Although it’s hardly “new” — it’s been known about for some time — the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show marks the first U.S. public appearance for the trendsetting Porsche Taycan all-electric midsize sedan.
All electric? … In a Porsche?!?
Yep. What’s even more confusing is that the new 4S that debuted in LA joins existing Taycan Turbo and Turbo S models, neither of which actually sport a turbo — as they’re also electric.
What is the world coming to?
What it’s coming to is electric. Literally. Although most early electric cars weren’t known for their performance, the capability is there — and in fact, some electrics can already challenge the quickest gas cars for performance. And if the current trend continues, batteries will soon power the quickest cars you can buy.
The Porsche Taycan is almost there already. The new 4S now anchors the model lineup with a 79.2 kilowatt-hour battery and 522 horsepower, the latter good for what Porsche says is a 0-60-mph sprint of 3.8 seconds. Turbo and Turbo S have a 93.4 kilowatt-hour battery and 562 horsepower, with the same advertised 0-60 time; that battery is optional on the 4S. All models have all-wheel drive via front and rear motors, with an unusual 2-speed transaxle in the rear. EPA range estimates have not yet been released, but will likely top 300 miles with the bigger battery.
The 4S features adaptive air suspension with electronic damper control along with red-painted 6-piston brake calipers in front, with 4-piston calipers in back. But its most important “feature” is that it knocks a bunch off the stiff starting prices of its fellow Turbo ($150,900) and Turbo S ($185,000) models, with an announced starting price of $103,800. That puts it a lot closer to its Tesla Model S rival, which starts in the mid-$70,00 range.
Yes, it carries the revered Porsche name, but we long wondered if the severe pricing of a Taycan Turbo would hinder sales against a Tesla Model S that undercut it by nearly half. Perhaps this is our answer. Certainly the Taycan 4S boasts impressive specs, and its “bargain” pricing makes it a far more palatable competitor … and one that still carries the revered Porsche name.