Rev her up! Muddy test drives the electric Porsche Taycan
Just like yours truly, the fully electric Porsche Taycan is fast, luxurious and a bit of a minx. I've just taken it for a weekend test drive - strap in for the Muddy verdict.
I’d like to think that Porsche Centre Silverstone gave me the Taycan (Porsche’s first fully electric vehicle) to test drive because of my expert motoring knowledge and globally renowned driving skills (yes peeps, my first ever job was at Silverstone Circuit, hair swish) but, sadly for me, I think it was more because I sit within a bit of an unoccupied space in terms of the typical Porsche consumer.
I’m a working Mum constantly juggling and changing my various hats. One minute I’m doing the school run, the next I’m at the gym, supermarket, or driving to work meetings across the county. I live in the countryside, so I need a car that is genuinely practical and able to cope with everything I and my kids and dog throw at it (mud, sticky hands, the lot) on a daily basis.
If a super-slick Porsche isn’t the car that instantly comes to mind when you think of the above, then au contraire, my friend. Picking up the Taycan 4S from the team at the Towcester showroom on a sunny Friday morning, I immediately shot up to an appointment in Castle Ashby (okay, okay, it was lunch at The Falcon, but what’s a girl to do?), so I didn’t have a huge amount of time to get to grips with what I assumed would be quite a complicated set of controls. I needn’t have worried though.
Don’t get me wrong, the Taycan does have loads of great features, but if you just point and go it will get you where you need to be. It is such a straightforward car to drive and, with a sleek touchscreen dash console, everything is really intuitive to use, from the in-car sat nav to the Bose sound system and even the super fancy chassis height gizmo and five drive modes (Range, Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual). A dream if you’re switching from the motorway to a single track road with humpback bridges and speed bumps en route, or if you’re keen to stretch your range out as far as you can.
And let’s not forget the all-important reverse camera – this is a big beast of a car and it juuust about fit in my garage, so the camera was a huge reassurance when parking.
Need some space?
Back in School Run Mum mode I had three excited kids to pick up. This is where the Taycan really covers all bases because the 5-seater 4S model I was driving has an enormous amount of room in the back seat, plus plenty of boot space for school bags, sports kit and assorted musical instruments. There’s also extra luggage space under the bonnet where the engine would normally be in a petrol car. I reckon I earned, ooh, a teeny bit of kudos with the other parents at the school gates too.
Charge it up
Now for the science part. We have a type 2 electric charging point in our garage already, so charging up overnight was really straightforward. The dash display lets you know how long it will take for the battery to be fully charged and you can even set a timer so, you if you have an electricity plan with cheaper (or even free) rates at certain times, you’ll be laughing. You’ll need to allow about 12 hours to be fully charged on an AC home charge point, so overnight is ideal, or 30 minutes using a DC charger (these are popping up all over the place now, they’ve got free ones at Daylesford, natch).
We managed a Saturday out in the Cotswolds followed by a Sunday road trip up from south Northants as far as Harringworth and back, clocking up around 250 miles on a single charge. Admittedly, I got slight range anxiety when the onboard computer told me I had 30 miles of power left and 27 miles before we’d reach home so, even though we could have made it in Range Mode, we stopped to charge up for 30 minutes at one of the 6 the free charge pods at Rushden Lakes. A stroll around the lake gave us just enough time to boost our power and give me peace of mind.
Things you’ll just love
There are a million great things I could say about this crazily beautiful car. It does 0-60 in under 4 seconds, which sounds a bit Clarkson, but it’s actually quite helpful if you’re stuck behind a cyclist going uphill on the one straight bit of country road for the next 5 miles and you know you’ll just whizz around safely. It gives you that weirdly exciting butterfly feeling in your stomach too.
I could rhapsodise for days over enormous tinted glass sunroof that stretches the entire length and width of the roof, making it feel even more roomy than it already is. Wherever you go, of course, you’ll draw admiring glances and the whole family can travel in genuine comfort in what is essentially a luxury sports car. But the deal-breaker for me is that you can drive this glorious beast without the emissions guilt and will never again have to fill up with petrol. Honestly, you are saving money and the planet at the same time… sort of.
It’s often an uncomfortable experience for a woman entering a car show room isn’t it? But rather like interviewing celebrities who are always nicer the more famous they are, so it is with car showrooms. The Porsche Centre Silverstone is all ease, nothing like the cocky petrol-head zone I imagined. There are a high proportion of female staff and there was no technical jargon sailing way above my head.
The Taycan is not a cheap option by any stretch of the imagination but come on guys, it’s a Porsche. The 4S starts from £83, 580, whilst the Turbo S Cross Turismo, which is even sportier and even roomier, starts at a more ambitious £139,910 though if there was ever a time to sell a kidney you’ll feel the urge after test driving one of these beauties.
Good For: Those looking for a seriously luxurious and powerful vehicle that also offers a huge amount of flexibility. The Taycan is not just a weekend pootler or something to show off in (though obviously you can), it’s a brilliant family car too. Opt for the Turismo model and you’ll get the bigger hatchback style boot so you can fit your furry friends in the back. If you’re also looking to switch from gas guzzler to electric, the 250 mile range on the Taycan will give you enormous peace of mind.
Not for: Families with more than three kids to cart around. Even if you have just three, you probably wouldn’t get three car seats across the back but it’s worth noting that Porsche do their own child car seats designed to fit perfectly and that the 2 outside seats on the Taycan have Isofix mounting points.