Porsche on mission to create Tesla-rival Taycan

Eurasian-derived name reportedly translates roughly as “lively young horse”

Published: June 8, 2018, 2:30 AM
Updated: June 13, 2018, 7:06 AM

Porsche Mission E concept

The wildly-popular and highly-anticipated electric Porsche sedan, that kinda looks like a Panamera but may have some unique design cues aficionados find more appealing, will henceforth be known as Taycan.

Porsche Taycan script

To this point, it had been referred to as the Mission E, a concept that was introduced at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show to rave reviews. Production of the Taycan is scheduled to begin in 2019 for late-year or 2020 deliveries.

The Eurasian derived name reportedly translates roughly as “lively young horse,” which regardless of accuracy, does tie in nicely to the leaping steed that has adorned the Porsche crest since 1952, as part of the centrepiece that is actually the coat of arms of the city of Stuttgart.

Porsche steed graphic

“Our new electric sports car is strong and dependable,” said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “It’s a vehicle that can consistently cover long distances and that epitomizes freedom.”

The car will employ two permanently activated synchronous motors (PSM) generating over 600 horsepower. The Mission E was presented with two 220 kW motors (one on each axle) to generate a total of 440 kW (or over 590 hp), so expect the production car to use 224-kW motors to top the 600-hp figure.

Porsche Mission E concept

It is also expected to use torque vectoring to grant it all-wheel drive performance. The Mission E was reported to do 0-100 km/h in under 3.5 seconds, so it’s safe to trust Porsche’s claims that Taycan can do that spring in “well under 3.5 seconds.” Continuing to 200 km/h will reportedly require an additional 8.5 seconds.

To compete with Tesla’s Model S, the Taycan will have a claimed range of around 485 km. The Model S does the 0-100 km/h sprint in just over 2.5 seconds and has a range of about 540 km. Porsche claims the batteries will take four minutes of charging to add 100 km of range.

Porsche Mission E concept

Porsche had announced a €3 billion (about $4.57 billion Canadian) investment in electromobility by 2022 and has now doubled that figure. Of the additional €3 billion, some €500 million (about $762 million Canadian) will be used for development of the Taycan and derivatives (Porsche had previously announced plans to produce the Mission E Cross Turismo concept, a crossover/wagon variant of the Mission E that looked like the recently introduced Panamera Sport Touring).

The remaining investment will be used to upgrade production facilities, including the Zuffenhausen plant that will produce a projected 15,000-20,000 Taycan’s per year, development of electrification and hybridization of existing products, and the development of new technologies, charging infrastructure and smart mobility.

Porsche Mission E concept interior

The Zuffenhausen plans include dedicated assembly area for Taycan, new paint and body shops, a conveyor bridge between the production departments, and expansion of the engine plant to manufacture electric motors.