Irish Guy

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Hi, all - I drove the base Taycan today, and was blown away. I didn’t expect to be. If anyone worries whether it’s enough car, fear not: It’s exceptional.

The Taycan impressed me in ways that I didn’t expect, despite having read (and watched) a host of reviews. I suspect that the base is the one to have. And I say that having driven both the Taycan Turbo and 4S in years past.

Some relevant background: I’ve been into Porsche since I was a kid. I’m lucky to have a 992 GT3 manual, as well as a 2022 Panamera GTS. I love cars, but have had mixed reactions to EVs thus far. They offer attributes with which everyone on this forum is familiar: immediate punch, unparalleled silence, and no emissions. Fabulous stuff. But for those who love driving, the EV revolution is not all upside. It comes with real drawbacks.

Sure, the sound - everyone brings that up. Nothing in EV land will ever touch a naturally aspirated engine shrieking to redline. But that’s not what’s bothered me. The source of EV fun is also its limitation - it’s the binary nature of power delivery. Immediate, full torque from zero RPM is brilliant fun, but it’s a limited experience. Stay in it - with the throttle pinned - and there’s nothing more to be found. The sensation is of constant torque. There isn’t anything to chase. The power, sound, and feel of the car don’t change as it does with a good ICE engine. (True, the ubiquity of turbocharging has robbed most ICE cars of character in much the same way - one ends up riding a wave of constant torque.) But, on the the long trip to redline with an excellent ICE engine, you encounter a broad spectrum of unique experiences - different pickup, response, power, torque, sound, and vibration at each part of the tach. It’s organic, and it makes you want to chase the top end. Speeding tickets ensue.

By contrast, many EVs are on/off. Perhaps like a powerboat vs sailing, the speed is fun and immediate, but it comes up short in larger experience. There’s not much left to explore and learn after a fun-filled initiation. And, to that, I’d add weight. Down low as it may be in an EV, it’s a real problem. I drove a Taycan Turbo two years ago, after jumping right out of my 2018 Carrera T (a car that I planned to keep forever until a GT3 suddenly materialized after a long wait on a list). Although having literally twice the power of the Carrera - and despite reacting to full throttle on corner exit in a way that can only be compared to a detonation - it was nowhere near as much fun. It was heavy and felt it every time you turned the wheel. To be clear, I loved the TT. It was a technological marvel, handled magnificently for a car weighing over 5,000 pounds, and was explosively fast in a way that I’d never experienced before. But it was crazy expensive and - marketing claims aside - no sports car. I previously drove the 4S, too. It was fast and fun, but again uninteresting relative to an excellent ICE car.

Enter the base Taycan. Despite my reservations, I’ve found it hard to stop thinking about Porsche’s first EV. The car is simply gorgeous. And if you enjoy the arc of a good back road, no other EV brand offers an experience like the Taycan. The handling is a world beyond that of any other EV, and the speed of a Plaid and the like offers little in compensation (for me). And despite the drawbacks of an EV as a unitary solution, there’s no denying that it provides the perfect commuter car.

Being in DC, with gridlock on the daily commute, a 4-liter engine is far from the ideal solution. I average 11 mpg on a good day in either the GT3 or GTS to and from work. They’re not the right tool for the job. I want to keep both, the former for obvious reasons and the latter for the many long-distance drives with kids and for the love of a charismatic V8. The more I’ve thought about it, though, the more sense an EV makes for daily use.

Taycans cost a pretty penny, though, and I’ve struggled to justify putting down serious coin on one of the fancier models given my recent car purchases. But maybe a lightly optioned base?

I didn’t have high hopes. 263 ft-lbs of torque in a car heavier than my Panamera GTS? 5.1 seconds to 60 compared to 3.2? There’s more to fun than speed, but I set my expectations accordingly.

But then I drove the Taycan. Wow! It’s swift and effortless off the line, though far from explosive. But stay in it, and around 30 mph the power grows and then surges. It hauls ass from 40 to highway speeds - properly fast. The ramp up in power isn’t sudden - it blends in. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but the power delivery reminded me of a naturally aspirated engine. In this car, the base, you don’t hit the accelerator and get pinned to the seat. Rather, there’s an experience to be found - the power starts low and then builds, builds, builds. Suddenly you’re flying. And when you want “right now” passing power, you absolutely get it at the real-life cruising speeds of 30-70. This car is so much more interesting than other EVs I’ve driven!

Porsche clearly software-limited the power on the base Taycan to protect the 4S and above. But in doing so they’ve actually made this a better car (IMO). It’s way faster than the 5.1 spec would suggest. It makes that leisurely time only because it’s held back through 30. Once unleashed, it’s seriously quick. No doubt the 4S is faster 30-50 (it’s a lot faster 0-30), but from memory the base felt similar once it was unbridled.

Then there’s the rest of the car, which is just spectacular. The brakes were much better than the 2020 4S I’d previously driven. Maybe they’ve improved them? On the older models, the brakes felt flimsy. On this one, they bit hard and felt natural (no, this didn’t have PCCBs or ceramic-coated option).

So the brakes are fabulous and the power ample once in the zone. Couple that with a turn, and the Taycan comes into its own. You can put full power down - deep into a curve - and the car dances. This is pure Porsche. There’s delicacy here. The Taycan is a joy to build a rhythm with as you fly down the road.

Porsche had done a magnificent job here. Perhaps too good. It isn’t just a good Taycan - for some people, it may be the best. Lightly optioned, it’s a steal.

I’m going to buy one. The only lingering question is whether the GTS - which I have not driven - has some magic that’s worth the significant jump in cost. But picking up a lightly optioned base for ~ 105 feels like one hell of a deal. The only thing that bothers me is the base stereo. You can’t option Bose right now, and spending 7 grand on Burmester seems inconsistent with the base ethos. But we shall see. I may ask this forum for input on specific options in the near future.

Notably, the base I drove today lacked PASM, PTV, sports chrono, and RWS. I’d surely tick the boxes for those options. The fact that the car drove as well as it did without those attributes speaks to its innate quality. It did have 21s, though, which likely helped with grip (the car was still, extremely comfortable, even on steel suspension).

I hope this is obvious, but I don’t mean to impugn anyone lucky enough to own other models in the range. The 4S and Turbo models are spectacular, and I can see why one couldn’t look past the lack of immediate punch at low speeds in the base. But I’m incredulous at how good the regular Taycan is.

Final thought: I’m at a loss to understand how people compare Taycans to Panameras. They’re different cars, with distinct use cases. Dimensions notwithstanding, the Taycan is significantly more restrictive inside, particularly in the back, and has less trunk space. I’m 6’1, and could barely squeeze in behind the driver’s seat with it set for me. To be sure, the Taycan brings a hefty dose of practicality, but the Panamera feels more spacious and luxurious. And it’s definitely the better long-distance cruiser. I’m going to keep my GTS. But the Taycan brings its own exceptional benefits, and I think it’ll be a brilliant stablemate to the old-fashioned V8 model. :)

Thank you, all, for the tremendous knowledge and entertainment in this forum. And specially warm congratulations to those of you with a Taycan in the garage. I hope to join that fortunate group soon!

 
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wurzitup

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Good write up and on point with my Porsche and Taycan experience.
I sold a 991.1 to move to a Taycan. And was leery of a RWD after driving a Turbo. I figured if the RWD was fun enough, I would pull the trigger. Not that I was going to drop 150k on a used Turbo, but a RWD is plenty fast for my needs, especially in the areas you mentioned. Trigger pulling acceleration around town, and effortless 40-90mph acceleration on the highway. In my book it's 90% of a Turbo (same car, less power) for a fraction of the cost.
Get air suspension, RAS, Mission Es and whatever else goodies you want and bank the money for the next ride.
Thanks for the write up.
 

driver69

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Quite a piece you’ve written there! Great read. I’ve driven the 4S on my first ever test drive of the Taycan before actually getting one. What you say is true, the nimble Base (4S in my case)Taycan handles just as good as all the other models up the line and for the price - it is indeed a steal. What I would like to mention is that higher trim levels come at a higher price, but a lot of equipment comes standard with those which in the end ins’t as expensive as it looks to jump from say 4S to GTS. Many extras are a must (for me) - heated steering wheel, burmester sound system, pano roof, ambient lights, PCCBs (I’ve managed to melt quite a few steel sets), Sport Chrono, 18-way seats, the list goes on. Once you add all these it adds up quite quickly and the Base Taycan doesn’t really look like a steal anymore. Cheers
 
OP
OP

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You do know the brakes that you were feeling really weren’t the brakes, right?
Sure, and that’s what was amazing - Porsche blended the regenerative braking to real braking seamlessly. Didn’t feel that way on the 2020 models I drove - at least as memory serves!
 


Archimedes

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Sure, and that’s what was amazing - Porsche blended the regenerative braking to real braking seamlessly. Didn’t feel that way on the 2020 models I drove - at least as memory serves!
They’re pretty much the same across the board.

I’ve driven the base, 4S, and Turbo. All three were great cars, the only difference I noticed at all was the power. I didn’t find the power curve in the base to be any more ICE like than the others, just lower power.

To me, the base, 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S are best described as: quick, fast, really fast, and stupid fast.
 
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Just so you know, all Taycans have PASM whether they have steel springs or the optional air suspension on the RWD.

And I agree I test drove a RWD twice, once with 20” and once with 21”. Both times I was suitably impressed — and am now waiting for my RWD build to arrive!
 

FLT6LVR

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Drove the base and 4S back to back. I’m sorry but while both handle and brake well the acceleration of the 4S is another league. My view is that the Taycan is so expensive why try to save a little by downgrading the performance to a level far below the competition?

F6L
 


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Drove the base and 4S back to back. I’m sorry but while both handle and brake well the acceleration of the 4S is another league. My view is that the Taycan is so expensive why try to save a little by downgrading the performance to a level far below the competition?

F6L
I get that, for sure - I’m simply shocked by how good the base is.
 

BMonte13

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Hi, all - I drove the base Taycan today, and was blown away. I didn’t expect to be. If anyone worries whether it’s enough car, fear not: It’s exceptional.

The Taycan impressed me in ways that I didn’t expect, despite having read (and watched) a host of reviews. I suspect that the base is the one to have. And I say that having driven both the Taycan Turbo and 4S in years past.

Some relevant background: I’ve been into Porsche since I was a kid. I’m lucky to have a 992 GT3 manual, as well as a 2022 Panamera GTS. I love cars, but have had mixed reactions to EVs thus far. They offer attributes with which everyone on this forum is familiar: immediate punch, unparalleled silence, and no emissions. Fabulous stuff. But for those who love driving, the EV revolution is not all upside. It comes with real drawbacks.

Sure, the sound - everyone brings that up. Nothing in EV land will ever touch a naturally aspirated engine shrieking to redline. But that’s not what’s bothered me. The source of EV fun is also its limitation - it’s the binary nature of power delivery. Immediate, full torque from zero RPM is brilliant fun, but it’s a limited experience. Stay in it - with the throttle pinned - and there’s nothing more to be found. The sensation is of constant torque. There isn’t anything to chase. The power, sound, and feel of the car don’t change as it does with a good ICE engine. (True, the ubiquity of turbocharging has robbed most ICE cars of character in much the same way - one ends up riding a wave of constant torque.) But, on the the long trip to redline with an excellent ICE engine, you encounter a broad spectrum of unique experiences - different pickup, response, power, torque, sound, and vibration at each part of the tach. It’s organic, and it makes you want to chase the top end. Speeding tickets ensue.

By contrast, many EVs are on/off. Perhaps like a powerboat vs sailing, the speed is fun and immediate, but it comes up short in larger experience. There’s not much left to explore and learn after a fun-filled initiation. And, to that, I’d add weight. Down low as it may be in an EV, it’s a real problem. I drove a Taycan Turbo two years ago, after jumping right out of my 2018 Carrera T (a car that I planned to keep forever until a GT3 suddenly materialized after a long wait on a list). Although having literally twice the power of the Carrera - and despite reacting to full throttle on corner exit in a way that can only be compared to a detonation - it was nowhere near as much fun. It was heavy and felt it every time you turned the wheel. To be clear, I loved the TT. It was a technological marvel, handled magnificently for a car weighing over 5,000 pounds, and was explosively fast in a way that I’d never experienced before. But it was crazy expensive and - marketing claims aside - no sports car. I previously drove the 4S, too. It was fast and fun, but again uninteresting relative to an excellent ICE car.

Enter the base Taycan. Despite my reservations, I’ve found it hard to stop thinking about Porsche’s first EV. The car is simply gorgeous. And if you enjoy the arc of a good back road, no other EV brand offers an experience like the Taycan. The handling is a world beyond that of any other EV, and the speed of a Plaid and the like offers little in compensation (for me). And despite the drawbacks of an EV as a unitary solution, there’s no denying that it provides the perfect commuter car.

Being in DC, with gridlock on the daily commute, a 4-liter engine is far from the ideal solution. I average 11 mpg on a good day in either the GT3 or GTS to and from work. They’re not the right tool for the job. I want to keep both, the former for obvious reasons and the latter for the many long-distance drives with kids and for the love of a charismatic V8. The more I’ve thought about it, though, the more sense an EV makes for daily use.

Taycans cost a pretty penny, though, and I’ve struggled to justify putting down serious coin on one of the fancier models given my recent car purchases. But maybe a lightly optioned base?

I didn’t have high hopes. 263 ft-lbs of torque in a car heavier than my Panamera GTS? 5.1 seconds to 60 compared to 3.2? There’s more to fun than speed, but I set my expectations accordingly.

But then I drove the Taycan. Wow! It’s swift and effortless off the line, though far from explosive. But stay in it, and around 30 mph the power grows and then surges. It hauls ass from 40 to highway speeds - properly fast. The ramp up in power isn’t sudden - it blends in. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but the power delivery reminded me of a naturally aspirated engine. In this car, the base, you don’t hit the accelerator and get pinned to the seat. Rather, there’s an experience to be found - the power starts low and then builds, builds, builds. Suddenly you’re flying. And when you want “right now” passing power, you absolutely get it at the real-life cruising speeds of 30-70. This car is so much more interesting than other EVs I’ve driven!

Porsche clearly software-limited the power on the base Taycan to protect the 4S and above. But in doing so they’ve actually made this a better car (IMO). It’s way faster than the 5.1 spec would suggest. It makes that leisurely time only because it’s held back through 30. Once unleashed, it’s seriously quick. No doubt the 4S is faster 30-50 (it’s a lot faster 0-30), but from memory the base felt similar once it was unbridled.

Then there’s the rest of the car, which is just spectacular. The brakes were much better than the 2020 4S I’d previously driven. Maybe they’ve improved them? On the older models, the brakes felt flimsy. On this one, they bit hard and felt natural (no, this didn’t have PCCBs or ceramic-coated option).

So the brakes are fabulous and the power ample once in the zone. Couple that with a turn, and the Taycan comes into its own. You can put full power down - deep into a curve - and the car dances. This is pure Porsche. There’s delicacy here. The Taycan is a joy to build a rhythm with as you fly down the road.

Porsche had done a magnificent job here. Perhaps too good. It isn’t just a good Taycan - for some people, it may be the best. Lightly optioned, it’s a steal.

I’m going to buy one. The only lingering question is whether the GTS - which I have not driven - has some magic that’s worth the significant jump in cost. But picking up a lightly optioned base for ~ 105 feels like one hell of a deal. The only thing that bothers me is the base stereo. You can’t option Bose right now, and spending 7 grand on Burmester seems inconsistent with the base ethos. But we shall see. I may ask this forum for input on specific options in the near future.

Notably, the base I drove today lacked PASM, PTV, sports chrono, and RWS. I’d surely tick the boxes for those options. The fact that the car drove as well as it did without those attributes speaks to its innate quality. It did have 21s, though, which likely helped with grip (the car was still, extremely comfortable, even on steel suspension).

I hope this is obvious, but I don’t mean to impugn anyone lucky enough to own other models in the range. The 4S and Turbo models are spectacular, and I can see why one couldn’t look past the lack of immediate punch at low speeds in the base. But I’m incredulous at how good the regular Taycan is.

Final thought: I’m at a loss to understand how people compare Taycans to Panameras. They’re different cars, with distinct use cases. Dimensions notwithstanding, the Taycan is significantly more restrictive inside, particularly in the back, and has less trunk space. I’m 6’1, and could barely squeeze in behind the driver’s seat with it set for me. To be sure, the Taycan brings a hefty dose of practicality, but the Panamera feels more spacious and luxurious. And it’s definitely the better long-distance cruiser. I’m going to keep my GTS. But the Taycan brings its own exceptional benefits, and I think it’ll be a brilliant stablemate to the old-fashioned V8 model. :)

Thank you, all, for the tremendous knowledge and entertainment in this forum. And specially warm congratulations to those of you with a Taycan in the garage. I hope to join that fortunate group soon!
Preach brother. Love my RWD.
 

4thPcar

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Amen.

I similarly mean no disrespect to those owners that spent top dollar for the Taycan at the top of the food chain (I don't even know which one that is), but I've yet to see a situation where I need or could use more power than I have in the RWD; I don't drive on a track. I'd simply catch up to traffic faster, and get more tickets. But I DO love the effect of RAS when I am weaving in and out of traffic quickly, so OP, do put that on your spec.
 

tomtom901

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Thanks for sharing your experience (so much), especially from a GT3 owner! I've been contemplating going from Taycan RWD to Carrera 2(S) for some time now, because I believe / thought the 911 offers way more in terms of driving sporty. However, reading your review maybe makes me think I made the right choice all along, since the reality of it is that most of the time, I'm stuck on highways commuting from one client to another. And for that, I do know the Taycan is an amazing choice.
 

Raphie

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- the entry Taycan is all great, but to slow, I think a 4s performance+ is just enough, and Turbo (s if funds allow) is great
- AWD is a must imho

But further on handling and everything yes!
 

NuJerzPorsche

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- the entry Taycan is all great, but to slow, I think a 4s performance+ is just enough, and Turbo (s if funds allow) is great
- AWD is a must imho

But further on handling and everything yes!
kind of crazy how the entry Taycan is too “slow” but faster than about 90% of the cars on the road lol.

AWD is not a must with how heavy this car is but if your in a certain region it makes sense.
 

 
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