Porsche announces maximum powers of 680 hp and 761 hp for its Taycan Turbo and Turbo S. Values reached only during a fraction of a second: most of the time, you have to be satisfied with the promised 625 hp, over a period of 10 seconds. Explanations.
Porsche presents its Taycan as the sportiest of electric cars. At the end of our test, it seems quite obvious that the German manufacturer has reached its goal (read our test of the Porsche Taycan ). Performance and handling appear at the top of the emerging category of luxury electric sedans , competing without complex with a Tesla Model S, pioneer of the category certainly much cheaper. Like its American competitor, Porsche declines the Taycan in several variants, the first two marketed being called Turbo and Turbo S, followed by the 4S.
These two versions announce acceleration figures of 2.8 seconds and 3.2 seconds respectively when exercising from 0 to 100 km / h. And another 6.3 s and 6.9 s to go from 0 to 160 km / h or 9.8 s and 10.8 s to reach 200 km / h. In both cases, the claimed top speed is 260 km / h, electronically restricted. To explain these differences in performance, Porsche communicates different peak power values : 680 hp (500 kW) for the Turbo and 761 hp (560 kW) for the Turbo S. However, due to the operating range of the engines and the electronic traction chain management, this maximum power can only be provided for a few tenths of a second .
Unknown continuous power
Porsche remains rather vague on the real power of its Taycan. Because the above values are only available at peak, for a period of only 2.5 secondsand on condition that you activate the Sport Plus driving mode at the same time as Launch Control (a device used to perform the fastest starts possible). Otherwise, you have to be content with 625 hp (460 kW), over a period of 10 seconds on the Turbo as on the Turbo S. But never, despite our multiple requests, the engineers did not want to communicate the value of power nominal (measured over 30 minutes and estimated at 590 hp). While this is a mandatory data to provide for the approval of the vehicle! The models we were able to try being pre-series, Porsche was able to afford not to display this figure on the gray card. The mystery remains.
The maximum power values announced by Porsche are therefore only available at start-up. Turbo and Turbo S have the same engines, transmission and battery, the technical difference between the two models comes from power electronics . If the inverters of the Turbo S can collect an intensity of 600 Amps at the front as at the rear, that of the front engine of the Turbo is limited to 300 A. This limits the power of this front engine to 326 hp ( 240 kW) and torque at 300 Nm, while these values climb to 455 hp according to our estimates (335 kW) and 400 Nm on the Turbo S. In both cases, the power of the rear engine rises according to our estimates to 625 hp (460 kW), Porsche communicating a torque of 550 Nm.
Sufficiently powered, the Taycan\’s engines could therefore add up to approximately 1,080 hp (795 kW). But, as is often the case with electric cars, the power of the motors is generously sized compared to that of the battery. This allows on the one hand to have a more generous torque and, on the other hand, to distribute the torque continuously between the two engines, for the benefit of road behavior.
Porsche has therefore taken into account on its technical sheet that the weakest link in the chain is the one to consider: it is the battery on the Turbo S, and power electronics on the Turbo . In this, the power values correspond to what the system could actually deliver at any time … If Porsche had not made the choice to limit the use of its overboost when Launch Control is activated. It is in fact by punctually increasing the intensity delivered by the battery that the torque of the Turbo S motors can be pushed to 610 Nm at the rear and 440 Nm at the front for 2.5 seconds.
The problem comes from the limited duration of this intensity peak : it is necessary from the start to be able to develop the maximum torque of the two motors. But, at low speed, the engines do not have a sufficient speed to develop the maximum power. According to our calculations, it is around 60 km / h (on the first gear of the rear gearbox) that the Taycan Turbo S and Turbo deliver the promised 680 hp and 761 hp respectively… Peak collapsing very quickly, before 100 km / h, since it takes respectively 2.8 seconds and 3.2 seconds to reach this speed. We can estimate that the maximum power available between 60 km / h, 80 km / h on the Turbo and between 60 km / h, 90 km / h on the Turbo S .
This speed range is scanned in less than a second, just before the shift of the second gear of the rear gearbox in the event of maximum acceleration: on this second gear, the maximum power could be reached around 95 km / h, if the peak power lasted long enough. The gearbox certainly helps with more impactful acceleration. But it is also and above all for Porsche the only way to display these maximum powers on the technical sheet … And justify the difference of € 30,000 between Turbo and Turbo S! Because on the longest gear, the engines would not have time to go up enough speed to develop maximum power before the peak value drops.
Tesla ambushed with the Model S Plaid
We can legitimately be surprised to see Porsche reserve the maximum power at startup. Because it is indeed during high speed recoveries that this overboost could deliver its full potential . Even in Sport Plus mode, you have to be content with 625 hp, which is certainly more than enough to offer canon recoveries… But extremely close to a Tesla Model S Performance, estimated at 610 hp . We can therefore understand much better why the Californian manufacturer intends to compete with Porsche on the Nürburgring circuit, which favors high speeds. And also the fact that the Taycan used to establish a reference time is a Turbo and not a Turbo S: on this route, the differences are at the margin.
For the moment, Tesla has not yet communicated official time in Green Hell. But it would seem that the Model S Plaid promised for the second half of 2020, with its three engines from the future Roadster, is able to make life hard for the Taycan. At Porsche, with a touch of bad faith, we believe that Performance is not valid. “The Model S brought by Tesla is a racing car, with specific running gear, specific engine and specific tires,” said an engineer from the German manufacturer. “In addition, if we listen to the video, it would seem that the transmission uses a gear with straight teeth, different from the standard model”. But nothing says that all these elements will not be offered on the future Plaid version. Because the difference in price between a Model S Performance and a Taycan Turbo S leaves an interesting latitude for a solid technical preparation in order to improve performance… The battle has only just begun!