The centrepiece of the tech is a 10.9in infotainment system that is integrated into the dashboard, with features like sat-nav, DAB radio, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring. However Android Auto will not be available at all – not even as an option – because Porsche says the majority of its buyers have Apple smartphones.
Buyers have the option of adding an additional screen of the same size that sits in the dashboard in front of the front seat passenger. This additional screen will be able to control everything that the other infotainment screen can – but it won’t be able to change anything that affects driving. That means things like the sat-nav and media can be controlled by the passenger, but they can’t change the driving modes.
As standard, there’s also an 8.4in screen in portrait layout on the centre console that operates the climate control and provides a touchscreen trackpad to help control the top 10.9in infotainment screen. While the other screens are purely touchscreen, the 8.4in climate control screen uses haptic feedback, meaning that even though it doesn’t have any physical buttons, users must ‘press’ the button icons on screen to control it.
The overall design is reminiscent of other current Porsche interiors, but there are fewer buttons and more screens. It contrasts with Tesla’s electric car interiors, which are centred around a single, bigger touchscreen infotainment screen that controls everything.
What Car? has already had the opportunity to use the Taycan’s infotainment system on a pre-production model, and it’s certainly impressive. The screens all have very high resolutions with clear graphics and all the features you’d expect. It’s a shame that Android Auto won’t be offered at all, though. And Apple CarPlay only works through plugging your phone directly into it via a USB cable, rather than working over Bluetooth,, as some other manufacturers – such as BMW – now offer.
Having a mixture of touchscreen and haptic feedback between the screens isn’t particularly intuitive, and we’d always prefer simple physical controls for the air-con. Plus, the trackpad on the climate control screen seems a bit of a sideways step; dragging your finger over the glass display becomes slightly uncomfortable after a while. A rotary dial – such as the ones you find in Mazdas and BMWs – would have been a simpler solution to operate the infotainment on the move. But there was no problem with the responsiveness of the screen in our quick test, and it certainly has a sleek layout. The optional screen for the front passenger, meanwhile, is more of a novelty than a huge practical help.
The car will also be capable of over-the-air updates – allowing the possibility of upgrading the infotainment system without having to visit a dealer. A head-up display won’t initially be available on the Taycan, but Porsche says this is something it will consider adding in the future.
2020 Porsche Taycan performance and range
The electric Taycan is said to produce more than 592bhp and blast from 0-62mph in a time that could rival the rapid Tesla Model S.
Given the car’s exterior styling and four-seat interior, you might assume that it will be closer to the Panamera than the 911 in terms of the way it drives. However, the Taycan’s floor-mounted batteries should give it a lower centre of gravity than either of these conventionally powered Porsches and, as a result, potentially improve handling.
The car’s exterior styling will be revealed at Frankfurt, but will borrow plenty of cues from 2015’s Porsche Mission E concept car (below).
Porsche also plans to give the Taycan Level 4 autonomous driving technology; that equates to self-driving in nearly all situations, with driver attention not always required. “There are situations in traffic jams where you will be able to read a newspaper,” Porsche chairman Oliver Blume explained, “but our customers take pleasure from driving and this will remain.”
The name ‘Taycan’ translates loosely as ‘lively, young horse’ – a nod to Porsche’s badge, which has featured a leaping horse since 1952.
The German brand revealed a more rugged version of the Taycan at the Geneva motor show last March. The Mission E Cross Turismo concept is based on the same underpinnings as the Taycan but features a raised ride height and an estate-style body. It’s likely to follow the regular Taycan into production in 2022.
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The best and worst electric cars
If the idea of the new Porsche Taycan has got you thinking about going electric, then you’ll want to know which electric cars should be on your shortlist. Below and over the next few pages we’ll run through our favourites in this ever-widening class, and tell you which models to avoid.
10. Hyundai Ioniq
The Ioniq is really three cars in one – it’s available as a conventional hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and as a fully electric car. The latter we’re including here has a range of 174 miles, and enough torque to make acceleration feel brisk around town. The interior is smart, too, and our recommended Premium models get sat-nav and heated front seats as standard.
9. Tesla Model X
On paper, Tesla’s all-electric family SUV seems to be the dream all-rounder, combining the luxury of a Range Rover Sport with the green credentials of an electric car. In practice, its low running costs and practical interior are hard to fault, and even entry-level versions aren’t short on pace, but parts of its interior do feel a little low-rent.
8. Volkswagen e-Golf
Unlike purpose-built electric cars such as the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf, the e-Golf is based on a conventional hatchback. However, this is no bad thing, because it means it has all the good points of the regular regular Golf, along with greatly reduced running costs. It’s just a shame its Real Range is so limited.
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