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2022 Porsche Taycan RWD review

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A new version of the this luxury brand’s electric car has just hit the road and surprisingly it trumps its more expensive siblings.

Less power, less performance, less equipment and one less electric motor. On paper, Porsche’s cheapest Taycan should suffer a crisis of confidence.

But most buyers choosing a battery-powered Porsche will find this rear-wheel drive Taycan the pick of the litter. You still get rapid acceleration – 5.4 seconds to 100km/h – and rapid battery charging.

It starts at $156,300 before on-road costs. That’s almost $40,000 less than the dual motor all-wheel drive 4S model, and almost $200,000 cheaper than the Turbo S range-topper.

Having driven all I can assure you that $345,800 flagship rearranges internal organs as it silently cracks 100km/h in 2.8 seconds. It’s riotous brain-bending acceleration, but after a few tries it’s uncomfortably jarring. A rollercoaster you want to get off.

With performance more relevant to planet Earth, this workaday Taycan still delivers a true Porsche-like experience. Its body oozes design drama while the cabin’s a technology tour-de-force with three giant digital screens covering climate, infotainment and driving information.

You sit low in partial leather seats, while the dash and controls cocoon you in a race-ready driving position. There’s quality at every touch and enough luxury to remind you Porsche doesn’t really do “entry-level” cars. Its curved 16.8-inch driver display offers five different views, including a sublime screen-filling digital colour map alongside vitals such as your digital speedo and electric range.

Its 79.2kWh battery is shared with the Taycan 4S, offering 369km between charges. Not enough? Drop an extra $12,020 and a 93.4kWh battery delivers 434km range. The larger pack also ups power from 240kW to 280kW and torque from 345Nm to 357Nm, but acceleration’s the same due to an extra 80kg added to the Taycan’s mass.

As with all EVs hauling around massive batteries there’s a weight penalty to pay. Unladen, it tips the scales at 2050kg – matching Porsche’s giant Cayenne – or with the longer range battery it’s 2130kg. That’s one heavy sports car.

On the bright side it’s 90kg lighter than a 4S and ditching the front motor means most of that weight has been shed from the nose. So, here’s a rear-drive Taycan (as many Porsche drivers want) that feels more responsive and willing to be slung into a corner.

To be fair all Taycans do the turn-in stuff magnificently with brilliant steering feedback, but the rear-drive one feels less lardy when changing direction. This compensates for less oomph when flying out of corners, but in Sport mode the response and speed scratches most performance itches. For road use, it’s genuinely all you need.

You’re also “lumbered” with steel coil springs while every other Taycan gets air suspension. You can upgrade for $4540, but the factory fit absorbs bumps very well, cruises smoothly and works to somehow keep this heavy Porsche superbly balanced and grippy in twisties.

The tyres – working hard with over two tonnes on top – chirp the odd protest when really pushed, and the brakes – which assist battery energy recovery – feel dull at times.

The only other criticisms are Porsche’s sub-par three-year warranty and the price of extras – our test car featured almost $40,000 worth of additions. Three years of free public charging is some compensation.

Standard kit isn’t shabby. It includes advanced safety aids, 14-way power seats, a heated steering wheel, surround view cameras and a home charging dock. It takes eight hours to charge from empty to full this way. Find the right rapid public charger and you hit 80 per cent in a little more than 20 minutes.

VERDICT 4.5/5

The cheapest Taycan is the sweet spot in the range. Rear-wheel drive means a purer sporting drive experience, and for most, it has all the performance you need.

PORSCHE TAYCAN RWD VITALS

Price: About $175,000 drive-away

Motor: Synchronous electric, up to 300kW/345Nm

Warranty/servicing: 3-year/unlimited km, no capped price servicing

Safety: 10 airbags, auto emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping and blind-spot warning

Range: 369km

Cargo: 407 litres

Spare: Repair kit



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