New Porsche Taycan 4S 2021 review

The entry-level Porsche Taycan 4S is the pick of the impressive electric car's range

  • 4.5 out of 5

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    This 4S is the most affordable version of the Taycan EV – and it’s the best yet. That’s because it still offers superb performance and genuinely engaging handling, yet it mixes this with a great blend of ride comfort and refinement. We’d like more range, but combined with excellent charging capability it means the Taycan 4S is still incredibly usable, bolstered by solid practicality, sound on-board technology and great quality. It’s the pick of the range.

    Porsche’s Taycan Turbo S was something of a game changer when it arrived but, at nearly £140,000, that blistering performance and ability didn’t come cheap. Now we’ve tried the more affordable (that’s a relative term) £83,580 Taycan 4S in the UK, to see whether this entry-level EV is the one to go for.

    We’ll cut straight to the chase; it most certainly is, and for many reasons. Firstly, as we’ve already said, it’s so much more affordable than any other version in the line-up – but this doesn’t come at the expense of how the model drives.

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    • The beauty of an electric car is that it delivers its performance in a big hit thanks to instant torque. While the 4S is less potent than its bigger brothers, it still produces 563bhp and 650Nm of torque (when fitted with our test car’s £4,613 Performance Battery Plus, which delivers more power, torque and range). This means despite its chunky 2,220kg kerbweight, with four-wheel drive, it’ll still leap from 0-62mph in four seconds flat thanks to launch control.

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      You can simplify that by saying the 4S offers as much performance as you’d ever want from a luxury four-door saloon, with that immediate throttle response being the key to its urgency. Even at motorway speeds the acceleration doesn’t tail off, unlike with some other high-end EVs.

      However, whatever the spec, every Taycan is so much more than a straight-line, point-and-squirt machine. From the way it steers to the way it rides, it’s recognisably a Porsche in its dynamic approach – only it’s one for a new era.

      The 4S steers with a natural hunger for corners. It exhibits a precision and lovely weight, with our car’s £1,650 rear-axle steering coming alive in Sport Plus mode to really sharpen agility. Grip is strong, and in most situations the car generally feels lighter than its true kerbweight; the £1,052 Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus system acts with the electric motors to help turn the car.

      The body control over that mass is key, yet with standard adaptive air suspension the 4S rides with a fluidity that means – combined with the lack of engine and wind noise – it’s impressively refined, too.

      One important facet of this EV that needs a little more development is range. While a claimed 257 miles for this exact spec (including optional wheels) isn’t too bad, small mainstream SUVs costing less than half as much manage more. Although they don’t match the Taycan’s performance, range could still be better for the money – we saw a predicted 220 miles from a full battery in cold conditions.

      The Taycan offers very impressive charging capability, though, accepting up to 270kW in Performance Battery Plus trim. With a feed of this power, it’ll take only 23 minutes to go from a five to an 80 per cent charge.

      Inside, the Taycan’s cabin comprises four screens, including a 16.8-inch digital dash. The other three screens are all touch sensitive; the lower panel controls the climate and can be used as a touchpad for the upper central screen, while there’s a panel in front of the passenger, too.

      Material quality is fine and the build is brilliant, but leather trim isn’t fitted as standard. Otherwise, kit is relatively generous for a Porsche, as you’d expect at this price. Strong safety tech, including AEB and lane-keep assist, all-round parking sensors, nav with Apple CarPlay connectivity (but no Android Auto), cruise and climate control, LED headlights and a powered tailgate are all included.

      Model:Porsche Taycan 4S Performance Battery Plus
      Engine:Two electric motors, 93.4kWh battery
      Transmission:Single-speed automatic, four-wheel drive 
      0-62mph:4.0 seconds
      Top speed:155mph
      Range:257 miles
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