The Porsche Taycan line-up is like the proverbial box of chocolates. A lot to like. But when it comes to deciding between an ever-growing number of models, it is increasingly hard to know exactly where to begin, as Greg Kable discovers.
- Rabid performance and razor-sharp handling
- Huge grip, outstanding traction
- Ultra-fast charging functionality
- Range isn’t the equal of some rivals
- Synthetic engine sound (though you can turn it off)
- Long list of pricey options
The addition of the 2022 Porsche Taycan GTS to the existing Taycan adds yet another potential option – and an added degree of difficulty – to finding ‘the one’ among Porsche’s performance electric models.
Up until now, we’ve seen seven different iterations of the upmarket electric sedan and its high riding Taycan Cross Turismo sibling in Australia, ranging from the $156,300 rear-wheel-drive Taycan at one end (first drive coming soon) through to the range-topping $345,800 four-wheel-drive Taycan Turbo S at the other (both before on-road costs).
It is an impressively credentialed line-up that has placed Porsche at the forefront of the luxury electric car sales ranks both here and abroad.
Still, the German carmaker is not resting on its laurels. With the introduction of the new $237,000 plus on-road-costs Taycan GTS, Porsche says it is aiming to meet demand for a more overtly sporting version of the luxurious electric-powered four-door.
Set to be sold exclusively in sedan guise in Australia, the eighth Taycan model has been conceived to offer “enhanced performance and handling precision, delivered in a style suited to everyday use and without any compromise over other models in the line-up”.
Like the various GTS versions of Porsche’s traditional internal combustion engine models, it is distinguished from other Taycan models by a number of unique exterior design and interior trim touches.
The GTS is not intended to be the fastest Taycan. That honour continues to rest with the rapid Taycan Turbo S. But in line with the legacy that stretches back to the first-ever Porsche to wear the GTS badge, the 904 GTS introduced in 1963, it is meant to deliver a more engaging driving experience than any Taycan model that has gone before it. Among its electric-powered rivals is the new Mercedes-AMG EQS53 and the coming Tesla Model S Plaid.
You can tell the GTS apart by its darkened design accents. There are black elements within the front bumper, headlamp assemblies, lower section of the exterior mirrors, uniquely shaped side sills and side window trim. It also receives the Sport Design Package with differently shaped bumpers to other standard Taycan models as well as standard 20-inch Aero Design wheels from the Turbo S painted in black – optional with 21-inch RS Spyder Design wheels also in black, as worn by the cars pictured here.
The subtle model-specific touches continue inside with synthetic suede upholstery and black anodized aluminium trims. It also receives Porsche’s Sports Seats Plus with the letters GTS monogrammed into the headrests and 18-way electronic adjustment as standard. On top of this, there’s an optional GTS design package with unique grey-coloured elements and stitching.
It is a deeply inviting interior with a low-set driving position and generous accommodation for those seated up front. With a nominal 84L up front and a further 366L at the rear, the Taycan GTS also offers a good deal of luggage capacity. It feels a little cramped in the rear, though, where the plunging roof line robs headroom and the tall front seat backs obscure forward vision.
|2022 Porsche Taycan GTS|
|Boot volume||84L front / 366L rear|
Unique to the latest Taycan model for the time being is an optional electrochromatic glass roof. Set to be made available on other models in 2022, it uses a liquid crystal film to alter the glass from transparent to opaque across four different settings: Clear, Mat, Semi and Bold. The new roof is divided into nine sections that can be altered individually.
In keeping with other performance-oriented Taycan models, the new GTS receives two Magnetti Marelli-produced electric motors, one at the front and another at the rear, and naturally a fully variable four-wheel drive as a result. The front unit is shared with the Taycan 4S. The rear unit, meanwhile, is lifted from the Taycan Turbo. They both operate with a 600-amp inverter and an 800-volt electric architecture. There are just three driving modes: Normal, Sport and Sport Plus, each accessible via a rotary controller on the steering wheel or a menu within the infotainment display.
Electrical energy is provided by Porsche’s largest battery – the so-called Performance Battery Plus. The lithium-ion unit, mounted wholly within the floorpan, boasts an energy capacity of 93.4kWh compared to the 79.2kWh of the battery that comes as standard with the Taycan 4S.
The headlining power figure of 440kW is 50kW more than that offered by the 4S, but still a good 60kW shy of the Taycan Turbo. However, it is only available in overboost during all-out launch control starts, along with a rather generous 850Nm of torque. Under regular driving conditions, the combined reserves are wound back to a milder 380kW.
Out on the road, this is more than sufficient to make the Taycan GTS feel incredibly rapid in either Sport or Sport Plus modes. A brief and determined stab of the throttle is all it takes to propel you well into triple-digit figures.
The acceleration is effortless and omnipresent at every fleeting flex of your right foot. There is a very faint and fleeting interruption in propulsion as the two-speed gearbox shifts into top gear somewhere between 80 and 100km/h depending on throttle load and drive mode. But otherwise, the delivery is extremely linear and ever so strong.
Porsche claims a 0–100km/h time of 3.7 seconds in overboost – a scant 0.1sec faster than the Taycan 4S but 0.5sec slower than the Taycan Turbo. Not that it ever feels remotely lacking in any way. Top speed, meanwhile, is limited to 250km/h.
Top-shelf performance the very instant you want it when the conditions allow, then. But the overall ease of driving is just as impressive too. In Normal mode, the Taycan GTS provides outstandingly smooth qualities. So configured, it is an immensely satisfying car: fast enough to allow you overtake with nonchalant ease when the conditions allow but also exceptionally refined.
A quick glance at the specification of the suspension is all you need to confirm that the new Porsche model is not a puristic sports car, but one aimed at providing a broad range of driving characteristics with a good deal of comfort thrown in for extra measure. As with the Taycan 4S and Taycan Turbo, you get three-chamber air springs together with PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) with adaptive damping as standard – all with GTS-specific tuning.
The electromechanical steering delivers a fittingly high degree of response together with an inherently communicative feel and consistent weighting, all of which provides the driver with great confidence in the Taycan GTS’s handling ability right from the very first meaningful turn of lock. The steering wheel rim thickness is well-judged too.
To further heighten the level of response while ensuring even greater straight-line stability, Porsche offers its latest Taycan model with optional rear-axle steering, as fitted to the early production example we drove. It provides 2.8 degrees of counter-steer angle to the rear wheels at speeds up to 50km/h, and a similar 2.8 degrees of parallel steering angle to the rear wheels beyond 50km/h. The supplemental steering system comes in combination with Power Steering Plus, which boosts the amount of assistance for added ease of manoeuvrability at low speeds.
The PASM suspension, meanwhile, does a wonderful job of keeping body roll in check. The adaptive system sees the new Porsche corner in an incredibly flat manner even at high cornering speeds. The ultra-low centre of gravity made possible by mounting the battery within the floor structure helps, of course. But credit also goes to the damping, which is tremendously well-tuned. The active roll stabilisation provided by PDCC quickly and effectively counters any tendency toward lean.
It all works in combination with generously dimensioned wheels and tyres, as well as a four-wheel-drive system with a torque-vectoring function to constantly vary the amount of power going to each individual rear wheel. This makes the latest Taycan supremely agile despite a kerb weight well on the high side of two tonnes.
It might not be the fastest accelerating model in the line-up, but it is arguably the most sporting thanks to its overall handling poise. Grip is utterly spellbinding, allowing you to dig deep into the performance without any hint of nervousness as you edge up to the high limits. You point, it sticks. It is tremendous fun to thread down a winding road at speed. But it also feels wonderfully secure too.
You would never buy the Taycan GTS expecting truly cosseting qualities. Given its spellbinding dynamics, however, it rides astonishingly well. Bump absorption is particularly impressive, especially so over high-frequency ruts and broken bitumen at lower speeds. It also controls vertical movement with great success over undulating roads.
As with other Taycan models, the air suspension provides a choice between three primary levels of ride height: medium, lowered and low. There is also a lift function to raise the ride height and avoid expensive scrapes on angled driveways and the like.
|At a glance||2022 Porsche Taycan GTS|
|Warranty||Three years / unlimited km|
|Service intervals||24 months or 30,000km|
|Energy cons. (claimed)||20.3-23.3kWh/100km (WLTP)|
The brakes are very powerful and remain strong with a highly dependable and natural feel to the pedal even after repeated hammerings on the racetrack.
You can set the level of energy that is recuperated on a trailing throttle via the drive-mode configurator as well. There are three settings: Off, On and Auto – the latter of which works in combination with the windscreen-mounted camera to provide automatic braking when you venture too close to the car in front. In extreme situations, up to 265kW of kinetic energy can be fed back into the battery, albeit only on brief periods of full braking force.
The car’s sound has always been a key part of the Porsche driving experience. It’s no different here. Like other models in the range, the Taycan GTS comes with its own uniquely tuned Electric Sport Sound generator; a synthetic soundtrack both for those inside the cabin and those outside too.
It is well-matched to throttle inputs, providing an ever louder stream of artificial exhaust roar as you tap performance from the otherwise near-to-silent electric drivetrain. But from a personal perspective, it is just as satisfying without it. The accompanying wind roar around the exterior mirrors and the noise thrown up by those generously dimensioned tyres are never overbearing, but they do provide a good indication of your speed without having to resort to artificial acoustic means.
The Taycan’s 93.4kWh battery supports DC charging at up to 270kW and 850 volts. This allows the lithium-ion unit to charge to 80 per cent in under 23 minutes on a suitable high-powered charger in optimal climatic conditions, according to Porsche. You’ll need a claimed nine hours to get a similar state of charge on an 11kW AC wallbox charger running at 240 volts, though.
Combined cycle consumption on the WLTP test procedure of between 23.3 and 20.3kWh/100km equates to a theoretical range of between 439 and 504km. Taking into account the usual variances in topography and the like, however, we would bank on a real-world range of between 350 and 400km depending on the driving conditions.
|Key details||2022 Porsche Taycan GTS|
|Engine||Dual AC synchronous electric motors|
|Power||380kW (440kW overboost)|
|Drive type||All-wheel drive|
|Transmission||Single-speed front, two-speed rear – automatic|
|Power to weight ratio||165.6-191.7kW/t|
Interestingly, Porsche says the GTS is the first Taycan model to be certified with a new software package. As a result, its claimed range beats that of other Taycan models running the 93.4kWh battery, despite the fact that they also run the same software as part of a running change made to all 2021 Taycan models.
Common sense suggests you’d choose the $194,700 Taycan 4S over the $237,000 GTS and pocket the not insubstantial change. At least, that’s the way we had it before travelling to the Spanish island of Mallorca to drive the latest Tacyan model, both on public roads and a track. But we were wrong.
What you have here is an electric car that is every bit as exciting to drive as the very best of Porsche’s internal combustion engine models. It’s worth the extra money, no doubt.
The GTS is a tremendously complete car; one that delivers added excitement and involvement over other Taycan models without any perceptible compromise in overall comfort and refinement. Its intoxicating blend of performance and handling is quite phenomenal, clearly setting new standards of excellence in the electric car arena.
You’ll need the optional four-wheel steering to really take advantage of its overall dynamic ability. So specified, there is a clear determination to its actions on challenging roads, but its sophisticated suspension also provides it with the sort of comfort and refinement that will make you want to drive it all day, every day. Porsche calls it the sweet spot in the Taycan line-up. We’re not going to argue.