Archimedes

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This is wrong: “the AWD torque vectoring capabilities offset any negligible handling benefit of a slightly lighter front end.” By handling, we’re talking about cornering - not straight line acceleration. The only torque-vectoring that enhances rotation happens at the rear axle. Add power during a turn, and a RWD car (with a limited slip diff) will turn in, while an AWD system will try to pull the front wheels straight, causing understeer. Porsche’s AWD system is brilliant, of course, and tries to mimic RWD characteristics by putting power to the back until traction limited. As more torque goes to the front under more power, though, you get understeer - and that’s a fact. If you doubt this, please explain to us why Porsche adds AWD to none of its track-focused cars.

Add ~200 pounds to the nose on the 4S, and I hate to break it to you: a RWS with equivalent performance options to a 4S (RWS, PTV, air suspension, sports+ with chrono option, and same tires) will turn in marginally better/plow less due to the lighter nose and will rotate slightly better under power. I don’t want to overstate it - no Taycan is a sports car. But, be that as it may, a performance-optioned RWD will be just that little bit sweeter in twisties than a 4S. Obviously a 4S will drop the RWD on the straights.

I have a serious question for you: What is your story? I don’t see you as a troll, but throughout the entire chain any suggestion that the RWD has something distinct and better to offer - no matter how limited - has clearly bothered you. I’m curious why. It’s apparent from what you write and also from what you don’t. You’ve refused to acknowledge what’s obvious to anyone driving the RWD - the power ramps up, and the car pulls hard after 30. This isn’t subjective - to your prior aspersion - but backed up by objective facts in the 30-50, 50-70, and trap speeds. You ignore all of that, fixate on 0-60, and relegate the RWD to the company of a host of “not fast” cars.
If you want to understand my points, just read what I actually wrote. I’ll summarize.

The RWD Taycan is a brilliant car. Because the Taycan is a brilliant car. Not because there’s something special about it versus the other variants.

And let’s correct the inaccuracies that you keep restating. The RWD is not only much slower 0-60, it’s also much slower 30-70, the range you keep referencing. It’s 27.5 percent slower than the 4S in this range. And near identical to a Golf R. Which I owned 3 years ago. The Golf is a quick car, not a fast car. The 600hp M5 I traded it in on was a fast car.

Finally, as regards handling, you’re totally ignoring the impact that torque vectoring AWD has on handling, which is significant. The RWD car is not faster in the twisties versus the 4S.

Porsche Taycan The Base Taycan is a gem... drove it and was blown away 6F4045B7-27DC-4F86-A488-BF3CA1C26787
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Archimedes

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This is the most important takeaway from the thread, in my view. No one denies that the RWD is slower than the others. But if you’re a prospective buyer, you’re doing yourself a disservice not to check it out. The power, once on a roll, is ample. And it has some attractive idiosyncrasies.
100 percent agree and I’ve said this in other threads. If one is looking at Taycans, IMO options are more important than the model variant. They are different, but all are excellent.
 
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Irish Guy

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4s here, if everyone is really honest, including myself, we all want a Turbo S performance+
however, not everyone has 250k€ to burn.

the game is simple:
- chose the most expensive one you can afford
- allocate an additional 20-30k on options (the option list gets shorter once the models go up, as more things come standard)
- budget for ppf (factory or xpel) + ceramic coating (5-6k)

there is no shame in bridging from a BMW5, Audi A6, or Merc E 2.0 to a 90k RWD basic no option Taycan, but it’s the baseline, it makes no sense to justify it as a deliberate choice
for example what defines Taycan for me: Full leather, AWD, AIR suspension, performance battery+, Sport Chrono, those are essential for the fun factor IMHO
then if you like racetex, you can debate, budget being equal, whether you want a full 4s, or a stock GTS
Thanks for the thoughtful post. I think the question whether the RWD is better in one or more ways than the rest has become a distraction, so let’s table it. (I do think it brings its own subtle positive attributes.)

To distill the experience that motivated this thread into a single line, I’d simply say that the RWD is a much better and, yes, faster car than I thought it would be given the 0-60, torque figures, etc., and is thus worth considering.

Consensus has proven elusive when it comes to the RWD, it seems, but I’m quite sure everyone here agrees that the Taycan model line is brilliant. I found myself reflecting on that this morning while chatting with a friend who picked up a Model 3 performance - greater than 4S performance at a fraction of the price. But I’d happily pay twice for half the pace to enjoy what the Taycan offers. I suspect most here have the same view.
 
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If you want to understand my points, just read what I actually wrote. I’ll summarize.

The RWD Taycan is a brilliant car. Because the Taycan is a brilliant car. Not because there’s something special about it versus the other variants.

And let’s correct the inaccuracies that you keep restating. The RWD is not only much slower 0-60, it’s also much slower 30-70, the range you keep referencing. It’s 27.5 percent slower than the 4S in this range. And near identical to a Golf R. Which I owned 3 years ago. The Golf is a quick car, not a fast car. The 600hp M5 I traded it in on was a fast car.

Finally, as regards handling, you’re totally ignoring the impact that torque vectoring AWD has on handling, which is significant. The RWD car is not faster in the twisties versus the 4S.

6F4045B7-27DC-4F86-A488-BF3CA1C26787.png
Thanks, Archimedes - this was a most welcome and helpful post. A couple of things:

First, where are you getting the numbers in comparing the 30-70 times? The statistics you’re quoting are so specific that I can’t believe you pulled them out of thin air. I saw you make a similar observation a couple of days ago and I planned to look into them, but work blew up and distracted me. Car and Driver calculates 30-50 and 50-70, but doesn’t do a single 30-70. The numbers they report would produce very different stats than you point to (but you can’t just sum 30-50 and 50-70 times and treat it the same as a direct 30-70 measurement, which I presume you’ve found elsewhere).

Btw, I never claimed that the 4S is no faster than the RWD beyond 30 - merely that the RWD picks up hard from that point. And I pointed to the impressive 30-50 and 50-70 times for the RWD to show the big deviation between the RWD’s unimpressive 0-60 time and what happens beyond a roll. There have been references to subjectivity. I invoked those statistics to show that I was referring to something real - the RWD picks up pace hard after 30. In other words, the car is faster in the real world than the 0-60 time suggests. We then got into a distracting debate about whether the RWD is quick relative to hot hatches - a comparator that still has me scratching my head, to be honest.

Second, the 4S is surely faster than the RWD through twisties because it has a lot more power on corner exit. I don’t understand how an AWD system with more weight on the nose can deliver better turn-in and rotation than an equivalent car with RWD and limited slip. If it were otherwise, you’d see AWD systems on GT products, right?

In any event, thanks for the good discussion. This has been among the more engaging and interesting threads, I think.
 
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Raphie

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Yes! The Taycan is brilliant and the RWD gets you in Taycan territory.
But a basic RWD is very different from a fully equipped 4s, yet a GTS is different again.
You will be happy with a RWD, as the design beats BMW, Merc & Audi.
My point is, while beating the competition, it’s only barely scratching the surface of what a Taycan can be. But then again it still is the best <100k car imho.
 
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Avantgarde

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You are 100% correct in my opinion but this thread is full of people who want/need to validate purchasing a base model. It's amazing how there's so much conjecture but little fact here. Honestly I think all Taycans are great. The weight of these cars is already so high that a few hundred pounds here or there doesn't make much difference. Waiting for the steel roof guys to wax poetic about how much better the handling is than the glass roof. Next the guys without heating steering wheels will talk about how much better steering feel is without the switch for heating switch and element lol. All this talk about weight and balance in a barge is hilarious.

F6L
You are 100% correct in my opinion but this thread is full of people who want/need to validate purchasing a base model. It's amazing how there's so much conjecture but little fact here. Honestly I think all Taycans are great. The weight of these cars is already so high that a few hundred pounds here or there doesn't make much difference. Waiting for the steel roof guys to wax poetic about how much better the handling is than the glass roof. Next the guys without heating steering wheels will talk about how much better steering feel is without the switch for heating switch and element lol. All this talk about weight and balance in a barge is hilarious.

F6L
Nobody is trying to validate anything in this thread except bunch of you guys who bought the 4S and need to validate that they made the best decision and the car that is slotted right below theirs with 20% less horsepower suddenly stops being a "fast car" and thus does not deserve to be considered. People are coming to this thread for genuine advice and this is an outright misleading advice. I can tell you I am the owner of a RWD PB+ and if a 4S was available on the margin I would pay the premium and buy it over RWD considering all pros/cons, primarily for Chicago winter. So I am not throwing shit at 4S by any means. Just saying there is no black and white difference between two trims as you put it and -accept it or not- any driving enthusiast with a refined taste would notice the RWD's more responsive steering light front end over 4S (not a massive difference but not unnoticeable either). I am trying to give genuine advice here and not satisfy myself to proving to others that I made the best decision. If it will help you believe me I can share some other aspects of my build that I am not happy about: 1- I've got Mission Es with PSCBs and I think they are an expensive option and overkill. As good as Mission Es look they are very delicate and require too much screening for small potholes which takes away from the driving fun and also they take away 20 miles of range vs 20 inch wheels (which btw also look 90% great) 2- If there is anything that looks out of place in my 110K+ build that is not the 380/475hp motor but it is the standard interior, which comes with a cheap looking leatherette glued to dash and door trims. I'd first upgrade to full leather interior before worrying about more power on the margin.
 
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Irish Guy

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Nobody is trying to validate anything in this thread except bunch of you guys who bought the 4S and need to validate that they made the best decision and the car that is slotted right below theirs with 20% less horsepower suddenly stops being a "fast car" and thus does not deserve to be considered. People are coming to this thread for genuine advice and this is an outright misleading advice. I can tell you I am the owner of a RWD PB+ and if a 4S was available on the margin I would pay the premium and buy it over RWD considering all pros/cons, primarily for Chicago winter. So I am not throwing shit at 4S by any means. Just saying there is no black and white difference between two trims as you put it and -accept it or not- any driving enthusiast with a refined taste would notice the RWD's more responsive steering light front end over 4S (not a massive difference but not unnoticeable either). I am trying to give genuine advice here and not satisfy myself to proving to others that I made the best decision. If it will help you believe me I can share some other aspects of my build that I am not happy about: 1- I've got Mission Es with PSCBs and I think they are an expensive option and overkill. As good as Mission Es look they are very delicate and require too much screening for small potholes which takes away from the driving fun and also they take away 20 miles of range vs 20 inch wheels (which btw also look 90% great) 2- If there is anything that looks out of place in my 110K+ build that is not the 380/475hp motor but it is the standard interior, which comes with a cheap looking leatherette glued to dash and door trims. I'd first upgrade to full leather interior before worrying about more power on the margin.
I’ve been planning to go with standard, two-tone leather (limestone beige). What standard spec did you go with? I’m trying to keep options under control, but don’t want to have regrets!

And thanks for the advice re: the wheels. I was planning to go for 20s with summer tires as a good compromise.
 

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It’s not only about the engine. options and upholstery are a big part of the experience too.
when it’s parked outside your window, it looks just as nice. And for sure it’s fast (<6sec is faster than 90% of the cars that stop next to you, But it’s not a 4s. But then again, very few are the times you have to run against them and 99.9% of the time you won’t even fully push the pedal on the RWD.
 


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Irish Guy

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And while your butt dyno might make you think it’s wicked fast 30-70, the truth is that it is still 27.5% slower 30-70 than the 4S, and only 2/10ths faster than, you guessed it, a 2020 Golf R.
You wrote this on Thursday, and brought it up again today, but I've no idea where you get those numbers from. I link to my sources - you should, too. While getting into this level of granularity doesn't seem terribly productive, let's round this out because you've now referenced it twice:

Car & Driver has instrument tested the Taycan 4S, Taycan RWD, and Golf R, including 30-50 and 50-70 times. Those numbers are as follows T4S (1.7 + 2.1 = 3.8); TRWD (1.9+2.6=4.5); GR (2.7+3.6=6.3).

As you can see, the Taycan RWD is far closer to the 4S than it is to the Golf R. Regardless, the base Taycan is quicker than the quickest of hot hatches in a roll. And that was my point - it's silly to call the RWD "not a quick car." And it certainly isn’t, as you claim, “near identical to a Golf R” in the 30-70 “range I keep referencing.” These results also show that, as we all agree, the 4S is quicker than its little brother. Shocker.

The statistics you reference are awfully specific, so I can only presume that you got them from somewhere. All I know is that they're nowhere near what I can discern from C&D. On their numbers, the Taycan RWD is 18.4% slower than the 4S from 30-70, while the RWD is 28.5% faster than the Golf R in the same measurement. This is exactly the opposite of what you suggest.

Here are the tests. Please post your sources for the numbers above. Maybe you have a direct measurement of 30-70 (which should be different than summing two separate digs from 30-50 and 50-70). At this point I'm simply curious. The precise % of how much faster the 4S is than the RWD vs. the Golf R seems beside the point. We know what the ordering is, and the base Taycan is clearly quicker on a roll than any hot hatch you may wish to reference.

https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a35385367/2020-porsche-taycan-4s-by-the-numbers/
https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a37853137/2021-porsche-taycan-pbp-by-the-numbers/
https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a37200521/2022-volkswagen-golf-r-us-drive/
 
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Avantgarde

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I’ve been planning to go with standard, two-tone leather (limestone beige). What standard spec did you go with? I’m trying to keep options under control, but don’t want to have regrets!

And thanks for the advice re: the wheels. I was planning to go for 20s with summer tires as a good compromise.
I have the black standard interior. Now full leather is not cheap, so I am not saying it is a must have, but I was giving an example, that I would upgrade to full leather before looking for more power. If i have to stick to standard interior, next time I would go with limestone beige as it does have slightly classier look (for some reason same leatherette on center console looks higher quality on limestone). In case it helps these would be my considerations:
1- Wheel-wise I would go for 20 inch turbo aeros, they are the most range-efficient in the entire range and they happen to be the best looking IMO (and relatively cheap too). I would pay for the colored porsche-crest as it oddly improves the look significantly IMO
2- I would do the premium package as it saves money on many essential options like panaromic roof, ventilated and 14 way seats, 360 view (which you only really need for the front camera, as it does an amazing job helping you approach the curb)
3- Big point of debate: PB or PB+. I drove both and I am happy with PB+ in my build. Range, resale and some perf improvement (0-60 does not change but elasticity other than off-the line, which I value way more than 0-60, improves materially per factory data. Again performance angle not essential but a nice bonus.
4- Another big point of debate: Air suspension. My Taycan does not have it, I am really torn on this one. In my next one I could see myselft getting it on the margin. Thing is I am an airsuspension fan in general, our other car in the house has it and I love it. However taycan's steel suspension is so amazing even on the 21 inch wheels, this one gives me a real pause. I think there is a slightly better precision feeling on the steel suspension, which I could totally see an enthusiast valuing over air, and it comes at a negligible comfort penalty. What I like most about AIR is it can get lower at high speed (which I think was the primary driver for Porshce to include it in Taycan as it improves drag coef. from .24 to .22, not really because of performance or comfort benefits), and higher if clearance is an issue. I think you should try both before deciding. And telling you this since you are a GT3 owner with refined taste (who did not conclude a Turbo is better because for the same price it could do 0-60 better!)
5- Anything else under e-mobility options can be ignored IMO (like the $1100 mobile charger connect, which essentially just adds a screen over your standard charger, seriously price is so insane I thought Taycan does not come with a charger if you did not pay for this) 400V DC charging (extensive content on lack of need for this one in US) 22 kwh charging (Unless you are an uber driver who only sleeps 4 hours at home before running to your next shift) $300 porsche trip planner ($300 I wish I donated to a homeless person instead).
Just my subjective views. Hope they help.
 
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tomtom901

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4- Another big point of debate: Air suspension. My Taycan does not have it, I am really torn on this one. In my next one I could see myselft getting it on the margin. Thing is I am an airsuspension fan in general, our other car in the house has it and I love it. However taycan's steel suspension is so amazing even on the 21 inch wheels, this one gives me a real pause. I think there is a slightly better precision feeling on the steel suspension, which I could totally see an enthusiast valuing over air, and it comes at a negligible comfort penalty. What I like most about AIR is it can get lower at high speed (which I think was the primary driver for Porshce to include it in Taycan as it improves drag coef. from .24 to .22, not really because of performance or comfort benefits), and higher if clearance is an issue. I think you should try both before deciding. And telling you this since you are a GT3 owner with refined taste (who did not conclude a Turbo is better because for the same price it could do 0-60 better!)

The main "issue" with air suspension is that it's specifically tied to the more performance based options such as PTV+ and RAS. Once you (want to) tick either of those, you need to have air suspension optioned. But, i definitely agree on the steel suspension, it works very well.
 
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Irish Guy

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And telling you this since you are a GT3 owner with refined taste (who did not conclude a Turbo is better because for the same price it could do 0-60 better!)
Ha-ha, we’re going to get along well for sure! Let me know if you’re ever in DC and fancy a beer. :)

In all seriousness, thank you for this brilliant advice! (Among other things, I’ll do PB+ because, even though this will be my daily in the city, I’ll also have plenty of not-far-away trips for work and family, too, but enough of a distance that I’ll be grateful for the lack of anxiety.)
 

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You win, the RWD is a beast.

I drove the Turbos first, then the RWD, then the 4S. I would have been happy with any of them, IF they had the right options, which none of the ‘on the lot’ cars did. So when faced with ordering a car, I chose the 4S because it had the minimum power I would accept, having owned a number of 450-600hp cars. Absent that, the RWD would have been fine for me. Alternatively, had a Turbo allocation been available I might have thrown $25k away for the additional half second, because I’m stupid like that. Luckily they were not to be found. Having driven them all, I continue to rate them as quick, fast, really fast, and stupid fast. For a street car, all one NEEDS is quick, hence I thought the RWD was a real option.
 

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Interesting thread. Have a 4S CT. Completely new to Porsche and my biggest mistake was not signing on to this eminent forum until after my order. All my test drives were in CT4 (not S) as the sedan is not an option for us so no reference to the AWD vs RWD discussion. Snow and ice half of the the year so AWD is also a must have. Even if Id considered a sedan body style, the potential handling benefit on warm tarmac would be minute relative the superiority of (proper) AWD on snow so not getting into that part of the discussion. When it comes down to power however my experience is the same as the OP's. Other than from a stand still I find my 4S to be slightly faster but only incremental. I was blown away by the base CT just assumed (silly me) when looking at specs that the 4S would be seriously quicker also at speed but It doesn't feel that way, and at least to me not worth the price jump. Limited by budget as I am, I actually regret I didnt go for the base and added more goodies. As Im a noob to Porsche I didnt get the model / equipment policy either. If I knew then what I know now, Id rather considered adding just a small extra cash and gotten the ST GTS if maximising performance to money was my goal. Btw. We dont have to compare to ICE hot hatches. Not only Tesla; MB Eqe, BMW I4 are all faster and cheaper. even a KIA GT, BYD HAN, Xpeng NIO and most other chinese brands (we have them all here in Norway) are faster than my 4S 0—62 and they would kill the RWD, at less than half price. Would I buy one? Dont think so. Straight line acc. from a dig is such a small part of the equation when the rest of the package is so good more or less regardless of model level
 

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This whole discussion shows what a huge variety of tastes people have, and what a big range of reasons they have for choosing a car, and options, and, to an extent, how big an influence the road conditions the buyer is familiar with have on their view of the importance of different performance aspects.

I have always noticed that there is a gulf between the expectations and requirements of customers between North America and Europe and always has been and always will be because the majority of the roads and road conditions are so very different.

So as a specialist in racing car design any comment I may have on my interest in styling, colour, options and so forth are just personal opinion. When it comes to vehicle dynamics, however, I can offer fact.

For vehicle dynamics lower weight is ALWAYS better. You can compensate for higher weight on acceleration with more power but everything else is and always will be worse.
Tyre load/grip curves are non-linear and whilst going to much bigger tyres helps, heavier gives less grip, so a heavier car will always have poorer brakes and roadholding. Always.

Yes electronic driver aids help a lot to mask shortcomings but they can't repeal the laws of physics.

Having written that, as a person who has been around a lot of race tracks as a passenger with F1 drivers, old Nurburgring with Keke Rosberg, Paul Ricard with Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill round Silverstone and Brands Hatch with Carlos Reutemann being particularly memorable, I know most people, including me, are nowhere near capable of driving their car anywhere near its cornering or braking limits so probably, for most people, flooring the throttle will be the only time they experience their car's limit. So straight line acceleration will realistically be the only thing they can experience to compare two versions.

Having written that my choice of CT 4S was basically because needing a shooting brake body for dog transport meant I was stuck with the heavy battery and AWD. I was happy with AWD though for efficient regeneration, given the Taycan is an EV. I decided the cost for power increment above the CT4 here in the UK was good value. Since I only can use full throttle around here for around one second at a time the extra for the Turbo power increment wasn't worth the much bigger price difference, to me.
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