Full road test review featuring Charley Boorman

Porsche Taycan


Could that final piece of the Taycan’s puzzle be found, therefore, in the newer, less expensive and (crucially) rear wheel drive base model? Along with our guest presenter, actor, writer, adventurer and fellow enthusiast Charley Boorman, it is time to find out.


Perhaps it should be no surprise that if anyone was going to produce a usable, high-performance EV then it would be Porsche. After all, the 911 is (arguably) the most well-rounded sports car that the automotive world has seen, so it would seem natural that those same engineers and designers would handle the transition of those attributes into an EV exceptionally well. From the Mission E concept we saw back in 2015 to the production reality of the Taycan in 2019, the company has delivered on its promise.

The reality, however, whilst very good, didn’t truly blow us away when we tested the Turbo flagship in 2020. As good as it was, there was a small percentage that was missing. It wasn’t speed, because that was there in abundance, but a lack of involvement that just seemed to be missing in that final ten percent.

But then the best Porcshe’s haven’t necessarily been the fastest. The purity and value of the brand is better sampled in the lower reaches of the particular range. Could that final piece of the Taycan’s puzzle be found, therefore, in the newer, less expensive and (crucially) rear wheel drive base model? Along with our guest presenter, actor, writer, adventurer and fellow enthusiast Charley Boorman, it is time to find out.


AutoEV Overall Rating

Porsche Taycan lights
Porsche Taycan lights


Bryan – I said it before and I will carry on saying it, but I believe Porsche are right at the top of their styling game at the moment. The cars are just looking so “right”, and the Taycan just carries that on. Those lovely lines that start at the front of the bonnet and carry on over the roof, the cowled headlamps at the front of those deliciously curvy front wings and those muscular rear haunches that bleed into that signature rear light bar all just works for me. I find some of the alloy wheel designs a little challenging, but these optional 20-inch ones on this car look just right to me.

Charley – I can’t say I’m a big fan of the colour of this car (it’s called ‘Frozen Berry’ – Bryan) but I do like the way the car looks. The Porsche badge has always stood for freedom and the open road to me, and I love the way the whole car evokes that. 


Bryan – The Taycan is not as roomy as a Panamera, nor the Tesla Model S, which some people have compared it to in lower 4S guise. If you think of it as a 2+2 with rear doors, then you have the right idea. The car it reminds me most of is the Aston Martin Rapide. That was a similar car inasmuch as it just felt like a bigger DB9 with 4 doors. You can specify it with a central rear seat making it a five seater in configuration at least, but comfortably, and realistically, it’s a four-seater GT car.

You have a rear boot which will take 366 litres of luggage and a front space which gives an additional 84 litres, so it’s not bad at all, and would probably be enough for a family of four to gallop across to the continent on a driving holiday.


Porsche Taycan boot
Porsche Taycan interior
Porsche Taycan cockpit


Charley – I really love the interior layout of the car. It really feels like you are sitting in a Porsche. I like the layout of the dash, and I’m a bit obsessed with having the maps [of the satellite navigation] on the dash and on the instrument binnacle. It all works really well.

Bryan – The Taycan doesn’t have the physical buttons that its cousin, the Audi e-tron GT has, they are allin touch screens, but it does work well. It still takes a bit of getting used to though, and for things like the heating and ventilation, I’d much rather have a button to press. It does look a lot more modern than the e-tron though, and that is a criticism I have laid at the door of Audi for not being more brave with the interior styling. Porsche shows that you can be familiar and progressive at the same time. This hoodless instrument binnacle apes the traditional five-dial layout of the old 9111 whilst having the configurable screen that brings it bang up to date.

I also love the driving position and the comfort of the seats. The wheel feels just right too, not too thick, and with slim spokes that house some of the minor controls you need access to quickly.

Charley – Yes, I found that I was positioned beautifully in the seat. I think I have been spoiled for life now….




Bryan – Our test car is fitted with the optional Performance Battery Plus which is 93kWh and capable of delivering a combined range of up to 301 miles according to the WLTP data. This is realistically still a 250 mile-plus car, which is more than enough.

Charley – But what impresses me is the rate of charge that it will accept. It can take charging power of up to 270kW if you can find a charger capable of delivering that. That’s the number that gets me, as my Harley-Davidson Livewire will only take speeds of 50kW. If we can get more rapid chargers installed in the network then the range anxiety will soon disappear from people. And let’s remember, there never used to be petrol stations on every corner. Many years ago you had to buy petrol from chemists……

Porsche Taycan charge
Porsche Taycan Rear
Porsche Taycan wheel


Charley – The performance just feels full on, even in ‘Normal’ mode. It has a lovely feel to the throttle, very similar to the fly-by-wire system on the Livewire where you get this instantaneous but very progressive response. And by being just rear wheel drive, the steering has a really good feel to it. It just feels tight and solid.

Bryan – This car produces 380PS in normal running, but this increases to 476PS in launch mode. If you don’t option the Performance Battery Plus, these numbers drop to 326PS and 408PS respectively. Performance is, well, not as fast as Charley’s Livewire, let’s just say that. The benchmark sprint to 60mph from rest does happen in under 5 seconds, but only just. It’s the mid-range that impresses however, with a 50-70 time of under 3 seconds.

But as I said before, the best Porsches aren’t always the fastest, and that is the case with the Taycan. By having just a singular motor at the rear, the car is closest in spirit to the 911, and that means a steering rack that remains uncorrupted by having to deal with power application as well as turning the wheels. The fluidity of the Taycan is much better experienced when just the rear wheels are being driven. It turns in a bit sharper, the wheel communicates a bit more through my hands, and you don’t feel as detached from the experience that I felt in the Turbo I drove last year. Of course, there will be some who will crave ultimate power, and for them, there are those models higher up the range. For me though, this is the pick of the bunch. It’s fast enough whilst making me feel part of the process.

Charley – I love the way the brakes work. There is regeneration, but only when you actually apply the brake pedal. Porsche has set the car up so that the accelerator is used for going, and the brake pedal for stopping. At first, under a light load, it’s the motor that is braking rather than the brake discs themselves. It’s only when you really push hard on the brakes that the caliper clamps the disc and starts the process of hauling the car up. Very clever.

Bryan – The ride comfort is really good. By losing that extra weight at the front, the suspension isn’t having to cope with too much weight, albeit this is still a car that weighs over two tonnes. But what I mean is that there is just enough ‘float’ about it, and it never feels like it will run out of travel. The lower performance also means that the limits of grip are never really explored, and the security of that chassis breeds confidence in the driver.



Bryan – The Taycan starts at just over £70,600 although our car as tested came in at £86,527. To be fair, just over £4,000 of that extra cash has gone on the Performance Battery Plus, which I think is a worthwhile expenditure. The rest is down to colour, trim and options, some add to the appeal, others not so much.

Charley – Like the colour…….

front Porsche Taycan
Rear Skoda Enyaq-AutoEV


Bryan – The closest rival is, ironically, the car that shares a lot of the Taycan’s componentry, and that is the Audi e-tron GT. Whether you see it as a better car or not will be up to you, but for me, the Taycan just narrowly edges it. You might also consider the Tesla Model S, but that is getting revised for 2022, and is more of a large executive saloon than performance GT.

Mercedes-Benz will soon have their EQE model out, and don’t be surprised if the engineers that have ‘AMG’ on their corporate shirts don’t wave their magic wand over that and give us something a bit more special. Otherwise, you are looking at regular piston engined cars such as the BMW 8-Series Gran Coupe.



We like:

  • Handling 

  • Steering feel

  • Styling

  • Interior

  • Brakes

  • Range on Performance Plus Battery

  • It drives like a Porsche should


We don’t like:

  • Performance isn’t startling

  • Would prefer some physical buttons over the screens

  • Price can get high with options

  • The colour – Charley

Ford-Mustang-Mach E


Charley – Summing up, I wasn’t really sure what I’d make of it. But now having driven it, it has really surprised me. I like the throttle response, the brakes and their clever regen system is particularly noteworthy. I love the interior and its layout too. It also handles really well, and copes well with the twists and turns as it does the lumps and bumps. It gets a big thumbs up from me.

Bryan – The Taycan shows us that the performance EV is closer to what we are used to than some of the naysayers would have had us believe. It feels like a Porsche first, and an electric car second. As a continent-crushing GT car, I’m struggling to think of anything better, and I’ve been lucky enough to sample most of them. As a glimpse of what the future holds for the sports car, it is this car, probably more than any other, that shows us petrolheads that it’s going to be just fine. And in my opinion, this is, so far, the pick of the Taycan range. Make no mistake; this is a sensational car.


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