Software tweaks improve the already-excellent Porsche Taycan
4.5 out of 5
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We’ve always considered the Taycan 4S to be the pick of the range, and the 2023-model-year tweaks only strengthen our conviction on this verdict. True, it’s not cheap, and the options list is a minefield for your bank account, but the core package of sledgehammer performance, great driving dynamics and a beautifully finished cabin is now enhanced by improved range and even better in-car tech. What’s not to like?
Few areas of the market are moving as quickly as electric vehicles, with software tweaks often playing a big role in adjusting how each car behaves and performs. So it’s hardly surprising that the Porsche Taycan has continued to evolve since it made its debut in 2019. However, we’re not talking about a full facelift here – rather a series of upgrades that have been drip-fed into the line-up, and in many non-hardware cases, offered to existing Taycan owners as well as new ones.
We sampled a fine example of this iterative process last year, in the form of the Taycan Sport Turismo GTS. But now we’ve had a chance to see how the mods affect not the more focused version of the EV’s estate variant, but the edition of the regular saloon that could offer you the greatest range in real-world use.
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On paper at least, the Taycan 4S doesn’t grab headlines with the sort of astonishing stats you get with the Turbo S version – although it would be churlish to call it slow. Should you spec it with Porsche’s Performance Battery Plus (which increases the capacity to 93.4kWh, or 83.7kWh usable), you’ll have 483bhp on tap – and 563bhp when using Launch Control.
That means that even with the larger battery, and a total weight of more than 2.2 tonnes, the Taycan 4S can reach 62mph in four seconds and a top speed of 155mph.
Car group tests
The most significant update on the 2023-spec Taycan is one that will be largely hidden from owners – at least, until they see how far they’re able to travel between recharges. While the car is running in ’Normal’ or ‘Range’ mode, the 4S’s front electric motor is now disconnected, and the car runs free of drive torque when it’s coasting or at a standstill. It’s all down to ones and zeros in the Taycan’s software stack, but the net effect is a useful gain in efficiency – to the point where, depending on the wheel size and which options are fitted, the 4S can now travel up to 318 miles on the WLTP combined cycle.
The other good news is that dynamically, the only effect you’re likely to notice is a positive one. Because if anything, there’s a teeny bit more crispness to the way the 4S steers than before – more in line with the excellent rear-wheel-drive entry-level edition, if anything, so it’s supremely positive and confidence inspiring.
It’s true that the Taycan remains a heavy car, but it’s one which masks its mass astonishingly well, with superb damping rounding off the edges of what is undoubtedly a firm basic set-up.
Performance, too, remains shockingly direct. It’s safe to say that for all the greater efficiency, you’re unlikely to feel you’re in a car that doesn’t live up to the Porsche badge – a factor which has been at the heart of the Taycan success story.
Inside, the Porsche’s standout qualities remain; the cabin is nicely finished, with high-quality padded materials in all of the key areas and more durable finishes where they’re required – such as in the base of the B-pillar, which tends to get scrubbed as you fall into the front seats.
And of course, you get the latest version of the PCM infotainment system, with an easy-to-use, tile-based interface and, at last, proper Android Auto integration (including wireless) to accompany the Apple CarPlay functionality that was present before. You also get clearer navigation guidance in the head-up display, along with a host of other minor tweaks, including improved parking sensors and better thermal management of the battery, so the car can be topped up more quickly over a wider range of charge and temperatures.
Owners of existing Taycan models can get these features introduced on their vehicles, too. However, the operation is not something that can be performed over the air, so they’ll have to block out some time for a trip to the dealer.
|Model:||Porsche Taycan 4S|
|Price:||£90,406 (Performance Battery Plus)|
|Engine/battery:||2x e-motor/83.7kWh net|
|Transmission:||Single-speed automatic, four-wheel drive|
|Max Charging:||270kW (5-80% in 23min)|
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