A lot of expectations grew in the build up to the launch of Porsche’s Taycan electric vehicle. After our first drive a few weeks ago, it was clear that the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S are deeply accomplished cars—Porsches first and foremost, that just happen to be electric.
And being Porsches, they weren’t exactly cheap: the Taycan Turbo starts at $150,900 and the Turbo S begins at $185,000. On Monday morning, Porsche filled in the blank many of us were waiting for with news that the next Taycan variant, called the Taycan 4S, will arrive in Spring 2020. And this one is a lot cheaper—at least by Porsche standards.
The Taycan 4S, like the more expensive versions, has an all-wheel drive layout with permanent synchronous magnet motors driving each axle. The rear motor still gets a two-speed transmission, and like the Taycan Turbo it uses a 300V inverter for the front motor and 600V in the rear. The biggest differences are the battery and power output. The Taycan 4S has two battery and motor options: a single-layer 79kWh battery and 390kW (552hp) total power output, which costs $103,800; or the same double-layer 93kWh battery from the Turbo and Turbo S, which has a total power output of 420kW (563hp), which will cost $110,380. (All prices are before the $7,500 IRS tax credit or any local incentives.) Range for either version of the Taycan 4S has yet to be calculated by the EPA.
The single-layer battery also charges at a slightly reduced rate, maxing out at 225kW compared to 270kW for the double-layer 93kWh pack. As long as the battery is preheated and the state of charge is below 20 percent, both packs should reach 80 percent after 22.5 minutes connected to an 800V DC fast charger. Porsche says all Taycan 4S buyers will get 30 minute charging at Electrify America fast chargers free for three years, as well as free fast charging at Porsche dealers around the country. Like Audi, Porsche has partnered with Amazon to make the process of getting a home charger installed as painless as possible.
With a much cheaper price tag, it’s possible to see the Taycan 4S as a more direct competitor to the Tesla Model S, although that car will almost certainly outperform a Taycan 4S in terms of, range, acceleration, and handling. But the pricing is in line with what Porsche charges for the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid—although as we found out in our drive last month, the experience of driving a Taycan is as different from driving a Panamera as it is from driving a Tesla.