For 2021, Porsche is introducing a new member of the Taycan family. The RWD version of the EV series takes its place among entry-level Porsche offerings for the upcoming model year, and comes with a base sticker price of $80K.
As a symbol of brand progression, the Taycan is an important figurehead. The competitive pricing places the new Taycan variant in competition with other electric-only performance sedans that are already for sale in dealerships or on the way. The $70K Tesla S, of course, leaps to mind as the primary target of the new Taycan.
It also beats many automakers to the punch, even Audi, a company which had committed fully to the coming alternative-energy drivetrain revolution relatively early. The Taycan should appear within months of the first deliveries of the ~$80K e-Tron GT.
Then there are the other big Euro automakers and their EV performance sedans. The Mercedes EQS isn’t slated to appear until 2022. BMW’s oddly slow response to the inevitable places them definitively in last place, a dangerous position indeed—the i3, an auspicious beginning to an expected EV series that appeared early in the last decade, remains their only all-electric model, and it’s strictly a slick urban solution designed for commuting and easy parking.
The Taycan gives Porsche a foothold in the marketplace. It features the signature rear-axle two-speed gearbox that can compensate for performance or range. It’s a brilliant and singular feature that makes the model more efficient and quicker at launch, and can be removed from the drivetrain entirely when the battery charge is low.
As opposed to the Taycan 4S, the entry-level model has a little less cosmetic flash; those nifty red calipers are gone, for example. And the front power unit is gone and, although it may well give the entry-level Taycan a better range, that could be a game-changer for some buyers. But, like the 4S, the base Taycan may be ordered with a Performance Battery Plus option, which raises the bar for speed and keeps it in line with its elder and pricier sibling.