic, Mamba Green Metallic and Frozen Blue Metallic.

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